Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Cam Newton says he’s now vaccinated, wants to keep playing and is ‘getting offers’

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been almost two months since the Patriots abruptly released Cam Newton, vaulting rookie Mac Jones to the No. 1 quarterback job despite Newton holding the position since the start of 2020. The 32-year-old Newton, meanwhile, hasn’t taken the field since. But now, a day after NFL Media reported the former MVP still has his sights set on playing, Newton himself has taken to YouTube to confirm he’s now vaccinated for COVID-19, wants to resume his career and is “getting offers” from around the league.

“Hell yeah, I wanna still play football,” Newton said, echoing reports from shortly after his release.

The former Panthers star, who missed practice in the days leading up to his departure from New England due to an apparent misunderstanding of COVID protocols, followed up his assurance with a nearly six-minute monologue on the vaccine. Newton, who battled COVID-19 during his lone season with the Patriots, insisted he was reluctant to get vaccinated — “A man gotta do what a man gotta do,” he says during a filmed entry to his vaccination appointment — and repeatedly urged viewers to only keep themselves in mind when considering getting vaccinated.

He admitted, however, that his vaccination status has likely improved his odds of returning to the NFL.

“Being a free agent, touching uncharted waters, and the No. 1 question — rightfully so — is, ‘Is Cam vaccinated?”” he said, before downplaying the notion that teams aren’t interested in signing him anyway: “That’s a lie. I’ve been getting offers. It has to be right.”

Newton started 15 games for the Patriots in 2020 but hasn’t played a full season since 2017. He missed all but two games due to injury in 2019 and also finished 2018 on injured reserve.

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