The Carolina Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton have agreed to a new long-term deal, according to Adam Schefter. The five-year, $103.8 million extension runs through the 2020 season. The deal will include $60 million in guaranteed money.
Newton was entering the final year of his rookie contract after Carolina exercised his fifth-year option for 2015. Before his new deal was announced, the 26-year-old was set to earn $14.67 million this season.
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said this offseason that he views Newton as his franchise quarterback, so it's no surprise to see him put his money where his mouth is and pay Newton like one. Newton was likely helped some by a six-year, $96 million deal recently given to Ryan Tannehill that set the market high for young quarterbacks.
Since being drafted No. 1 overall out of Auburn in 2011, Newton has started in 62 of a possible 64 games while missing just two due to injury. This past season, Newton started in 14 games and sat out the season opener with a rib injury. Even a back injury suffered in a car crash that left Newton's truck overturned on a bridge wasn't enough to keep him off the field longer than one week.
In 2014, Newton completed 262 of 448 passes for 3,127 yards and 18 touchdowns with 12 interceptions for an 82.1 quarterback rating. The dual-threat quarterback added 539 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns, making him the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 3,000 yards and rush for at least 500 yards in each of his first four seasons.
Despite the Panthers finishing with a 7-8-1 record, they won the NFC South for a second year in a row. In January, Newton earned his first postseason victory when the Panthers beat the Arizona Cardinals in the Wild Card round. The following week they fell to the Seattle Seahawks in the Divisional round.
Newton now sits in second place in franchise history in pass completions (1,144), pass attempts (1,923) and passing yards (14,426). He also ranks third in team history with 82 touchdown passes. He'll likely need just a couple of more seasons to eclipse Jake Delhomme's career marks of 19,258 passing yards and 120 touchdown passes, which were accumulated over seven seasons as the starting quarterback of the Panthers.
In 2011, Newton was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and he has earned two trips to the Pro Bowl during his career.