Cam Newton finds himself in a peculiar situation this offseason. The former No. 1 overall pick and former league MVP was released by the Carolina Panthers in late March and is now looking to start anew with a franchise somewhere in the NFL. A big roadblock that is in front of him and the rest of the league, however, is the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has essentially prevented any team from opening its doors and having free agents, like Newton, come in for a workout and physical.
Newton spent his entire NFL career with the Panthers to this point after being drafted with the top overall selection in the 2011 draft. With new head coach Matt Rhule coming in this offseason and the club signing Teddy Bridgewater in free agency, the writing was on the wall that the two sides would part ways one way or another. Since his release, Newton, who also said during the interview that he has a "family size" chip on his shoulder following his release, told Paul that he's simply trying to get in a more well-rounded state, but does admit that free agency is a new challenge for him.
"I really have taken this time to become stronger mentally, physically and spiritually," Newton said. "I think that's more important than anything, man. I've gained this interest in meditating every morning. And it's time for me, where I'm a fish out of water. I've never not known anything other than the Carolina Panthers, and now it's like I want God to direct my path and put me in a position where I can thrive and be myself. But on top of that, it's still [about] becoming better."
Newton has dealt with shoulder and foot injuries over the past two seasons, but, when healthy, the 31-year-old is certainly a capable starting quarterback in the league. Because the first wave of free agency has already passed and various quarterbacks have found new homes already, however, there aren't many opportunities to jump on with a franchise and automatically claim the starting spot.
With that in mind, Newton's next stop may not be exactly a role that he's accustomed to, which may only further make him feel like a fish out of water.