While the meeting for Thursday was scheduled, Newton’s agents negotiated the deal with Samir Suleiman, the team’s director of game negotiation and payroll manager. The original thought was a two-year business, but with so much investment in Darnold by 2022, it ended up as a one-year business worth up to $ 10 million (a base value of $ 6 million).
Newton did not return to play for the minimum, especially with money still coming from the Patriots. And money speaks louder than words, which explains why Newton makes real money. He had previously had a number of talks with the Seahawks and Texans, but nothing materialized. This was different.
So the meeting was arranged, and the money was fixed. Then it was about what happened within that meeting.
Tepper was there, as was general manager Scott Fitterer and VP of Football Operations Steven Drummond, who formed a close relationship with Newton during his time in Carolina and whose presence was key. For Newton, it was him and his father.
The divorce wasn’t pretty last time, with Newton arguing with several aspects of it. During the time of COVID-19, when all communication was virtual, many things could be different. It took a lot of honest and open conversation at Thursday’s meeting.
What did Cam want this time?
The main thing he wants is direct communication and responsibility, said one source. If something goes wrong, he wants to tell him directly. In the past, when frustrations would occur, employees or coaches would not always come to him directly. Newton appreciated the direct communication he received from Bill Belichick in New England and he wanted the same from Rhule.
They promised he would have it.
As for Tepper, he told Newton that this move to sign him was the best football decision for the team at the time. Simple.
As for Darnold, the team is on the hook for $ 18.858 million next year, fully guaranteed. The Panthers have no plans to give up on him. They liked what he did in the first three games, and they know that part of his game in recent weeks has been due to injury. They plan to bring him back, and see what happens.
If Newton plays well enough, he will be in the conversation next year as well. Sure, the door is open. From now on, it’s just an excitement. When the Panthers and Newton drove to the stadium after their Thursday meeting, news broke about why the meeting took place.
Fans noticed who was in the SUVs riding together, and they started going crazy. Hunking, shouting, clapping, serene Newton as he returned. A shot in the arm to the region, is how one person described it.
Of course, Newton ended his introductory press conference like this: “Without further ado, I will say something I have long wanted to say: Keep Beating.”