Free-agent QB Cam Newton says he got vaccinated, wants to keep playing in NFL

In a video published to his YouTube channel on Sunday, free-agent quarterback Cam Newton said he has been vaccinated against COVID-19 and wants to keep playing football.

Newton, 32, was released by the New England Patriots shortly before the season. He had missed three practices because of what the Patriots called a COVID-19 protocol "misunderstanding," although coach Bill Belichick said Newton's vaccination status didn't factor into the decision to release the quarterback.

"Hell yeah I still want to play football," Newton said in Sunday's video. "I still get that urge to go out and perform and do something that I've been doing since I was 7 years old."

The 2015 MVP added that while he has been getting offers from teams, the situation "has to be right."

Pete Carroll said Monday during his weekly interview with 710 ESPN Seattle that the Seahawks already have spoken to Newton, but emphasized that his organization will talk to "everybody that could help us."

"Just so you know, we've already talked to him," the Seahawks coach said. "We're talking to everybody that could help us. To go right back to the base philosophy that we always uphold here is that we're going to be competing at every turn with whoever would be available. So we're on it."

When asked how the conversations with Newton went, Carroll responded: "They were alright."

The Seahawks currently are without star quarterback Russell Wilson, who was placed on injured reserve last week and will miss at least the next two games. Geno Smith replaced Wilson as Seattle's starting quarterback in Sunday night's overtime loss to the Steelers.

Newton said he was initially reluctant to get vaccinated because "the side effects weren't beneficial to me." He added that he still believes receiving the vaccine is "a personal decision."