Carolina has until May 3 of this year to exercise a potential fifth year
on Cam Newton's contract, which essentially means a franchise-type year.
At league meetings, GM Dave Gettleman stated he would likely use that
There's still a chance the team would sign a long term deal, but for
right now, there's not a lot of money. The big money starts to slide
off after '15, which is when Newton would be a free agent.
In the meantime, Newton has some security, and Carolina gets him cheaply
this year (his final year of being inexpensive) to make it through 2014
with other bills pending.
This isn't huge news, but gives Carolina's timetable on things. The
risk is, if some of his contemporaries sign before he does (Andrew Luck
is the greatest value, though you could see teams overpay for keeping a
guy like Colin Kaepernick), contract values will keep going up. What
might cost, say, $17 million a year now, might escalate a bit by then.
So there is some concern the long game on Newton's contract will cost
them in the end.