Shortly after news broke that Cam Newton was signing a one-year contract with the Patriots for 2020, we compared the situation to that of the Titans and Ryan Tannehill last year. Like Tennessee did, New England is making a low-risk move in signing a 31-year-old passer to a team-friendly deal.
So Newton can look to the Tannehill saga as a best-case scenario after apparently folding in what otherwise was a fruitless free agency market and signing such a cheap contract with the Patriots.
Tannehill, who also had signed a one-year deal, ended up earning just $ 5.425 million in cold hard cash last season while he displaced Marcus Mariota as the starting quarterback and helped the Titans reach the AFC championship game. In 2020, after signing a four-year extension, Tannehill will earn $ 37.5 million in cash from Tennessee.
Despite the injury issues that placed Newton in his current situation, he has a league MVP award on his resume, which is the reason people like 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman are baffled as to why the quarterback will make so little in his 10th NFL season.
Also mind-boggling is the amount of NFL quarterbacks who could end up making more money than Newton will from his new team in 2020.
How much is Cam Newton’s Patriots contract worth?
The specifics of Newton’s one-year contract with the Patriots are not yet known, but multiple reports have indicated it’s a minimum deal with incentives to be earned. According to NFL Media, those incentives could push Newton’s earnings up to a maximum of $ 7.5 million if he hits them.
Under the new collective bargaining agreement that was reached earlier this year, players with seven or more years of experience will have a minimum salary of $ 1.05 million in 2020.
Based on the maximum figure of $ 7.5 million for Newton in 2020, a total of 23 quarterbacks will make more cash from their teams this year. It’s worth noting that the list will grow once Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert sign their rookie contracts with the Bengals and Chargers, respectively.
NFL QBs who will make more than Cam Newton in 2020
(2020 total cash figures via Spotrac)
|Ranking||Player||Team||Total cash in 2020|
|1.||Russell Wilson||Seahawks||$ 53 million|
|2.||Kirk Cousins||Vikings||$ 40 million|
|3.||Carson Wentz||Eagles||$ 39.383 million|
|4.||Ryan Tannehill||Titans||$ 37.5 million|
|5.||Dak Prescott||Cowboys||$ 31.409 million|
|6.||Jared Goff||Rams||$ 31.043 million|
|7.||Ben Roethlisberger||Steelers||$ 26 million|
|8.||Jimmy Garoppolo||49ers||$ 25.2 million|
|T9.||Tom Brady||Buccaneers||$ 25 million|
|T9.||Drew Brees||Saints||$ 25 million|
|T9.||Philip Rivers||Colts||$ 25 million|
|12.||Teddy Bridgewater||Panthers||$ 24 million|
|13.||Aaron Rodgers||Packers||$ 21.55 million|
|14.||Matt Ryan||Falcons||$ 20.5 million|
|15.||Tua Tagovailoa||Dolphins||$ 20.189 million|
|16.||Derek Carr||Raiders||$ 19 million|
|17.||Alex Smith||Redskins||$ 16 million|
|18.||Jacoby Brissett||Colts||$ 15.875 million|
|19.||Marcus Mariota||Raiders||$ 9.125 million|
|20.||Taysom Hill||Saints||$ 8.841 million|
|21.||Matthew Stafford||Lions||$ 8.3 million|
|T22.||Ryan Fitzpatrick||Dolphins||$ 8 million|
|T22.||Nick Foles||Bears||$ 8 million|
Again, the $ 7.5 million for 2020 is a reported maximum for Newton. If he doesn’t hit all of his incentives, he could drop even lower on the list of highest-paid NFL quarterbacks for 2020.
Below are all of the NFL quarterbacks who will make more than $ 1.05 million (the veteran minimum for which Newton reportedly signed) in cash for 2020. Total cash figures for 2020 again are courtesy of Spotrac.
NFL QBs who could make more than Cam Newton in 2020
|Ranking||Player||Team||Total cash in 2020|
|24.||Case Keenum||Browns||$ 5.5 million|
|25.||Tyrod Taylor||Chargers||$ 5 million|
|26.||Mitchell Trubisky||Bears||$ 4.514 million|
|27.||A.J. McCarron||Texans||$ 4 million|
|28.||Baker Mayfield||Browns||$ 3.541 million|
|29.||Chase Daniel||Lions||$ 3.5 million|
|30.||Sam Darnold||Jets||$ 3.32 million|
|31.||Andy Dalton||Cowboys||$ 3 million|
|32.||Jameis Winston||Saints||$ 2.86 million|
|33.||Patrick Mahomes||Chiefs||$ 2.795 million|
|34.||Jeff Driskel||Broncos||$ 2.5 million|
|35.||Josh Allen||Bills||$ 2.496 million|
|36.||Deshaun Watson||Texans||$ 2.354 million|
|37.||Colt McCoy||Giants||$ 2.25 million|
|38.||Kyler Murray||Cardinals||$ 2.183 million|
|39.||Josh Rosen||Dolphins||$ 2.17 million|
|40.||Nathan Peterman||Raiders||$ 2.133 million|
|T41.||Chad Henne||Chiefs||$ 2 million|
|T41.||Nate Sudfield||Eagles||$ 2 million|
|T41.||Robert Griffin III||Ravens||$ 2 million|
|T41.||Matt Schaub||Falcons||$ 2 million|
|45.||Matt Barkley||Bills||$ 1.825 million|
|46.||Daniel Jones||Giants||$ 1.752 million|
|47.||Ryan Griffin||Buccaneers||$ 1.645 million|
|48.||Jacob Eason||Colts||$ 1.342 million|
|49.||Lamar Jackson||Ravens||$ 1.341 million|
|50.||Joe Flacco||Jets||$ 1.275 million|
|51.||Cooper Rush||Giants||$ 1.252 million|
|T52.||Blaine Gabbert||Buccaneers||$ 1.188 million|
|T52.||Geno Smith||Seahawks||$ 1.188 million|
|54.||Mike Glennon||Jaguars||$ 1.162 million|
|55.||Dwayne Haskins||Redskins||$ 1.15 million|
Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson obviously won’t rank so low in cash flow for long, as all three will sign massive contract extensions in the near future. Mahomes surely will become the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback.
How Newton’s incentives are structured by the Patriots — and therefore what it will take for him to climb the 2020 quarterback cash flow ladder — is unclear. Most incentives in player contracts are tied to both individual (amount of starts, etc.) and team (playoff berth, etc.) success.