AUBURN, Ala. — Veteran quarterback Cam Newton attended Auburn's pro day, throwing over 30 passes in front of NFL scouts on Tuesday.
It wasn't just a way to get more scouts in the building to watch Auburn's draft hopefuls, as Newton showed he still has plenty left in the tank despite not playing at all in 2022 and only seeing the field sparingly in 2021.
The 33-year-old is adamant he is still among the 32 best quarterbacks in the NFL, but his injury history, limited fit with the majority of current NFL offenses, and concerns about his attitude and willingness to be a backup are contributing factors to his current status as a free agent.
Matt Williamson and Brian Peacock of the Peacock and Williamson NFL show discussed Newton's tricky situation as he tries to get back onto an NFL field this season.
"It's hard to find the fit," Peacock said. "Is he willing to be Josh McCown where he's a journeyman backup? Or does he envision himself as a starter and wants starter money? He's going to be 34 years old [and] the biggest thing about his style of play is that he's not as athletic as he once was."
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Newton didn't exactly do himself any favors with his play in 2021. Filling in as an emergency starter following Sam Darnold's shoulder injury, Newton went 0-5 while completing 66 passes for 676 yards - along with three touchdowns and five interceptions.
Newton's bruising style as a runner and limitations as a passer (he has a sub-60% completion rate) make him a tough fit for most NFL offenses, and unless he is willing to sign as a backup and prepare to fill in if necessary it might be hard for him to find himself back in the league in 2023.