Free Agent Cam Newton: The NFL offseason is in full swing for most teams in the league. There are only four teams who are still playing football this season, but even these franchises are already thinking about next year. That’s just the way that professional sports operate.
One of the biggest topics in the young NFL offseason thus far has been where will Cam Newton end up next season? There are multiple teams that have expressed interested in Newton. In fact, there have even been rumors that the quarterback may be on the receiving end of a multi-million-dollar deal.
PFF is predicting that Newton is going to sign a one year, $20 million dollar contract with the Bengals.
So, does Newton deserve a big contract? Let’s take a deep dive into the career of Cam Newton and find out the answer to this question.
Free Agent Cam Newton: Newton and the Panthers
Cam Newton was taken first overall out of the University of Auburn by the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft. Newton had quite the senior season in the leadup to the NFL Draft. Newton won the Heisman Trophy and led the Auburn Tigers to a National Championship victory over the Oregon Ducks.
Newton was electric at Auburn throughout his senior year. There was no doubt that the 6’5” quarterback was going to go first overall to the Panthers. Once Newton arrived in Carolina, he immediately took the league by storm.
Newton won the NFL Rookie of the Year Award in 2011. Opposing defenses had trouble defending Newton in his first season. He accounted for 35 total touchdowns and racked up over 4,000 yards through the air. He earned his first invite to the Pro Bowl in 2011.
Newton would make the Pro Bowl roster two more times in 2013 and 2015. In 2015, Newton led the Panthers all the way to the Super Bowl against Denver. However, he didn’t finish the job as the Broncos went on to defeat the Panthers 24-10.
Cam Newton peaked in 2015 and hasn’t been able to match this level of play since his only MVP season. Newton threw 35 touchdowns, rushed for 10 scores, and accounted for 4,473 total yards in 2015.
Newton slowly declined after his NFL MVP effort. He underwent foot surgery in 2019 and this ended up being his final season with the Panthers.
MORE ON FREE AGENT CAM NEWTON: Newton Benched: What it Means for the Pats
Free Agent Cam Newton: Newton and the Patriots
Tom Brady departed New England for Tampa Bay in the offseason leading up to the 2020 season. This created a lot of questions around the Patriots’ quarterback position.
The Patriots ended up signing Cam Newton to a base salary of $1.05 million. With incentives and his $550,000 signing bonus, the quarterback could’ve received up to $7.5 million from the team.
Newton probably didn’t make much more than his base salary in 2020 because the Patriots had their worst record since 2000 under the former Panther. The Patriots went 7-9 this season and finished in third place in the AFC East.
I want to give Newton the benefit of the doubt because the Patriots weren’t a good offensive football team at too many positions. Newton didn’t have a whole lot of weapons to work with and this would make a performance difference for even the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL.
In 2020, Newton had the worst statistical season of his career through the air. Newton ranked 24th in the league with 2,657 passing yards. His TD to INT ratio was 8:10. Newton only produced with his legs this year, but it wasn’t enough to lead the Patriots to the promised land.
Newton could still return to New England in 2021, but this is unlikely according to countless media outlets.
Free Agent Cam Newton: Does Newton Deserve a Multi-Million Dollar Contract?
When you look at the list of quarterbacks in the NFL, it’s evident that Newton deserves a job. However, I think we have seen the best of Cam Newton and it’s all downhill from here.
Newton still has a lot of talent, but the one thing that he lacked this season was GRIT. When the game was on the line, Newton didn’t show the appropriate level of hunger to go conquer the victory. In my mind, he was too relaxed all season and he didn’t make the players around him better.
This is a critical attribute at the quarterback position that Newton doesn’t seem to possess at this point in his career. Stephen A Smith said it best. Cam Newton is not ‘that dude’ anymore. I couldn’t agree more with this take.
Cam Newton should be able to compete for a starting job in the NFL, but MVP Newton is gone.
Does he deserve a multi-million-dollar contract? Well, Newton’s past resume deserves a big contract. Although, at this point in his career, the 31-year-old doesn’t deserve too much more than league minimum for his current ability to produce.
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