In professional sports it is often said that the best skill is availability. And in the case of Cam Newton, he learned that the New England Patriots viewed him as a liability despite his contributions in the field (that’s past tense).
Much has been said about the NFL’s new protocols regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, but Newton’s reluctance to get vaccinated put him – and the Patriots – in a precarious position. As we reported on The Root, the three-time pro bowler recently missed an important section of the training camp due to a “misunderstanding” about the test requirements:
It also puts the Patriots at significant risk as the NFL has informed teams that if unvaccinated players should trigger COVID-19 outbreaks in their teammates and teammates, the team will lose games. There are also reports that Cam’s refusal to be vaccinated has caused “internal frustration” in the team, and as an alleged leader, that doesn’t look good.
Given that his job was already up as rookie quarterback Mac Jones was strong, and the fact that he missed time after contracting COVID-19 last season, the Patriots apparently decided that Cam was too much of a burden to keep on the list.
Sooooo, they cut him, according to NFL insider Adam Schefter.
If you’re one of the best players in your sport, like Lamar Jackson, teams are far more willing to recognize your reluctance to receive the COVID-19 vaccine because of its impact on the field. But if you’re a fringe starter like Newton who struggled to carry out the Patriots’ offense last season, extending grace isn’t exactly on the agenda. Especially when you’re playing for Bill Belichick, who is known for breaking free of premium talent when that doesn’t fit New England’s plans.
The story goes on
On Instagram, Newton spoke calmly about his surprising publication.
“I really appreciate all the love and support during this time,” he wrote in his signature hieroglyphs. “But I have to say … please don’t feel sorry for me !! I’m doing well.”
What’s next for the 32-year-old former MVP? On the street it is said that the Cowboys will do their “due diligence” after his release from the Patriots, but Twitter has its own thoughts on its next target:
Aside from the Texans, who may or may not break free of their embattled quarterback, Deshaun Watson – who is in the middle of an ugly sexual assault investigation – Washington, Pittsburgh and Baltimore are among other teams involved in Cam’s services. But while we wait to find out where he’ll end up, Twitter has been torn to get rid of his jokes and offer words of encouragement at the expense of the former franchise quarterback.
At this stage in his career, Cam may no longer be the player he used to be, but he is still a dynamic player who can add value to the quarterback position.
“Cam did his best job for us and fought extremely hard,” said his former Patriots teammate, who brought James White back. “He’s a good football player. I hope he gets another chance to land on his feet. “
To that end, the Auburn product must now decide whether he’s ready to accept his fate as a backup quarterback or enjoy the rest of this season from home like the rest of us.