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#pounditSunday, October 24, 2021

Cam Newton unlikely to attract much interest after release?

Cam Newton

It doesn’t sound like we should necessarily expect Cam Newton to find a new team anytime soon after he was released by the New England Patriots.

In an appearance on “SportsCenter” Wednesday, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported that it didn’t seem likely that Newton would attract much interest, noting that the quarterback went unsigned for three months last offseason. Darlington added that any interested teams would likely see Newton as a backup option.

“There’s not a lot of teams right now that are necessarily all that interested in bringing on Newton at all,” Darlington said.

Darlington also pointed out that Newton’s unvaccinated status could work against him, even as a backup. Under NFL protocols, unvaccinated close contacts to positive tests are out five days. Darlington points out that if a vaccinated starting quarterback were to test positive for COVID, the backup would almost certainly be ruled a close contact. In other words, Newton would be out for five days, meaning having him as a backup in that situation would be effectively useless to teams.

There have been reports that Newton’s unvaccinated status was a factor in his release, though the Patriots have strongly denied this in public. That said, the protocols being what they are, there’s no way the Patriots didn’t consider the scenario Darlington outlined and, may have come to the conclusion that Newton wouldn’t even be reliable as a backup option.

Newton didn’t show a great deal on the field in 2020 either, throwing eight interceptions and only seven touchdowns in 15 starts. Those aren’t numbers that are going to have any team eagerly pursuing the 32-year-old.

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