Cam Newton is experiencing an unfamiliar situation as he hits free agency for the first time, and he's trying to make the most of it.
"Honestly, I really have taken this time to become stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually," the quarterback said during an Instagram Live session with Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul. "I think that's more important than anything. I've gained this interest in meditating every morning.
"And this time for me, where I'm a fish out of water - I've never known anything other than the Carolina Panthers - now it's like I want God to direct my path, and put me in a position where I can thrive and be myself."
Newton was released this offseason after nine years with Carolina. The 2011 first overall pick led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 and was named league MVP in 2015.
But Newton hasn't been able to sustain that success and has dealt with health issues over the last two seasons. After he battled a shoulder injury during the 2018 season, a foot ailment limited the 30-year-old to two games in 2019. He underwent surgery in December after a failed rehabilitation that spanned months.
The Panthers, who saved $19 million against the salary cap by releasing Newton, will move forward with Teddy Bridgewater under center after signing him to a three-year, $63-million deal this offseason.