In a candid revelation, former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton shed light on the financial dynamics of his substantial five-year, $103 million contract signed back in June 2015. Newton, who was the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, had already demonstrated four seasons of impressive play before inking the deal.
The subsequent season not only saw him leading the Panthers to an impressive 15-1 record but also taking them all the way to the Super Bowl, while securing the MVP title for himself. During his recent appearance on the "4th & 1 Show," Newton reflected on the timing and implications of his contract.
“I signed my deal the year before I won MVP. At that time it was astronomical. Some people agreed. Some people didn’t like it. Boom, the next year I won MVP. The reality is this: they saved money. If I would’ve signed the deal after we went to the Super Bowl, that price would’ve shot up so high, I would’ve probably put the team in a worse situation because the market value would’ve been so extreme that we wouldn’t have had the money to go after receivers," Newton stated.
Newton's Contract Strategy
Newton's contract, viewed retrospectively, appears to have been a strategic move for the Panthers, balancing the quarterback's value with the team's financial flexibility. However, Newton disclosed that his willingness to accept a slightly lower salary did not translate into influence over team decisions, particularly in player signings.
This lack of influence may have contributed to the eventual departure of then-Panthers GM Dave Gettleman, who Newton pointedly mentioned is currently not active in the league. Gettleman's tenure with the Panthers lasted from 2013 to 2017, followed by a stint as the New York Giants GM from 2017 to 2021.
Since then, the 72-year-old has stepped away from the NFL. Reviewing Newton's NFL journey, he started with the Panthers and spent nine years with them. Post Carolina, he briefly joined the New England Patriots in 2020 and returned to Carolina in 2021.
Although his tenure with the Patriots was marked by mixed performances, his overall NFL career boasts 32,382 passing yards, 123 touchdowns, and 91 interceptions, along with 5,628 rushing yards and 75 rushing touchdowns. Newton's reflections not only offer insights into his career but also underscore the complex interplay of player contracts, team management, and financial strategies in the NFL.