For the first time in his NFL career, star quarterback Cam Newton has hit the free-agent market. The process has been quite different for Newton, given the state of the NFL due to the concerns over the coronavirus, but it has been a slow situation that has him still floating out in the open market. That has created a new mindset and approach to the entire matter that has pushed him to add another routine to his daily life.
Cam Newton cut by Panthers
The writing was on the walls for the last several months as the Panthers were showing that they wanted to move on.
The 30-year-old experienced another campaign ended prematurely due to injury as a foot injury that stemmed from the preseason flared up in Week 2 action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The ailment continued to cause him problems in the recovery process leading to him being declared out for the rest of the year.
Throughout the process, Newton voiced a strong desire to remain with the team for the long haul despite being in the final year of his five-year, $103.8 million deal. Carolina decided to move in another direction in free agency by adding Teddy Bridgewater on a three-year, $63 million contract and released the former league MVP shortly after.
In the weeks that have followed, Newton has remained in free agency without any significant interest in his services.
Cam Newton’s new approach
Following nine years in the NFL, Newton had never experienced the free agency process as he was the centerpiece of the Panthers’ future.
With him being on the open market with seemingly limited options, it has presented to him the harsh reality when it comes to the NFL. During a recent interview with Oklahoma City Thunder star point guard Chris Paul on Instagram Live, Newton voiced that he has picked up a keen interest in mediating every morning to help him through this process. (H/T ESPN)
“I think that’s more important than anything, man. I’ve gained this interest [in] meditating every morning, man, and it’s time for me,” he said. “I’m a fish out of water. I’ve never … 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.”
It has been a tough path for Newton that has injury history has come to impact him negatively in free agency. There are opportunities out there, but teams like the Los Angeles Chargers, Chicago Bears, and New England Patriots all remained hesitant.
That isn’t slighting his talent, but more so, his durability that has come to affect his NFL future. It has been a trying time mentally having to move on from the Panthers after nine seasons and open himself up to an entirely new process and situation.
Where will Cam Newton play next?
That is the tough question that has no answer or indication about where that could be.
Newton still has the capability of being a steady starting quarterback for another franchise, but his lengthy injury history has hindered that process. The fact that teams can’t conduct a physical with him due to the coronavirus concerns has put another obstacle in the way.
It has prevented teams such as the Chargers and possibly the Patriots from exploring this route further. That has all elongated the process for Newton but should make his next landing spot in the NFL that much more meaningful while also pushing him to prove his doubters wrong on the football field.