Former Auburn QB Cam Newton turned 30 this weekend, which makes him “old” by professional athlete standards, but maybe not by quarterback standards. And if you like seeing Newton run over defenders, the Carolina Panthers quarterback has some good news for you.
Newton’s age is bringing some increased attention to his health and his style of play. As a gifted runner, Newton draws contact – lots of it for a quarterback. According to ESPN, has been sacked or hit while throwing or rushing 1,304 times since 2011. That’s way ahead of the next two QBs: Seattle’s Russell Wilson (942 times) and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (669 times).
If you think that might lead to Newton changing his approach, guess again. Newton vows he won’t change, but seems to acknowledge he can do more to protect himself.
“One thing: I’m not changing,” Newton said at his recent ‘Kicking It With Cam’ charity kickball tournament. “I think I’m too old to change. But I can get better – that’s one thing that I can do. And I like that word – better. At this particular point, the things that make me me are still cemented in. It’s just up to me to kind of take my game to the next level and kind of branch off and, like I said, get better.”
While 30 is seen as a dividing line in sports and “north of 30” is cited when discussing long-term contracts, Newton can take some comfort in the fact that he’s at the right position to continue to be among the league’s best. ESPN’s David Newton points out that seven of the top 10 quarterbacks in touchdown passes last season were 30 or older. Even more encouraging for Old Man Cam, four of the top seven in total quarterback rating in 2018 were older than 35 (Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers).
Good stuff from Cam Newton when asked if he’s reflecting on turning 30 pic.twitter.com/xwo8NDLDJN
— Bill Voth (@PanthersBill) May 10, 2019