Old School: Cam Newton to throw at Auburn Pro Day
from Eric Smithling, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
Thirteen years ago, Cam Newton placed himself on the NFL map with a record-setting season at Auburn. On Tuesday, Newton is going back to where it all started with the hope of getting noticed by the NFL once again.
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Newton will throw at Auburn’s pro day, which is typically reserved for incoming NFL Draft prospects, not a 33-year-old QB past his prime.
This could be his last chance at latching on to an NFL roster. He didn’t play in 2022 and hasn’t started since Week 16 of the 2021 season on Dec. 26, 2021. But according to his announcement video, he still believes he can compete with the best.
“Ain’t 32 quarterbacks better than me,” Newton said in the video.
He is first in Auburn history in passing touchdowns in a single-season (30) in 2010, the year he won the Heisman Trophy and led the Tigers to a national championship.
That was one of the all-time great seasons by a college quarterback and Newton’s draft stock skyrocketed because of it.
He was drafted first overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft and won the 2015 NFL MVP award after the Panthers went 15-1 and Newton was 296-of-495 (59.8%) for 3,837 yards, 35 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while adding 132 carries for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns.
He was released following the 2019 season and played one unremarkable year for the Patriots before rejoining the Panthers midway through the 2021 season for a disastrous 0-5 run as a starter.
It’s unclear what kind of market Newton could command this offseason. Most teams are either set at the position or already signed players earlier this month to compete for the starting role.
His former team — the Panthers — signed Andy Dalton and will almost certainly draft a QB first overall in April’s draft. Houston and Indianapolis are also in line to draft QBs and signed backups Case Keenum and Gardner Minshew in free agency, respectively.
Teams such as the Falcons and Bucs have young vets in the running for their starting jobs and have addressed depth concerns by agreeing to deals for Taylor Heinicke (Atlanta) and Baker Mayfield (Tampa Bay).
Newton’s best bet at landing on an NFL roster in 2023 could be in Arizona. Kyler Murray’s status for the season is up in the air after he suffered a torn ACL in Week 14 and had surgery on Jan. 3.
With a young coaching staff, Newton would be a low-stakes option the team could consider for a season that projects to be a long one.
But even that feels far-fetched. It’s hard to think a player who is a year removed from the NFL will all of a sudden command considerable attention from teams that have had every opportunity to sign him for over a year now and chose not to.
He’s going back to Auburn to resurrect his career, but it looks more like he’s living in the past.