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Richard Sherman says Cam Newton’s Patriots contract is ‘just ridiculous’

Is quarterback Cam Newton undervalued?
(Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

Richard Sherman wants to know why Cam Newton has been relegated to the bargain bin of NFL quarterbacks.

Hours after reports emerged Sunday about Newton agreeing to a one-year contract with the New England Patriots worth up to $7.5 million, the San Francisco 49ers cornerback criticized the lackluster deal, calling it “just ridiculous” and “disgusting.”

“How many former league MVPs have had to sign for the min?” Sherman posted to Twitter. “Just ridiculous. A transcendent talent and less talented QBs are getting 15/16m a year. Disgusting.”

Even for the NFL and it’s “what have you done for me, lately?” culture, Sherman’s criticisms about Newton’s contract have merit. While a combination of performance and injury issues hastened his exit from the Carolina Panthers and left him stranded in free agency longer than expected, Newton has plenty of upside. If he can stay healthy and display the talent that earned him the league’s MVP award in 2015, he could see a career resurgence under Patriots coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

It’s difficult to understand why Newton couldn’t have earned more from a quarterback-needy franchise like the Patriots. New England was facing the real possibility of starting either the untested Jarrett Stidham or journeyman Brian Hoyer before landing Newton.

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If he earns all of his incentives, Newton would rank 27th in quarterback pay for 2020, according to Overthecap.com. His prove-it deal with the Patriots could lead to big money in free agency next year if he plays well and the Lisfranc fracture that limited him to two games in 2019 doesn’t burden his season.

Sherman might have a point in NFL teams undervaluing Newton, but a one-year deal with the Patriots with a chance to start under Belichick is about as good as it gets for a quarterback searching for a job in late June.

Former Panthers center Ryan Kalil, who played with Cam Newton for eight seasons, believes the quarterback will be highly motivated with the Patriots.


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