Has Cam Newton played his last NFL game?
That’s one of the big questions surrounding the free agent quarterback, whom the New England Patriots surprisingly released Tuesday.
As Newton, 32, considers his next move, former Patriots linebacker-turned-ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi believes the QB’s apparent unvaccinated status might torpedo his hopes of becoming another team’s starting quarterback in 2021 and beyond.
“Cam was loved in New England,” Bruschi said Wednesday on ESPN’s “Get Up.” “The coaches loved who he was, they loved his attitude, he was loved among his teammates. He was a great teammate. His (football) future? It very well may end because I don’t know what organization is going to want to take the risk for an unvaccinated quarterback. You see everything that’s going on in terms of unvaccinated players and the five-day close-contact rules, how difficult it is to have that. Do you want that as your starting quarterback?
“I have no political views on the vaccination. You want to get it? Cool. You don’t want to get it? Cool. The NFL makes it extremely hard, especially if you have that quarterback position, you have to make sure they’re going to be available for 17 games.”
Bruschi isn’t alone in suggesting Newton’s vaccine refusal will make joining another team more difficult than it otherwise would be. Newton’s absence from practice last week due to a “misunderstanding” of COVID-19 protocols reportedly was the “last straw” in New England’s decision, and other teams undoubtedly will take note.
One also must factor Newton’s age and stature in the NFL — he has been a starter in each of his 10 seasons in the league — in assessing his chances of continuing his career.
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