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Cam Newton feels like 'fish out of water' in free agency

Cam Newton embarks on a new journey after being released by the only franchise he's ever known.

The former Carolina Panthers quarterback joined NBA star Chris Paul on Instagram Live Monday, offering his first in-depth comments on being a free agent.

"I really have taken this time to become stronger mentally, physically and spiritually," Newton said, via Sheena Quick of 1340AM FOX Sports. "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 told Paul his situation is "somewhat weird" due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shut down teams' ability to bring the quarterback in for a physical. Newton has dealt with shoulder and foot issues the past several seasons.

Couple the quarantine with Newton's first foray into NFL free agency after being selected No. 1 overall in 2011, and it's an alien experience for the former NFL MVP.

"I'm in unchartered waters for the first time in my career. You know what I'm saying? Being around my kids is obviously the best thing about it. My son hasn't seen me this much, and he doesn't know what's going on," Newton said, noting his children aren't sure whether to be excited or worried that dad is around more.

Turning 31 years old next month, Newton said the experience has made the chip on his shoulder "family-size."

"It's so much possibility for me right now, but the fact that this corona situation has hit, and 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."

Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner, Newton's teammate for six seasons, weighed in on his former quarterback's next steps during an appearance on the *Rapsheet + Friends podcast* Tuesday. Turner, who was traded to the Chargers on March 4, shared his perspective on the perception of Cam now possibly having to compete for a starting job and rumors that Newton could go to L.A.

"Yeah, we talk, we still have conversations about that. I think right now his biggest thing for him is to be 100 percent healthy, which I think he is, not just physically but mentally also to see what his next phase would be in his career," Turner told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. "I do believe that he's a starter in the NFL, I don't know where it would be. May or may not be with the Chargers but if he is that would be awesome and if it's Tyrod [Taylor], that's still great.

"I'm riding with whoever's back there so I'm excited about that. But yeah, it'll be interesting to see man. I don't know, I feel like you got more of the scoop than me so I guess I'd be asking you."

With no obvious starting QB jobs up for grabs at this point, Newton might have to wait a bit longer before he lands with a new franchise for the first time in his career.

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