Aug 29, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) looks on during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL enters Week 3 of the 2021 season, Cam Newton still remains without a team. After the New England Patriots surprisingly released him before the season, some league insiders and analysts expected Newton to be picked up by now. He still hasn't gotten a call.

Newton, who has had multiple shoulder operations, is several years removed from his 2015 MVP campaign with the Carolina Panthers, but he continued to show his arm strength in the preseason with the Patriots. Last season, he only threw for eight touchdown passes but ran for 592 yards and 12 TDs for a Patriots franchise in transition.

Whether the 10-year veteran still has the ability to play in the NFL isn’t the question. The question is whether he will be given another chance to play in the league.

If it were up to Newton, he would’ve played last Sunday. Judging from his Instagram account, he certainly was dressed for a special occasion.

(In case you can't see the caption, it reads, “on no team ... No problem! ... But you still going to get this Gleaming Drip!”)

The decision of whether Newton will play this season is not up to him. His career hinges on one of the 32 franchises that make up the NFL giving him another opportunity.

Following his release from the Patriots, he shared his thoughts on why he was let go.

"The reason they released me is because, indirectly, I was going to be a distraction without being the starter," Newton said. "Just my aura. ... That's my gift and my curse. When you bring a Cam Newton to your facility, when you bring a Cam Newton to your franchise, people are interested."

Well, a "distraction" may not be the best selling point for any team looking for a quarterback. Also, Newton made headlines last month when he missed time and practice due to a “misunderstanding” over the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.

If you’ve ever seen Newton’s offseason workouts, you would know that he's spending his idle time by staying on top of his game just in case he gets a call from a team. It's a smart move because, just two weeks into the season, quarterback injuries are piling up.

Two teams that could be potential landing spots for Newton are the New York Giants and Washington Football Team.

Even though the Giants are committed to Daniel Jones as their QB1, the third-year starter has struggled badly with 40 turnovers in 28 career starts. General manager Dave Gettleman might not want to stir things up by bringing in another quarterback for head coach Joe Judge (who's in his second season working with Jones, the No. 6 pick in 2019), but Newton, as a backup, could give Jones the competitive push needed to prove he’s worthy of keeping his job after last season's underwhelming performance.

Washington opted to ride with Ryan Fitzpatrick as its starting QB, but the 38-year-old veteran didn't make it through the season opener after suffering a hip subluxation in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Head coach Ron Rivera ended any speculation that he might turn to Newton, his former QB in Carolina, and he figures to keep his word as long as Taylor Heinicke keeps making clutch plays like he did in last week's 30-29 win against the Giants.

Still, with the Fitzgerald injury, one can only wonder if Washington should add to its QB depth. The two quarterbacks on the roster (Heinicke and Kyle Allen, another ex-Panther) don't come close to Newton's 139 career starts, 124 of them under Rivera with Carolina.

This much is true: Whether Newton gets picked up this season or not, he doesn't seem to be letting go of his NFL dreams any time soon.

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