Monday brought word that the Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton were close to agreeing on a contract extension.
Tuesday brought an official announcement of the contract from the Panthers. Newton has agreed to a five-year extension that, including the last year of existing rookie contract, will keep him on the team through the 2020 season. There will be a press conference with Newton to discuss the agreement on Tuesday evening.
The Panthers didn’t announce any financial details, but multiple reports peg the overall value of the deal at $103.8 million. Those reports also have Newton making $67.6 million in the first three years of the deal with $60 million in guaranteed money, although there’s no word on whether that money is fully guaranteed or not.
Those figures put the deal just above the extension that Matt Ryan signed with the Falcons before the 2013 season in terms of total value and yearly average while the guaranteed money would place Newton at the top of the list of NFL quarterbacks as well. Chances are that Newton will drop down the list once Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson strike their next deals, especially with his contract now helping to set the framework for any deal those quarterbacks will sign.
The deal is sure to have its critics as Newton’s play hasn’t consistently been at the level suggested by this new contract, but he’s taken the Panthers to back-to-back NFC South titles without a ton of offensive help and he has plenty of time to continue growing as a quarterback with his 27th birthday still 11 months away. Given those facts, it’s easy to understand why the Panthers chose to stick with Newton rather than wade back into the pool of teams searching for quarterbacks.