“It’s not like Atlanta. It’s not like Miami. It’s not like Los Angeles. I understand that and I know that. But it’s one of many cities in the nation that is on the rise.”
Newton added that he wants to “embrace Charlotte.”
Apart from Newton’s intentions, the reality is that the Panthers are uniquely positioned to keep him over the long haul. After the 2013 season, the Panthers (and, barring a trade, only the Panthers) can rip up his rookie deal and give him a significant raise. If he doesn’t want a significant raise at that point, he’d have to spend one more year in Charlotte at a base salary of $3.378 million, under the incredibly modest terms of a rookie deal worth a total of only $22 million over four years.
Even then, the Panthers hold an option on a fifth year, at a salary based on the average value of the five highest-paid players at his position. After that, the Panthers can use the franchise tag for as many years as they want.
Great, now our insecure fanbase is national news fodder