Cam Newton is returning to the New England Patriots for much more money in his second season with the team despite his shaky debut. The quarterback is finalizing a one-year contract worth close to $14 million, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

New England took a flyer on Newton in free agency a year ago, giving the veteran a one-year, $1.75 million deal. In the 2021 NFL season, Newton is set to make eight times his 2020 earnings.

Since being drafted first overall in 2011 by the Carolina Panthers, where he was selected to three Pro Bowls in nine seasons, Newton has earned $122.5 million in the NFL, according to Spotrac.

 

 

The news comes as surprise, given how much Newton struggled throwing the  ball last season. The former MVP ranked dead last among all starters with 177.1 passing yards per game. In 15 games, he had more interceptions (10) than passing touchdowns (8) to go along with a mediocre 82.9 passer rating.

Newton did rush for 592 yards and 12 scores, using his legs to help New England move the ball. The Patriots ranked 27th in total offense and points scored.

Newton had a 7-8 record as Tom Brady’s replacement. The Patriots missed the playoffs for just the second time in 18 years. Brady won another Super Bowl in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The move won’t necessarily preclude the Patriots from adding another quarterback this offseason, according to Schefter. New England has the No.15 overall pick in the NFL Draft and more money so spend in free agency than most teams.

Seventeen quarterbacks are currently signed to contracts that pay them an average of more than $14 million per season.

Cam Newton Patriots Stephon Gilmore Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots greets Stephon Gilmore #24 before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on September 13, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images