With reports of the Carolina Panthers and franchise quarterback Cam Newton in the midst of finalizing an extension thru 2020 that will play $20 million a year. Is he worth it?
Newton, the former 2010 Heisman Trophy and BCS champion from Auburn, is entering the final year of his rookie deal with Carolina. The 6’6, 240-pound Newton passed for the fewest number of passing yards (3,127) and touchdowns (18) in his four-year career.
While Newton did miss two games due to injury, his passing yards per season has gradually declined, since setting the second-most number of passing yards by a rookie with 4,051 yards. While his passer rating has steadily improved from his rookie year (84.5) to 88.8 in 2013, Newton posted his worst QB rating in 2014, as it dropped to 82.1.
According to Pro Football Focus, Newton was the eighth-best quarterback in 2014, which while respectable, this contract extension by the Panthers seems more like a knee-jerk reaction to Ryan Tannehill’s recent four-year $77 million extension with the Miami Dolphins, which included $21.5 million in guarantees. If the Panthers reasoning in locking up Newton is because of Tannehill’s new deal, then it’s a short-sighted and foolish business move on their end, as he is far from elite and is not worth $20 million a year.
Yes, he does make plays, but also throws some costly picks and makes questionable decisions in crunch time, but $20 million a year for a quarterback with a 1-2 mark in the post-season with a 5-5 TD-INT ration and a QB rating of 80.5?
Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers he is not, and sadly, for all of his accolades, Newton is nothing more like a taller NFC version of Andy Dalton.
While the Panthers have done their best to surround him with new weapons on offense in Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess and Ted Ginn Jr., the time for Newton to live up to his new contract just accelerated.