Cam Newton’s contract will pay him up to $7.5 million

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Cam Newton really, really, really wanted to play for Bill Belichick and the Patriots. How do we know?

The quarterback agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $7.5 million, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports.

That isn’t his base salary. That’s the maximum value of the deal.

So if Newton makes the full value of the deal, which would mean he had a really good season and earned all his incentives, he would rank 27th among quarterbacks, according to

But if Newton does that, then he should find a healthy free agent market and a big long-term deal in 2021. So instead of waiting for a better offer perhaps from a team that loses its quarterback to an injury, Newton opted to bet on himself.

If Newton is healthy, he should rank as the favorite to win the starting job over Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer. Newton is a former league MVP, has led a team to a Super Bowl and has 124 career starts with a 68-55-1 record.

Stidham, of course, has never started a game and attempted only four passes as a rookie. Hoyer, 34, is a career journeyman, who has a 16-22 record in 38 career starts and has not won a game as a starting quarterback since 2016.