The NFC South Carolina Panthers inked their  No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 draft to a five -year deal.  Signal caller Cam Newton will be a Panther through the 2020 NFL season.  This was a strong move by GM Dave Gettlemen, signing his QB now for big money or wait for Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck to receive big deals, driving Newton’s numbers even high possibly after a year or two of being franchised.

At first glance I said WOW, I understand if you want your guy, you better go sign him and keep him.  The quarterback position is the key to success in the NFL.  When you look at the top teams in the playoffs or in the hunt every year, they all have a common denominator the quarterback, and if you dont have a good one it is tough winning your division, ask Carolina Fans!

In his fourth season, Newton has started all 62 regular season games he has played in and has lead the Panthers to two consecutive NFC South division titles and back to back playoff appearances (2013-2014). Last year, Newton was strong in the back end of the schedule helping Carolina win its first playoff game since 2005 and become the first team in NFC South history to win consecutive division championships.  Yes the Panthers have an outstanding defense, and strong running game, skill players outside the numbers, but without Newton they don’t make the playoffs, period.

“I’ve said all along, Cam is our franchise quarterback and we are absolutely thrilled that we got the extension done,” general manager Dave Gettleman said. “It allows us to do the long-term planning that we need to do to make sure that he’s surrounded with players and that we can continue to build this team.

“This extension shows the commitment we wanted to make to Cam as our franchise quarterback,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “For me personally, he was the first draft pick we ever made and the first pick in 2011 so it continues to solidify that relationship we have with each other.

“We’ve seen continued growth from Cam. As he continues to get better and better this football team seems to respond to him. He’s shown the type of ability to lead on the football field that we’re looking for. We’ve been to the playoffs two years in a row and it bodes very well for our future. I’m very excited we were able to get the deal done.”

Newton is second in franchise history with 1,144 completions, 1,923 pass attempts and 14,426 passing yards, surpassing the 1,041 completions, 1,723 pass attempts and 12,690 passing yards by Steve Beuerlein from 1996-2000. He is also tied for second in team history with eight 300-yard passing games and ranks 3rd in team history with 82 touchdown passes.

Lets dont forget Newton was named the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.  He set the NFL rookie record  for passing yards with 4,051, demolishing the previous record of 3,739 by Peyton Manning (Colts in 1998). He has earned two Pro Bowl selections.

When breaking down Newtons contract with NFL sources and comparing contract numbers this morning, it favors the player not the club when talking about size, cash, and overall structure of Newtons contract.   The grid below shows the cash comparisons with a top five quarterback contract.

Matt Ryan $20,000,000 $41,500,000 $53,000,000 $68,750,000 $84,500,000 $103,750,000
Cam Newton $16,334,000 $39,334,000 $53,000,000 $68,000,000 $84,700,000 $103,800,000

With Newtons payday the floor is now set for the current negotiations in regards to Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson who has taken his team to back to back Super Bowls and won one.