Panthers quarterback Cam Newton turns 30 on Saturday. (Yes, that means you’re old.) But as he embarks on his fourth decade, Newton vows not to change a thing about a game that has caused him to suffer plenty of injuries during his time in the NFL.
“I’m too old to change,” Newton said Friday at his charity kickball tournament regarding his playing style, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.
Although Newton has missed only five games in eight seasons, he has had multiple offseason marred by surgery, both shoulder and ankle. He has yet to throw during the ongoing offseason program after having surgery to remove scar tissue from his right shoulder, and it’s unclear when he’ll be healthy enough to throw, or to play.
When he is healthy, it’s unclear how long he’ll stay healthy — especially if he plans to keep playing the way he always has. Although he’s a giant on the football field (and everywhere else), he’s made of the same flesh, muscle, ligament, tendon, and bone as the rest of us. And by embracing impact over the years, he has suffered injury.
If he wants to extend his career deep into his 30s, he needs to change. His ability to do so could impact, more immediately, whether the Panthers choose to give him another big-money extension at some point before his current contract expires after the 2020 season.