The Carolina Panthers are close to inking star quarterback Cam Newton to a long-term deal estimated at around $20 million per season, according to reports. The complete terms of the deal were not official nor confirmed by the team, but WZGV-AM radio, an ESPN station based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is reporting that the deal could be finalized by Monday and that the contract will run through the 2020 season. The new deal would kick in after the 2015 NFL season, for which Newton will be paid more than $14.6 million.
The prospective deal is seen as win-win for both parties, with the quarterback getting his long-term extension and the Panthers avoiding the problem of dealing with Newton as an unrestricted free agent after the 2015 NFL season.
The 26-year-old Newton, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, has made the NFL Pro Bowl squad twice in his career, in 2011 and 2013. He set the NFL single-season record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in 2011 with 14.
With the new lucrative deal, pressure is on Newton and the Panthers to prove he’s worth the big pay. With Newton under center, Carolina has made the postseason twice the last two seasons but was ousted early both times.
The new deal will also mean that Newton will be the highest paid Panther in 2016. Overall, he’ll be among the Top 10 highest paid players in the league.
One of the few successful double-threat QBs in the league, Newton accumulated 14,426 passing yards with 92 passing touchdowns and 54 interceptions plus 2,571 rushing yards and 33 rushing touchdowns in the regular season in a four-year NFL career.