LA Rams fans left to wonder why team didn’t sign Cam Newton

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Even the cash-starved LA Rams were able to afford the contract signed by veteran QB Cam Newton. So the question is, why didn’t the Rams sign him?

If you get what you pay for, the New England Patriots are in trouble in 2020. After the LA Rams and the rest of the NFL discovered what the Patriots agreed to pay veteran quarterback Cam Newton, they are trying to rationalize to themselves and their own fans why they were able to say no to such a team-friendly deal.  Without the incentives, Cam Newton signed an NFL contract that is about as much of a financial setback as a late-round rookie quarterback might be.

As expected, the contract that Cam Newton agreed to sign to play another season in the NFL was not one where we demanded more than $10 million. In fact, even the whispers of guaranteed money demands did not come close to the reality of the signed contract.

Financially feasible

Just $550K guaranteed salary dollars, and $1.05 million in base salary?  That’s petty cash money Even more, it’s a very inexpensive insurance policy for a veteran quarterback to come off the bench should the Rams face injury or COVID-19 at the quarterback position. What were the terms? Reports came out today:

Trending. LA Rams News: Cam Newton to Patriots helps Rams in 2020. light

While the 2020 salary cap hit is minimal, it’s not a worthless contract for the star quarterback by any means. Incentives attached to the contract can generate up to $7.5 million in compensation. So why have them?

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We’ll defer to 2021

The NFL forces teams to recognize any “certain” incentives immediately to the salary cap. But any incentive payments that may or may not occur can be deferred until the following year. That gives the Patriots an opportunity to sign Cam Newton to a one-year contract with some 2021 salary cap dollars.

Of course, Newton likely signed with the Patriots knowing that he could win a starting QB role there, and parlay that into a lucrative contract next year.  And by doing so, the New England Patriots position themselves for another 2022 NFL Draft compensatory pick.

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While the LA Rams played checkers with Cam Newton in 2020, the New England Patriots played chess. Not only did the Patriots get a talented QB, but they did so at almost no cost, and with the potential reward of a valuable 2022 draft pick. No wonder fans are wondering why the Rams didn’t sign Newton.