Patriots coincidentally gain $7 million in cap space after signing Cam Newton

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Some would say it’s a coincidence that the Patriots signed quarterback Cam Newton before resolving a pair of grievances that freed up $7 million in cap space, at a time when the Patriots were cap strapped. Others would say that, with the Patriots, there are no coincidences.

Consider the timeline. Newton’s bargain-basement deal, with a base salary of $1.05 million and an upside of $7.5 million that requires him to essentially be both the regular-season MVP and the Super Bowl MVP to earn all of it, gets finalized, and then the Antonio Brown and Aaron Hernandez grievances get resolved.

As one source with extensive knowledge regarding the way the NFL’s sausage gets made explained it to PFT, the Patriots likely told Newton’s agents — repeatedly — that they could offer nothing more than what they were offering because they had nothing more. Then, days after the contract with Cam became official, they got another $7 million in cap space that, if they’d had it before signing Newton, would have made it harder to sell the idea that the contract Cam accepted is the best the Patriots could do.

Of course, this doesn’t mean the Patriots will spend that $7 million in 2020. They’ll need up to $5.75 million of it for 2021, to address Newton’s incentives. Given the possibility that the cap will drop next year, the surplus could come in handy if carried over. The Patriots already are in good shape for 2021 in the event the cap drops; the $7 million (if saved) puts them in even better shape.

And that’s another reason why the Patriots are the Patriots. Other teams would have resolved the grievances, created the cap space, and then gotten squeezed into paying Newton more money. The Patriots likely had a strategy, they implemented it, and they got Newton to agree to terms at a time when there truly wasn’t enough cap space. Now, there’s more.

It’s just one of the various reasons why they’ve won six Super Bowls in the past 20 seasons.

32 responses to “Patriots coincidentally gain $7 million in cap space after signing Cam Newton

  1. It’s simply smart business. It’s not a “coincidence”. Smart business is smart business.

    Besides if Newton does win the job and have an MVP season, they will need it.

    It’s as if people want to laud morons in this country
    as opposed to marveling at greatness.

  2. jkb0162 says:
    July 11, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying is the unofficial Patriots slogan

    What a stupid, mindless comment. How do people come up with stuff this lame?

  3. I’m as big of a Patriot hater as there is, but there is nothing to see here.

    There are 31 other teams who could have signed Cam Newton at any point, for whatever contract they could negotiate. The Patriots literally had the least amount of cap space, and still managed to get him.

    Saying that New England conned Newton is disingenuous.

  4. ggjhf, it’s refreshing to finally read a Patriots fan actually admitting that the team plays by an entirely different set of rules — even if you do praise it.

  5. touchback6 says:
    July 11, 2020 at 8:43 pm
    It’s simply smart business. It’s not a “coincidence”. Smart business is smart business.

    Besides if Newton does win the job and have an MVP season, they will need it.

    It’s as if people want to laud morons in this country
    as opposed to marveling at greatness.
    —————————————————————————————-
    greatness unless its against the giants in the super bowls, then its L city baby!

  6. Newton was certainly free to sign for a better deal elsewhere, but apparently there wasn’t one. The market determined his deal. Newton will make up for it with future contracts if he has a successful season.

  7. Brian Hahn says:
    July 11, 2020 at 9:41 pm
    touchback6 says:
    July 11, 2020 at 8:43 pm
    It’s simply smart business. It’s not a “coincidence”. Smart business is smart business.

    Besides if Newton does win the job and have an MVP season, they will need it.

    It’s as if people want to laud morons in this country
    as opposed to marveling at greatness.
    —————————————————————————————-
    greatness unless its against the giants in the super bowls, then its L city baby!

    0 1 Rate This

    —————-

    Goodell cheated. Get over it already. You were never a dynasty.

    6 sb titles in NE. Giants have only 4 sbs and only 2 in the Cap Era. Good, even with a wink wink from Goodell. lmao

  8. jkb0162 says:
    July 11, 2020 at 9:16 pm
    If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying is the unofficial Patriots slogan. Nah do your job and ignore the noise those are slogans !

  9. “Coincidence”

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  10. I have an intense dislike for the Patriots, but Bill Belichick is undeniably one of the greatest NFL minds – ever.

    The NFL took away a Patriot third-round pick in the 2021 draft.

    Now if Cam Newton plays well in 2020, and leaves as a free agent, the Patriots could get back a compensatory 2022 third-round pick to help make up for 2021 third-round pick the NFL is taking away from New England for its videotape violation.

    Worst case scenario – it renews faith for a fan base and will sell more tickets as well as increase the probable total number of wins for the 2020 season. BB pulled a Jedi mind trick on the NFL.

  11. This “coincidence” strategy wouldn’t work for 31 other teams because they don’t have the juice the Patriots have with Belichick. Any other team and Newton walks instead of accepting the squeeze deal.

  12. How are the Patriots -the team that actually signed him and gave him an opportunity – the team getting blamed for Cam not making more money? Guaranteed this isn’t a story for any other team. Blame the rest of the league for having zero interest.

  13. The law of supply and demand Is powerful for those that apply it and the Patriots do. There is one professional football league that is elite. There are only 32 teams. There are only 32 starting qb jobs.

    Newton could have waited for a starter to go down that would create an opportunity. That strategy comes with a lot of headaches for him. There are only so many elite NFL franchises and the Patriots have been consistently one of them over the last two decades. Even if an elite team’s starter went down it is unlikely they would have much cap room either. He would be coming in cold after already losing 2019 to injury.

    Absent the short 2020 money the Patriots are an ideal situation for him. It’s a contract year and he wants to prove his worth. He gets to play for not only the best head coach, he has a offensive coordinator in McDaniels that can design an offense around him. The Patriots are perennial winners and have a solid team. Belichick will require Cam to earn the starting job so he will be doubly motivated to work hard and not just expect it.

    At Newton’s age a strong 2020 performance could set him up for a 5 year contract in the $150 million range or higher. This signing was a good deal for the team but also for the player despite what Richard Sherman says. Newton understands that fact.

  14. Let’s not forget this guy was still unsigned into the summer. It’s not like he had any leverage. He wasn’t getting $7m from BB anyway.

  15. This must be the “respect” Cam was talking about. Further respect will be shown when Cam one-hops a simple out route on a third and five.

  16. Simple. If he produces he’ll get paid. If not, well they gave him a chance when no one else would. Fair and square as always. For the continually clueless, the patriots pay players exactly the same amount on average as every other team, they just get more value.

  17. I doubt NE settling the grievances would have changed Newton’s salary. I heard the Patriots were the only offer he had. Additionally he was signed prior to the settle, so NE needed to restructure contracts which will hit their cap for 2021. It would have probably been better for next season if the players settled before but they opted to settle now and get more space for this year. This has nothing to do with Newton, and had he rejected the offer it is possible they try to save space for next year and do not settle.

  18. The cap is like a credit card bill. Keep kicking it down the road and eventually you need to pay it. That’s why they have no cap space this year

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