Newton signed a five-year extension that will keep him under team control through the 2020 season, the Panthers announced on Tuesday. The deal is worth $103.8 million with Newton receiving $67.6 million over the first three years, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source involved in the situation.
Rapoport added the extension contains $60 million in guarantees, including $31 million in the first year of the deal. His total contract (five years, $103.8 million) averages roughly the same per year ($20.75 million) as Matt Ryan's deal with Atlanta.
It's an unalterable reality of 21st century football that teams fortunate enough to boast a quarterback identified as the face of the franchise pay what it takes to maintain that luxury.
The Panthers clearly value Newton as a legitimate franchise quarterback with his best years on the immediate horizon.
Beyond the monetary commitment, the front office has retooled the surrounding talent to suit his strengths and weaknesses.
That short-sighted assessment ignores the strides Newton has made in game management, growing savvier with pre-snap adjustments, showing more decisiveness and getting through his progressions at a faster rate.
Newton is the first quarterback in NFC South history to lead his team to back-to-back division titles. He's already one of the NFL's top dozen signal-callers.