By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Last week, Patriots players released a statement which said “many” of them would not be participating in the team’s offseason team activities. Cam Newton is apparently not part of the group skipping out on the sessions.

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The quarterback is “leading the charge in attendance” in the team’s offseason program, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

Reiss added that “quite a few players” are attending the sessions, which are of course set up differently this year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Patriots were far from the only NFL team to release a statement about attendance for the voluntary offseason training sessions, as the players’ union urged members to skip OTAs this spring.

As of Monday morning, the Eagles, Ravens, Saints, 49ers, Rams, Dolphins, Jets, Chargers, Falcons, Steelers, Raiders, Giants, Browns, Bears, Lions, Buccaneers, Seahawks and Broncos had all released statements in solidarity with the union for an all-virtual offseason.

Newton, though, is one player who may not be in a position to skip out on anything this year. He signed with the Patriots in late June last year, missing out on some critical time to learn the Patriots’ playbook for his first season in the system. That lack of a spring — combined with a week-long absence early in the year due to a positive COVID-19 test — has been considered a significant issue that limited Newton’s ability to thrive in his first year in New England.

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As he nears his 32nd birthday, Newton is signed on a one-year deal, on a contract that more closely resembles a backup QB’s deal than it does a starter’s. Last year he proved that he could run the football effectively (592 yards and 12 touchdowns on 137 attempts) and stay healthy for a full season. This year, provided he gets the starting reps over any potential draftee, he’ll be setting out to prove he can be a complete quarterback. Skipping any spring work would seemingly work against that goal.