Cam Newton is a free agent for the first time of his career and it comes during an unprecedented time when much of the country is shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Newton, who was released by the Carolina Panthers earlier this month, talked about his situation in an interview Monday with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chris Paul on Instagram Live.
“It’s so much possibility for me right now, but the fact that this corona situation has hit, I’m not a person to blame or do any of that things, man, it’s business,” Newton said. “But at the same time, I think I have been affected in a lot of ways, and it’s just [unfortunate], but yeah, at the end of the day, man, I’m going to let the ball play how it play, man, and go from there.”
He said being a free agent has put him “in uncharted waters for the first time in my career” and that the chip on his shoulder has “turned into family-size real quick.”
Newton acknowledged it’s a “weird” time but said he is using his time in isolation with his family “to become stronger mentally, physically and spiritually.”
“I think that’s more important than anything, man. I’ve gained this interest in mediating every morning, and it’s time for me,” he said. “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 said the best part about quarantining from society is “being around my kids.”
Newton, a nine-year NFL veteran, led the Panthers to the Super Bowl in the 2015 season and was named the NFL MVP. However Newton, who turns 31 next month, has dealt with shoulder and foot injuries the past two seasons.
Earlier on Monday, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney discussed the decision to release Newton, the quarterback he selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft. The Panthers released Newton after agreeing to a contract with free agent Teddy Bridgewater to become the team’s starter.
“You have to make very difficult decisions every year. This was probably one of the most difficult. I drafted Cam. We all know everything he’s brought to the organization both on and off the field, so it was extremely difficult,” he said.
ESPN’s David Newton contributed to this report.