Cam Newton was not born with enough middle fingers, and his contract proves he’s looking to add a few more in New England.
The longest-running subplot in the NFL is the New England Patriots’ ability to consistently get one over on the league.
Whether it’s SpyGate barely putting a dent in the dynasty, Bill Belichick finding new and innovative ways to Galaxy Brain his way to countless Super Bowls, or now the slick move of swapping out an aged Tom Brady with a hungry Cam Newton.
If Patriots fans thought Newton coming to New England couldn’t get any sweeter, the details of his contract prove that Belichick has once again pulled off an evil genius move. It’s also a convergence of characters always willing to tell the haters off in the most aggressively poignant ways possible.
The details have been officially announced and the Patriots just notched their first big win of the 2020 season. Newton is essentially playing for less than $1 million and can only max out at $7.5 million is he hits all of his incentives.
Besides the obvious takeaway that the Patriots might have purchased the cheapest Super Bowl ever, Newton is not in this for the money — he’s in this to hurt people’s feelings as a means to prove a point.
Nothing embodies The Patriot Way more than that.
Specifically, Newton is out to prove every single one of his detractors — of which there are far too many — wrong. He’s still getting paid out handsomely by the Carolina Panthers, and he’s made countless millions over his career. So while the optics of this contract are rough from the standpoint of a top-tier quarterback seems to be getting a raw deal, taking that approach would be to overlook its deeper meaning.
Newton can do two things with the Patriots: Win a Super Bowl and solidify his Hall of Fame candidacy. He can also, by accomplishing those two things this season, line himself up for a monster contract in 2021 that will set him up for the rest of his career. Tyler Tynes from The Ringer noted in his podcast about Cam Newton that the quarterback has made a career out of “business trips” and this deal with New England is exactly that — merely a business trip to set up a future contract.
Where that deal ends up being is the McGuffin to the story of what his season will mean to his legacy. Newton doesn’t need the money — even if he deserves it — and he’s going to prove it on a cheap deal that will end up being a giant middle finger from himself and the Patriots to everyone who has shoveled dirt on them this offseason.