Cam Newton, the veteran quarterback who did not take a single snap in the NFL last season, isn’t ready to quit football. Instead, the 33-year-old is returning to his alma mater, Auburn University, to participate in the school’s pro day.
Pro days are typically reserved for collegiate players looking to work out in front of NFL scouts and coaches. However, Newton will be in a slightly different position when he throws passes to some of Auburn’s pass catchers.
Newton was the NFL’s MVP in 2015, leading the Carolina Panthers to a 15-1 regular-season record and a Super Bowl appearance. However, injuries set him back in 2018 and 2019, and an underwhelming season running an undermanned New England Patriots offense in 2020 didn’t help. His comeback stint in Carolina in 2021 was promising at the start but fizzled thereafter.
As such, Newton couldn’t find a team that wanted him last year. Nevertheless, he has consistently stated that there aren’t 32 quarterbacks in the world who are better than he is, and he reiterated that message when announcing his pro day appearance.
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Newton’s Pro Day Appearance
Cam Newton’s decision to participate in Auburn’s pro day has been met with mixed reactions from NFL analysts, with some lauding his determination to prove his worth and others doubting his ability to make a comeback.
Pro Day Workouts
Pro day workouts are a chance for collegiate players to showcase their skills to NFL scouts and coaches. They typically include a series of drills and exercises, such as the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, and shuttle run. Participants are also required to perform position-specific drills, such as throwing passes for quarterbacks.
Newton’s Career Highlights
Cam Newton began his football career in college, playing for the Auburn Tigers. In 2010, he led the team to a National Championship and won the Heisman Trophy, becoming the first player in school history to do so. His success in college made him a highly coveted draft pick in the NFL.
In 2011, Newton was drafted first overall by the Carolina Panthers. He quickly made an impact, winning the NFL Rookie of the Year award and setting multiple records. In 2015, he had his best season yet, leading the Panthers to a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl appearance. Newton was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player that year.
The Rise and Fall of a Star Quarterback
However, injuries and inconsistent play started to take their toll on Newton. In 2018, he suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery and caused him to miss the last two games of the season. He struggled in the following year as well, with the Panthers finishing 5-11.
In 2020, Newton joined the New England Patriots, hoping to revive his career. However, he was unable to find his footing in their offense and had a disappointing season. The Patriots finished 7-9, missing the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.
Newton’s Comeback Attempts
Despite his struggles, Newton remained committed to playing football. In 2021, he signed with the Carolina Panthers, his former team. At the start of the season, he looked promising, leading the Panthers to a 3-0 record. However, the team’s performance declined, and Newton was eventually replaced by another quarterback.
After the season, Newton found himself without a team once again. But instead of giving up, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He announced that he would be participating in Auburn’s pro day, hoping to show NFL scouts and coaches that he still has what it takes to play quarterback in the league.
The Pro Day Return
Newton’s decision to participate in a pro day may seem unconventional, but it’s not unprecedented. Other NFL veterans, such as Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson, have also participated in pro days to showcase their skills to teams.
Newton will be throwing passes to Auburn’s pass catchers during the pro day, which will take place on March 29th.
It’s unclear if any NFL teams have confirmed their attendance at Newton’s pro day, but it’s likely that several teams will send representatives to evaluate his performance.
Newton’s performance at the pro day could determine whether he receives any offers to join an NFL team for the upcoming season.
Despite his recent struggles with injuries and declining performance, Newton still has a lot of talent and potential, and many teams could be interested in signing him as a backup quarterback or a veteran presence in the locker room.
Only time will tell if Newton’s decision to participate in a pro day will lead to a return to the NFL.