Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton became the latest NFL quarterback to sign a contract that tops the $100 million mark.
After signing his new extension, Newton claimed that the grand sum of money he’s now due will not affect how he plays. Per Jonathan Jones of The Charlotte Observer, Newton said:
“Nothing about this contract changes my approach to the game. It’s still going to be the person who’s willing to win at all costs, but I have to understand what I mean to this team. We always have talks — coach (Ron) Rivera and I, as well as Mr. (Dave) Gettleman — about playing smart and being smart when I’m on the field. And I feel like I’ve done a great job to this point and will be more mindful of the hits that I take when running, and make this process go smoothly.”
Newton and the team do need to be concerned with the amount of hits he endures. Since his debut in 2011, Newton has taken 578 hits—270 more than any other quarterback. That equates to an average of 9.3 hits per game, which when considering how difficult it is to take down Newton’s massive 6-foot-6 body, 260-pound frame, is a ton.
Newton certainly has not gone unscathed, either. Throughout his four-year career, Newton has sustained minor injuries to his ribs and left ankle, partly due to some of the groundings he’s been dealt. Additionally, the multi-million-dollar quarterback was involved in a rollover automobile accident that injured his back late last season.
Despite the continued risk that comes with Newton’s mobile style of play, the team also has no plans on changing how he plays.
“He’s going to play the way he does, and that’s what you expect,” Rivera said. “In the back of your mind, it’s not about the money. Somebody asked me, do you think the money will change him? I said no, he already had money. He had the rookie contract and all the endorsements. It ain’t gonna change him.”
It’s worth pointing out that Newton ranks 35th among active NFL players in rushing yards with 2,571. The only other quarterback ahead of him in this ranking is Michael Vick.
Newton’s contract contains a whopping $60 million guaranteed, and his $103.8 million total salary averages to about $20.76 million per season. Newton’s new deal made him the sixth-highest paid quarterback in the NFL, according to Spotrac.
Photo: USA Today Sports