Newton took to Instagram on Thursday afternoon after the details had circulated, saying his deal with the Patriots is “not about the money.”
“It’s not a lot of things money cannot buy,” he wrote. “But amongst the top of that list of things, you would find respect as one of those. This is not about money for me, this is about respect.”
As they look to move on from the Tom Brady era, the Patriots are taking on very little risk with the 31-year-old former Panthers star. In 10 years with Carolina, Newton made over $100 million dollars. He was released in March with one year remaining on a five-year, $103.8 million extension. Per NFL Network, he will earn a 700k bonus per game for being on the roster in New England.
Even if Newton maxes out and earns every bonus or incentive, he will make less than 24 other quarterbacks in the league, including Mitchell Trubisky, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Sam Darnold.
CBS Sports reported that the deal does not include a provision that prevents the Patriots from giving Newton the franchise tag in 2021.
News of Newton’s signing and salary have not sat right with some, including 49ers quarterback Richard Sherman. On Sunday, Sherman tweeted that Newton getting paid an amount that low was “disgusting.”
“How many former League MVPs have had to sign for the min? (Asking for a friend)” he wrote. “Just ridiculous. [Newton is] a transcendent talent and less talented QBs are getting 15/16m a year. Disgusting.”
Newton, coming off a 2019 season in which he played just two games before undergoing foot surgery in December, joins an inexperienced quarterbacks room in New England. He’ll be competing with second-year fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham, veteran Brian Hoyer and rookies Brian Lewerke and J’Mar Smith for snaps. The Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year $63 million deal as Newton’s long-term replacement.