Free-agent quarterback Cam Newton is set to address his status for the 2021 season in an upcoming video.
Newton — who remains unsigned following last week’s release from the New England Patriots — will air his (dirty?) laundry on social media Friday. It’s unclear what the 32-year-old is prepared to disclose, but he made clear it’s “not a retirement speech.”
“On this week’s Funky Friday, I have a lot of things that I need to get off my chest,” Newton teased Wednesday, referring to his online video series, per Pro Football Talk. “This is not a retirement speech, and I have a lot of football still in me.”
Newton hasn’t so much as visited with a prospective suitor since New England cut him loose. Perhaps for the very reason he’s now unemployed (which the Patriots deny), the reason the Dallas Cowboys reportedly mulled his signing but ultimately eschewed the former NFL MVP (which they will never admit): vaccination status.
“Jerry Jones wants his team 100 percent vaxxed,” beat reporter Clarence Hill tweeted Aug. 31. “Backups definitely have to be 100 percent vaxxed. This ain’t hard #DallasCowboys.”
As of Aug. 21, when defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins were forced to leave a preseason game due to COVID-19 protocols, only 7% of the Cowboys’ player roster was unvaccinated, while 100% of the football staff is immunized, the team announced.
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Cowboys Favored to Land Cam
Despite adding QB Will Grier to the 53-man roster and QB Ben DiNucci to the practice squad, the Cowboys (+500) are the betting favorite to acquire Newton’s services, the DraftKings Sportsbook reported Tuesday. The Houston Texans (+600), Indianapolis Colts (+800), Detroit Lions (+800), and Baltimore Ravens (+1200) round out Vegas’ top-five front-runners.
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Jerry, McCarthy Address Non-Signing
Both Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy appear in lock-step regarding Newton. Jones recently addressed his apparent lack of interest in the ex-Panthers superstar, confirming the club made a conscious decision to pass after conducting an evaluation.
“You know, most people in the NFL that are even in the personnel area I think have Cam Newton evaluated, and his pluses and his minus,” Jones said last week on 105.3 The Fan, via The Spun. “You know, Norv Turner did a great job . . . when he was coordinator there with Cam Newton. So, I think he’s no secret as to what he does and does well. And of course he was basically able to be evaluated if you want to look at it playing games and results and all of that as an evaluation. And so what you’re seeing with him, he’s available, as best I can tell he’s available. . . . If you can get it to make the right kind of deal, he’s available. But the point is that in this particular case — now, it’s another thing with Will Grier or it’s another thing with some of the guys that don’t have the play time or haven’t has been as readily, haven’t had as much experience. But Cam Newton is not playing because everybody has evaluated it and they’re making a decision. . . . We were very, very easy to evaluate Cam.”
McCarthy said days earlier, citing Grier, “the best prospect” on the open market: “I think [Newton] has a ton of football left, but we’re very excited about the group we have.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL