Former New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has found a new team: his old one. Newton, who was released by the Patriots in August after serving as the team’s rookie in 2020, agreed to sign a one-year contract with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday. He will therefore return to the city he named home between 2011 and 2019.
The former league MVP signing with the Panthers not only ends his 10-week stint as a free agent, it also has a positive impact on the Patriots. The team, finally, will now receive credit for its 2022 salary cap.
Why? How pointed out the wage cap expert Miguel Benzan, Newton’s original agreement he signed with the Patriots in March had a compensatory clause in it. In basic terms this means that some of the club’s duties would be reduced if he signed a new contract with another team at one point during the season.
In Newton’s case the offset works like this. When he re-signed with the Patriots in March, he received a fully guaranteed $ 1.5 million base salary. Depending on his new contract with the Panthers, that salary would be subject to compensation, which means New England could recover parts or all of it in 2022.
If Newton had signed a league-minimum deal worth $ 1.075 million, for example, New England would have received a credit of $ 537,500 next year (the minimum wage divided by 18 total weeks this season multiplied by nine over the remaining weeks). The maximum amount the team could have recovered under compensation, meanwhile, was $ 1.5 million – depending on whether or not the Panthers signed him to a deal worth at least that much.
This is exactly what happened. Carolina gave Newton a one-year contract that includes $ 4.5 million in full guarantees, triggering the compensation.
As a result, New England will have $ 1.5 million more boundary space to work with next season.