BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots got themselves quite the bargain in Cam Newton. Details have emerged regarding the quarterback’s contract with New England, and it fits in with the slew of other “Bill Belichick Specials” the Patriots head coach has given out to other players looking to prove something over the years.
According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Newton’s one-year deal with the Patriots carries a base salary of just $1.05 million with only $550,000 guaranteed. It’s quite the bargain for a quarterback with Newton’s abilities — when healthy. But should Newton not be healthy in 2020, it really won’t cost the Patriots much of anything.
The former NFL MVP does have the opportunity to earn a lot more cash if he can regain his form. There are up to $6.45 million in incentives and per game roster bonuses in the pact, so if Newton and the Patriots do well in 2020, the quarterback will get a nice bump in pay. Albert Breer shed some more light on those bonuses Thursday:
Patriots QB Cam Newton has agreed to a one-year deal with a base of $1.05 million, the minimum for his level of service time.
• $550K of the $1.05M base is guaranteed.
• $700K in per-game roster bonuses.
• $5.75M in available incentives.
Max value: $7.5 million.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 2, 2020
But his $1.05 million base salary ranks 57th in the NFL this season (according to Spotrac), tied with New England backup Brian Hoyer. Jarrett Stidham, the second-year QB whom Newton will compete against for New England’s starting gig, ranks 71st with a $788,423 salary (via Spotrac).
What a steal for the Patriots. And with only $550,000 guaranteed, the Patriots can easily move on from Newton if things don’t work out ahead of the season and face very little salary cap ramifications.
La Canfora also notes that there is no clause where the Patriots can’t hit Newton with the franchise tag in 2021 (as was reported earlier this week), so if they like what they see and can’t work out a long-term deal, the team still has the power to retain Newton’s services next season.
There is very little risk for the Patriots in this pact, as Newton looks to get back to his old self following an injury plagued 2019 season with the Panthers.