The Facts: No matter which way you slice it, the Patriots are getting a bargain in signing Cam Newton. The one-year contract for the 2015 NFL MVP includes just $550,000 guaranteed of the $1.05 million in base salary, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The deal includes $700,000 in per-game roster bonuses and $5.75 million in incentives. The max earnings Newton can reach if he hits all those incentives is $7.5 million total on the one-year deal.
Diehards Line: With just $550,000 guaranteed, the deal is the dictionary definition of low-risk for the Patriots. If Newton gets to New England and isn't healthy, Bill Belichick can quickly cut bait for the smallest of salary-cap hits. Compare Newton's guaranteed money with the one-year deals of Jameis Winston, who got $1.1 million, or, better yet, Andy Dalton, who got a $3 million fully guaranteed deal to be Dak Prescott's backup. Blaine Gabbert got $887,500 guaranteed to help Tom Brady learn Bruce Arians' offense. Newton's guaranteed money is identical to the $550,000 guaranteed the New York Jets handed an injured Joe Flacco on his $1.5 million deal. While the guaranteed portion is spectacularly low for a player of Newton's pedigree, the Patriots offer something no other team could: a legit shot at starting duties. The Pats offer Newton a chance to start, rehab the narrative surrounding his health and hit the market next season with the possibility of landing a lucrative long-term deal if everything goes well in 2020.