Cam Newton appears to be doing all he can to make himself signable for an NFL team.
Newton has received the COVID-19 vaccine as teams have remained in contact with the former Patriots quarterback, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Saturday.
Garafolo also reported during an appearance on “Good Morning Football Weekend” that no Newton signing is imminent but teams have been in touch with him through the first six weeks of the season.
“A lot of folks are saying, ‘Did Newton’s vaccination status factor into whether New England kept him, and whether he would latch on elsewhere?’ That’s no longer a storyline here,” Garafolo said. “Again, teams have been informed . . . that Cam Newton is now vaccinated. So even if he came in, he wouldn’t have to wait five days before he works out or joins your roster.”
Newton had to spend five days away from the Patriots during the preseason after what was termed a misunderstanding of the team’s COVID-19 policies.
Less than a week later, the Patriots cut Newton and named rookie Mac Jones the team’s starting quarterback. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Newton’s vaccination status was not why he was cut, but that didn’t stop speculation from running rampant.
Jones has led the Patriots to a 2-3 start. He has completed 71.1 percent of his passes, with 1,243 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions.
Newton’s vaccination status will make it easier for him to join a team. The NFL’s COVID-19 rules allow vaccinated players to avoid quarantines even in the case of a close contact with infected individuals. In the event of a breakthrough positive, the vaccinated player has to wait only until he has received two negative tests 24 hours apart. Then the player will face weekly tests or be tested only as directed by medical staff.
Unvaccinated players who test positive have to be isolated for at least 10 days and cannot return until they are asymptomatic. Unvaccinated players also are subject to five-day quarantines if they are in close contact with infected individuals.
Additionally, unvaccinated players have to be tested each day for COVID-19, wear masks at all times in the facility, cannot gather in groups larger than three people and are subject to fines if they break NFL coronavirus protocols. Free agents have to test negative for five straight days before entering a team facility.