Conflicting reports emerge on Cam Newton’s 2021 compensation

The Patriots are bringing back quarterback Cam Newton. It’s still not entirely clear what they’re paying him.

Last year, he ultimately earned $3.706 million under a package that had a maximum value of $7.5 million. Tom Pelissero of NFL Media characterizes the new contract as giving Newton “a chance to make a little more than he did in 2020.” Adam Schefter of ESPN, in sharp contrast, reports that the one-year deal is worth “close to $14 million.”

That’s obviously a broad gap. The truth will be revealed when the final, official numbers emerge.

Even if it’s $14 million, Newton remains far below the current top of the market. But it matches the compensation to be received this year by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and it puts Newton back in the top 20, at least for now.

Most importantly, it gives both the Patriots and Newton a chance to build on a relationship that showed promise in 2020. The Patriots weren’t 3-13; they won seven of 16 games and could have won more — especially if Cam hadn’t caught COVID-19 fairly early in the season.

Meanwhile, the kid who heckled Cam a couple of weeks ago has been proven wrong, on multiple counts. First, Cam isn’t a free agent. Second, he’s not “about to be poor.”