Enough sources suggest that a new CBA is close, but the rookie scale is a sticking point still.
Both sides seem to want to limit the length of the contract, assumedly seeming to back into a 5 year deal that gives a 5th year option well in excess of the average value of the deal.
Obviously, this impacts the Panthers and Cam Newton greatly. Newton won't be getting a $12 million average deal - the groundwork is laid for a 4 year, $22 million deal. With a 5th year option, and assuming the 5th year does prorate part of a bonus (meaning more bonus, in an agent's eyes) that's probably still a $14 million bonus, and it comes with a $13 million 5th year option based on the Players' suggestion (the owners, I believe, suggested closer to 4), giving a 5 year deal of $31 million (or, owners, $26 million). Either way, it's a far cry from what Sam Bradford received, so it helps Carolina (and the league).
What I don't yet understand - and we'll miss out until these contracts mature - is how they can be extended, or if they can be. A successful Newton may or may not want to play out a 1 year $14 million deal when he could sign for more.
As an aside, it's funny that the 5th year of a deal - 2015 in this case - is what might be holding up 2011. More funny is that it benefits both sides - veteran players and owners/teams - to have high level rookie contracts