Cam Newton left the Patriots an unexpected $1.5 million parting gift, after he was traded to the Texans in late October. The gesture is among the most generous coaches have ever received from an athlete and leaves many wondering what motivated it.
The “bill belichick contract” is a document that outlines the terms of Bill Belichick’s contract. It was released by the NFL on March 20, 2019.
By tying his wagon to Cam Newton, Bill Belichick most likely sacrificed himself a playoff spot.
After all, the New England Patriots’ failure to move the ball and generate points contributed to the team’s first losing record in two decades. Newton plainly failed to understand Josh McDaniels’ scheme and give much steadiness in the passing game, despite the offense’s dearth of high-end weapons.
Fortunately for Belichick, he seems to have discovered a franchise quarterback in Mac Jones. And, according to the Carolina Panthers, the great coach just got an unexpected $1.5 million parting present from Newton that came at no expense to him.
In Carolina, difficult circumstances have led to desperate tactics.
After a promising start in his first season with the Panthers, Sam Darnold reverted to the turnover-prone, error-prone machine that had New York Jets fans perplexed and irritated for the previous three years. To make things worse, in a humiliating Week 9 defeat to the Patriots, the 24-year-old had a shoulder injury that was ultimately confirmed as an incomplete scapula fracture.
The Panthers took the daring decision to bring Cam Newton back on a one-year contract on Thursday, with Darnold suffering with a multi-week setback and former XFL star P.J. Walker and veteran backup Matt Barkley the only healthy quarterbacks on the roster. The 2015 NFL MVP will aim to show he still has something left in the tank after a lackluster 2020 season in which he threw eight touchdowns in 15 starts.
The idea that Carolina resorted to signing a 32-year-old Newton raised a few eyebrows, to say the least. With the club at 4-5 and with a chance to reach the playoffs, it makes sense to put the offense in the hands of a seasoned signal-caller rather than an unknown commodity like Walker.
Whether Newton can give the Panthers with the spark they urgently need remains to be seen. He recently offered his previous employer an unexpected parting present by securing another NFL job.
Cam Newton recently surprised Bill Belichick with a $1.5 million parting present.
Cam Newton aided Bill Belichick and the Patriots in obtaining some much-needed budgetary relief for the year 2022. | Getty Images/Maddie Malhotra | Getty Images/Elsa
Newton’s signing with Carolina came as a complete surprise, given that he had been on the free-agent market for many months. Furthermore, the Panthers released him after the 2019 season, thereby ensuring that the three-time Pro Bowler would never play for the team again.
Newton, on the other hand, is in a position to show off what’s left of the skill set that helped him become one of the league’s top players, thanks to a grave scenario. And, without paying a dime, he just handed Belichick a tremendous present by signing on the dotted line and acquiring some sort of financial stability.
The Panthers’ one-year deal with Newton is worth a maximum of $10 million, with $4.5 million guaranteed and a $1.5 million roster bonus. His former employer will have an additional $1.5 million to spend next season thanks to offset wording in his Patriots contract.
“With this deal, the Patriots are no longer liable for Cam Newton’s $1.5 million guaranteed pay for this season.” The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin tweeted, “They’ll earn a $1.5 million limit credit in 2022.” “Newton, on the other hand, gets to retain the Patriots’ $2 million signing bonus.”
A $1.5 million cap credit may not seem like much, but the Patriots need every dime they can get moving into the summer, especially with great cornerback J.C. Jackson poised to enter free agency. Belichick will have a little more financial wiggle space to create a championship-caliber squad thanks to Newton.
The quarterback’s farewell present, however, was free of charge. Newton, in fact, provided New England a $1.5 million lift in 2022 by agreeing to play half of the 2021 season for approximately $5 million guaranteed.
The Patriots seem to be on track to make the Panthers rue their handling of the game’s most critical position.
Matt Rhule said last week that he felt Mac Jones would be a good NFL quarterback.
Prior to the draft, the Panthers traded three selections to get Sam Darnold.
The Patriots selected Mac Jones with the 15th overall selection. After the Panthers’ first-round selection, there are seven more choices.
November 7, 2021 — Lee Schechter (@LeeSchechter)
While Matt Rhule tries to reach the playoffs with an aged version of the quarterback previously known as Superman, Bill Belichick seems to be on track to do it with a rookie at the helm. Of course, things may have turned out differently if the Panthers had handled the NFL Draft differently in 2021.
Carolina seems to have made a mistake by passing on Justin Fields and Mac Jones with the No. 9 overall choice. That isn’t to say that Jaycee Horn, a great cornerback who has the potential to become a star, isn’t a good player. Rather, it reflects the organization’s inability to recognize quarterback potential.
Do you think the Panthers might benefit from having a quarterback like Jones guiding their offense? The former Alabama star may lack arm power and agility, but he has the grit, guts, and intellect necessary to succeed in the professional ranks. Don’t forget that Jones beat out Newton for the starting position, leaving the former MVP unemployed.
Plus, wouldn’t Fields improve Carolina’s chances of winning? He has a comparable frame to Newton, but he doesn’t have the same amount of wear and tear on his body. The Ohio State graduate is capable of becoming the guy for the Chicago Bears based on his breakthrough performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fields might become a top-10 player at the position sooner rather than later if he can find a way to harness his great athletic abilities.
So, even if the Panthers find a short-term answer in reconnecting with Cam Newton, they still don’t have a long-term quarterback option.
And, given how the front staff mishandled the transition plan at the most important position in sports, Carolina’s future does not seem to be as bright as it should be.
Pro Football Reference provided all statistics. Spotrac provided all contract information.
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