ESPN's Mike Reiss reports Newton is "leading the charge in attendance" for the offseason program, which begins Monday (April 19), in Foxborough amid a crucial 2020 season for the former NFL MVP.
"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," Reiss tweeted on Monday.
The Patriots released a statement ahead of the workouts confirming "many" players on their active roster would not be participating in voluntary team activities.
Newton, on the other hand, will be in attendance as he looks to bounce back from a disappointing debut for the franchise in 2020.
The former NFL MVP Newton threw for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions, while going 7-8 as a starter in 15 games.
“Hell no! I can’t go out like that. I hear all of that talk,” Newton said in response to retirement questions during an appearance on the 'I Am Athlete' podcast in February. “My pride won’t allow me to do it. There aren’t 32 guys better than me.”
Newton, who signed a one-year deal last July after voluntary workouts had already taken place, expressed his interest in returning to New England during his 'I Am Athlete' podcast last month, prior to reaching an agreement in March.
Newton and the Patriots agreed to a one-year contract "worth up to $13.6 million," sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
In February, Newton told the 'I Am Athlete' podcast his COVID-19 diagnosis and the ensuing missed playing time played a role in his struggles during the 2020 season.
“When I came back [after missing the game in Kansas City], that’s where the lack of an offseason and the lack of time in the system really showed itself. I was behind and I was thinking too much,” Newton said. “The offense kept going and I was stagnant for two weeks. It was all new terminology. I wasn’t just trying to learn a system for what it was, I was learning a 20-year system in two months.”
The Patriots finished the 2020 season with a 7-9 overall record, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
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