FILE PHOTO: Sep 12, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) walks off the field during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Newton is focusing on self-improvement during his first foray into free agency.
The unemployed quarterback was released by the Carolina Panthers and is coming off of foot surgery.
“I’ve taken this time to become stronger mentally, physically and spiritually,” Newton said in an Instagram Live conversation with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul. “I’m a fish out of water. I’ve never not known anything other than the Carolina Panthers.”
Newton turns 31 next month and is not permitted to take formal visits to the headquarters of interested teams because of the coronavirus pandemic. He said he’s spending a lot of time with his kids and meditating.
The No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft took the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 and was MVP of the NFL the same year.
But he had shoulder surgery prior to last season and then suffered a Lisfranc injury in the preseason, leading to season-ending surgery.
The Panthers fired coach Ron Rivera, hired Baylor’s Matt Rhule and signed Teddy Bridgewater before dumping Newton.
“You have to make very difficult decisions every year. This was probably one of the most difficult,” Panthers GM Marty Hurney said Monday. “I drafted Cam. We all know everything he’s brought to the organization both on and off the field, so it was extremely difficult.”
—Field Level Media