In case you haven’t noticed, Cam Newton, marches to the beat of his own drum, which includes his decisions on and off the football field.
We’ve seen this trait come through most recently on Monday when Newton was reportedly (ESPN’s Mike Reiss) one of a few New England Patriots to report for voluntary workouts at the team facility.
Patriots’ voluntary offseason program begins today, with the 1st phase extending through May 14. This phase includes virtual meetings of up to 2 hours per day, with facilities and weight rooms open with capacity limits.
Cam Newton among those leading the charge in attendance.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) April 19, 2021
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Last week, the NFLPA and several NFL teams–including the Patriots players–issued a statement saying “many” would not be attending voluntary workouts because of the still-present threat of spreading COVID-19.
A statement from the New England Patriots players: pic.twitter.com/1gl84knZrS
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 14, 2021
Newton has not spoken to the media or taken to social media to confirm his presence or what he’s working on, but his participation makes sense when you consider the factors.
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Overcoming One of Last Season’s Biggest Obstacles
Newton’s 2020 season didn’t go as planned, and one of the biggest reasons for the failure to produce choice results was his lack of preseason preparation. He signed with the team in late June. Thus he missed valuable time to get comfortable with the Patriots’ offense and coaches.
After spending an entire season with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and this preseason/training camp with him, Newton could be putting himself in the best position to succeed by attending voluntary workouts.
Because he has cited the lack of preparation as an impediment, it would be strange for him not to take as much time as possible to ensure he doesn’t run into the same problems.
That said, there might still be some hesitancy to go against the wishes of teammates and his peers who have elected to stay home.
Money Probably Isn’t a Major Motivator, But it’s Still Money
Newton has made it clear; he has done well financially. That said, he does earn a $100,000 bonus for attending the voluntary workout. While the bonus may not be essential to Newton’s lifestyle, it is still a good piece of change to leave on the table.
One of Newton’s newest teammates, offensive lineman Trent Brown stands to earn $500,000 to attend voluntary workouts. If both he and Newton are there, the workouts might provide the first opportunity for the two men to get acquainted.
Considering Brown might be protecting Newton’s blindside this season, that chemistry and friendship might be ab important one. Both men are only signed through the 2021 season, so their collective success may impact their abilities to earn higher wages for the rest of their careers.
It’s a multi-layered situation, and each player has a different position. Without question, there will be eyes on potential issues that arise between players who sided with the NFLPA and those who have chosen to attend the workouts against the union majority’s wishes.
At 31 years old, and with much to prove to himself and the doubters, Newton has chosen to put himself in what he believes is the position to succeed.