Quarterback Cam Newton's NFL journey started at Auburn's Pro Day back on March 8, 2011 and now the first overall pick from the 2011 NFL Draft looks to revive his football career at Auburn's Pro Day 12 years later. The soon-to-be 34-year-old tweeted out a video Monday evening announcing his presence at Auburn's showcase of its players for NFL scouts on Tuesday, March 21. Newton won the Heisman Trophy and the BCS National Championship in his one season on campus in 2010.
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It appears as though Newton still has the fire to play at the highest level after not being on a team in the 2022 NFL season, questioning in his announcement video how "randoms" are getting quarterback jobs over him.
"Tell me how these randoms keep getting jobs...ain't 32 motherf---- better than me," Newton said.
What may be hampering Newton's ability to be on an NFL roster may be because of the way he views himself: as a starting quarterback. The team that drafted him, the Carolina Panthers, signed another quarterback from his 2011 draft class, Andy Dalton, to a two-year, $10 million contract to be a mentor for whichever QB they select with the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. However in Newton's video, he spoke like he still views himself as a starting quarterback. That mindset probably didn't mesh with the Panthers' vision of a nurturing environment for their new face-of-the-franchise.
Newton reached the pinnacle of the sport in 2015, winning an NFL MVP award and leading the Panthers to a Super Bowl 50 appearance, a game Carolina lost 24-10 to the Denver Broncos. He has totaled 32,382 passing yards and 5,628 rushing yards in his 11-season career from 2011-2021, making him the only player in NFL history with over 30,000 passing yards and over 5,000 rushing yards. Injuries took a toll on his body between his throwing shoulder needing two surgeries after the 2017 and 2018 seasons and a Lisfranc foot injury that required surgery, causing his 2019 season to end after two games.
After being released from the Panthers in March 2020, he signed on with the New England Patriots in the wake of Tom Brady's departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Newton lost his job in New England after the Patriots drafted Mac Jones 15th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft following the team going 7-8 in his 15 starts in 2020. He briefly reunited with Carolina in 2021, but they went 0-5 in his five starts as threw more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (four). Newton hasn't been with an NFL team since hitting free agency last offseason. Perhaps if he uses his Pro Day to not only show he still has it on the field, but that he's willing to take a smaller, backup role, Newton may be able to find NFL employment once again.