Cam Newton’s contract has a base value of $5 million

It’s that time of year again.

Agents who hope to pump up the value of the contracts they negotiate will give embellished numbers to reporters who, as one reporter recently admitted, have accepted such fabrications as an occupational hazard. Those numbers then get passed along to a trusting audience as fact, even when they aren’t factual.

It happened last week with J.J. Watt‘s contract, which was characterized by multiple reporters as a two-year, $31 million deal when it wasn’t, and isn’t. It happened this morning with the one-year deal signed by Patriots quarterback Cam Newton.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the contract is worth “close to” $14 million. Mike Garafolo of NFL Media has a more specific breakdown.

Per Garafolo, the deal has a base value of $5 million. The other $9 million can be earned only via team and individual incentives tied to playoffs, Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, All-Pro, league MVP, and Super Bowl MVP.

Last year’s Newton deal had a similar package, with a value of up to $7.5 million. He earned $3.706 million.

This year, he’s guaranteed to make $3.5 million in signing bonus and base salary. The rest of the base package is in the form of per-game roster bonuses. A whopping $9 million is based on things that neither he nor the team achieved in 2020.