But noticing was about the extent of his reaction.
“I didn’t think anything,” Newton said Friday, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “Good for him, but nothing more than that.
“The only thing that’s on my mind right now is a three-letter word. I think y’all know what that three-letter word is.”
Assuming he meant W-I-N, that’s where his focus should be at the moment.
After Sam Bradford killed the golden goose for No. 1 overall quarterbacks with the last big pre-lockout contract, Newton had to settle for a four-year, $22 million deal, and now has to wait. He can’t even negotiate an extension until after this season (his third), and the Panthers have another year and an option year left (at which point they could always franchise him a time or two, if need be).
The other factor in not spending too much time linking Newton and the big contracts players such as Ryan have received is simpler.
Ryan’s been a better NFL quarterback, and has led his team to five straight winning seasons, for a franchise which had never had back-to-back winning seasons before he arrived.
If Newton can get the Panthers close to that level, he’ll make plenty of money, in due time.