Cam Newton’s New England Patriots Contract Guarantees Him Just $550K

Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers reacts on his knees after a play in the fourth quarter
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Cam Newton’s contract has been talked about as a tremendous bargain for the New England Patriots since he signed it. Ian Rapoport reported on Twitter on Thursday morning that it’s a bigger deal than previously thought. While the former Carolina Panthers’ quarterback can earn as much as $7.5 million in 2020 if he hits multiple incentives, almost none of the money he’s slated to make is guaranteed. The NFL insider said Newton could make as little as $550,000 this season.

Newton will reportedly make $1.05 million base salary. The signal caller can then make as much as $5.75 million from various incentives. One of those incentives, according to Rapoport, is a roster bonus. That means that if the quarterback sticks with the Patriots for the entire season, he’ll make significantly more than the $550K. The downside for the player is that should he suffer a season-ending injury early on, the team could cut him and save itself even more money.

Newton’s contract has gotten plenty of plaudits from NFL analysts for how much the Patriots saved, but there have also been some who marveled at how much money the player is missing out on when compared to other quarterbacks who have no real shot at winning a starting job. San Francisco 49ers defensive back Richard Sherman said the deal was “ridiculous” because he didn’t see many former NFL MVPs making so little money.

Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after scoring a touchdown
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When comparing Newton’s deal with other quarterbacks who signed one-year deals this offseason, he’s near the bottom of the list of money spent. The quarterback, who has thrown for over 29,000 yards in his NFL career, has a deal comparable to Philadelphia Eagles backup Nate Sudfeld, according to Spotrac.

Notable names slated to make more guaranteed money this year than the presumed Patriots’ starter are Brett Hundley and Blaine Gabbert (both getting $887,500), Colt McCoy ($1.7 million), Andy Dalton ($3 million), and A.J. McCarron ($3.75 million). Of that group, only Andy Dalton has consistently been a starter over the course of his career. None are expected to be starters on their respective franchises this season.

It’s been previously reported that some analysts believe the holdup on a deal for Newton has always been the inability of teams to see whether or not he is totally healthy. He suffered an injury toward the end of 2019, and the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t allowed teams to work out free agents. It’s said that worries over injury problems are the reason why the biggest name still on the market in Jadeveon Clowney.