The Patriots became the first team in league history to lose an MVP and then add another one in the same offseason when they signed Cam Newton on Sunday, but the circumstances of the two MVPs were very different.
Tom Brady left New England for a two-year, $50 million contract with the Buccaneers while Newton waited months to sign an incentive-laden contract that will pay him up to $7.5 million. Newton is coming off a foot injury that limited him to two games last year and he’s also had right shoulder issues of late, but the size of his contract caught the eye of 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman.
“How many former League MVPs have had to sign for the min? (Asking for a friend.) just ridiculous. A transcendent talent and less talented QBs are getting 15/16m a year. Disgusting,” Sherman wrote on Twitter.
Newton is far from the first veteran player to sign a below-market contract when faced with a limited market for his services and the inability to show he was healthy this offseason surely played into the absence of bigger offers. Some of those players have parleyed those deals into bigger ones once they proved they could still play at a high level and that will certainly be the case for Newton if he’s back to good health and performance this year.