While it was never revealed outright, the overwhelming belief is that Cam Newton’s vaccination status played a significant role in the Patriots’ decision to release him prior to the season. And after that, it’s believed to have prevented him from landing a spot on another NFL roster.
That consideration is reportedly no longer in the picture.
According to NFL insider Mike Garafolo, Newton has changed his stance and received the COVID-19 vaccination.
From @gmfb Weekend: Sources tell me and @RapSheet teams have been told Cam Newton is now vaccinated. So the debate on whether that's an impediment to his being back in the NFL is now moot. pic.twitter.com/SefERRGLfH
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 16, 2021
As an unvaccinated player in the preseason, Newton was forced to undergo daily COVID-19 testing. After a botched communication and a missed test, the veteran quarterback was forced to sit out for five days of critical preseason action. During that time, rookie QB Mac Jones stepped up and claimed his spot as the Pats’ QB1 — resulting in Newton’s release from the team.
This debacle clearly exhibited the risk that teams incur by rostering an unvaccinated player — especially at the quarterback position. But now that Newton has received his jabs, prospective franchises will no doubt be much more likely to look his way.
While there is “nothing really imminent” on the Cam Newton signing front, Garafolo reported that the former league MVP has been in discussions with a few teams throughout the first five weeks of the season.
Clearly showing a commitment to making an NFL comeback, Newton will likely continue these discussions until he lands a roster spot.