Cam Newton’s Worth Could Continue to Rise With Win at Lambeau Field

Bill VothNews, Week 75 Comments

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Whether it’s sometime this year or in the offseason or after the 2015 season begins, the Panthers are going to pay Cam Newton a lot of money. Of course, the big unknown is how much.

There have been plenty of discussions and arguments about what Newton’s second contract should look like, but there’s no question he’s playing at an elite level this season. The national media have started to take notice, and if Newton can lead the Panthers to an upset over the Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday, the attention will accelerate to a whole new level heading into next week’s home game against the Seahawks.

But back to the contract — something to think about: According to Marc Hochman, BBR’s resident analytics expert, no team committing more than 11.75 percent of its salary cap to a quarterback has won a Super Bowl since 1999. And only six times in that time frame has a quarterback gone to a Super Bowl while making more than 10 percent of his team’s cap (Steve McNair, Tom Brady, Eli Manning — twice, Peyton Manning — twice).

Here’s a look at the highest-paid quarterbacks in 2014, and as you can see, the top five is made up of guys whose teams may not even make the playoffs.

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The Panthers already picked up Newton’s fifth-year option, which means, in the absence of a new deal, he’ll make $14.7 million in 2015. That would double his salary and cap hit.

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For the purposes of this post, let’s use the recent history that shows teams don’t win the Super Bowl after spending 11.75 percent or more of their cap on a quarterback.

Using an average cap increase of 7.15 percent per season, here is an example of how Newton’s contract would have to be structured to stay under that 11.75 percent line:

  • 2015 — $16-$17 million
  • 2016 — $17-18 million
  • 2017 — $19 million
  • 2018 — $20 million
  • 2019 — $22 million
  • 2020 — $23 million

That’s good money, but is it what Newton will want or deserve, and how much should the Panthers pay one guy?

There are no clear or easy answers to any of those questions right now. The only thing that’s obvious is the more games Newton can win against peers like Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, the more the Panthers quarterback will be worth when he eventually gets his big payday.

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Charts via Marc Hochman, an analyst and consultant specializing in analytic based decision making.



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  • GLundy

    It would be interesting to know what previous Panthers quarterbacks made annually at their “peak”.

  • GLundy

    It would be interesting to know what previous Panthers QB’s made annually at their “peak”.

  • App468

    So, where would that contract structure rank Cam among other NFL qbs?

  • kepickle

    should read this & Remember the more Better Newton gets the More he’ll cost & the less money we’ll have to keep Hardy IF he’s found innocent & we also can’t help but look at Charles Johnson’s Bad yr & wonder what Gettlemen will do

  • Mphst18

    For the qbs who have dels out to 2020 it would be more than dalton and cutler and technically less than CK but CK will never see the 20 million number as he contract has a 2 million a year de escalator and the team can release him before a certain date each year without a huge cap hit clause. The numbers would be close but slightly less than current deals for rodgers and romo.