The four-year quarterback might reportedly hold off on signing a deal, preferring to see what kind of deals Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson land. Last month, reports suggested the Colts are looking to sign Luck to a blockbuster deal that could be worth up to $25 million annually and potentially make him the league's highest-paid player. Wilson could reportedly land the first fully guaranteed contract in NFL history.
New Orleans’ Drew Brees set the current threshold for quarterbacks at $20 million per year in 2012, and four quarterbacks – Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco – received comparable deals in 2013.
Newton’s deal likely would fall closer to those from the latter group than Luck and Wilson, some industry experts think.
Newton is due $14.7 million guaranteed in 2015, the last of his four-year, $22 million contract after the Panthers picked up a team option for the fifth season.
The Panthers also offered Newton a long-term contract last season, but negotiations "did not progress far," according to the Observer.
Newton, who will turn 26 in May, completed 58.5 percent of his passes in 2014 for 3,127 yards, 18 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and an 82.1 passer rating in 2014. The Panthers went 7-8-1.
- Mike Fiammetta