« Panthers tabbed to finish last in division by SI | Main | Cam Newton falls 49 spots to No. 73 in NFL Network's Top 100 »

May 19, 2015

What Ryan Tannehill's new deal means for Cam Newton

The Observer has reported Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been deliberate in his contract negotiations with the team, content to let the market for quarterbacks reset.

Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson are expected to approach or potentially surpass the $22 million-per-year average of Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers. That's the high bar.

But Miami might have reset the low bar Monday when the Dolphins extended Ryan Tannehill, the first quarterback from the class of 2012 to receive an extension.

Tannehill's extension includes a reported $77 million in "new money" over four years, an average of $19.3 million that puts him sixth behind Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger.

That's a good chunk of change for a quarterback who in three seasons has yet to lead the Dolphins to a winning record or playoff berth. Tannehill is coming off a career year in which he threw for 4,045 yards and 27 touchdowns, with a passer rating of 92.8.

Tannehill's career passing numbers (61.9 completion percentage, 84.0 passer rating) are similar to Newton's (59.5 and 85.4). Neither has a winning record as a starter: Tannehill is 23-25, Newton is 30-31-1.

But Newton's running ability and the Panthers' back-to-back division titles put him at a different level than Tannehill. Newton came in at No. 7 on NFL.com's Dave Dameshek's list of the league's top quarterbacks. Tannehill didn't crack the top 14.

Tannehill's new contract won't have a significant affect on Newton's negotiations. It just raised the floor for quarterbacks a little higher.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on May 19, 2015 at 09:50 AM | Permalink


Uh, Tannehill can run too, he just typically stays in the pocket. Remember that he was a receiver for a while. He has wheels, but is more discretionary about using them. There really isn't much difference between he and Cam. Both have been hampered by a lack of legitimate receivers to throw to and shaky running corps. I think they will have very similar careers.

Posted by: fes | May 19, 2015 10:43:43 AM

An article this morn said the Seahawks are going to put the franchise tag on Wilson instead of paying what he is asking. Then, trade time.

Posted by: Epictetus | May 19, 2015 10:49:59 AM

I feel Cam is deserving of a big payday. Look at the QB's that have not performed as well as Cam getting all that money. This has got to be the year of the PANTHERS. I also feel Tom Brady should have been suspended for at least eight games. I guess they will change the rule for him like they did for Wes Welker. How can somethings be overlooked and others be punished to the max? I say, give Cam what he deserve. LET'S GO PANTHERS

Posted by: Brenda | May 19, 2015 10:50:49 AM

He just needs a little crack sprinkled on him.

Posted by: The Cracken | May 19, 2015 12:30:03 PM

"...the Panthers' back-to-back division titles put him at a different level than Tannehill."


Posted by: NASTAR99 | May 19, 2015 2:40:12 PM

As long as Cam keeps driving 15 year old pickups, he can squeak by for a few years on $77.7 MILLION.

Posted by: Ben | May 19, 2015 2:40:33 PM

"Uh, Tannehill can run too, he just typically stays in the pocket. Remember that he was a receiver for a while. He has wheels, but is more discretionary about using them. There really isn't much difference between he and Cam."

Good logical and informed post by fes.

fes, I would point out one big difference between SuperKitty and Tannehill...

...Tannehill scored 34 on the Wonderlic Test, SuperKitty scored 21.

Ever wonder why Cam keeps making the same mistakes over and over and over and over?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | May 19, 2015 2:47:14 PM

130-150 million over 6 years & 60 guaranteed for Cam.

Posted by: William Aaron Berrry III | May 19, 2015 3:21:22 PM

The way I look at it is that the Panthers are welfare recepients ($80 million from the city) and thus cannot afford to hire superstars.

Posted by: Richard Elliot | May 19, 2015 4:06:18 PM


Agreed. Last year's NFC-South title should be kept under wraps and never discussed - by anybody. That was an embarrassment for the Panthers and the NFL at large.

Posted by: Richard Elliot | May 19, 2015 4:08:16 PM

I think Cam should get a one year extension for fair market value. If he cannot lead the team to the playoffs next year...he and Rivera should put their houses up for sale.

Posted by: Airbrush2020 | May 19, 2015 4:12:07 PM

i have a dumb question....does "upfront money" count against the cap??

Posted by: bull123 | May 19, 2015 4:44:49 PM

I have been telling you guys since my rookie season, I am not for ANY reason staying in this hick town. I instructed my manager to tell everyone we wanted to work it out in the best way with this town, but in secret, he knows I want to go to a real market where my star can SHINE! I am an entertainer baby, not just a football player. Let me get with the Jets, then you will see what all I can do! I can dance, sing, smile, and drive 40 miles over the speed limit while plowing into cars without ever getting a ticket! I am the epitome of the "Me first!" generation. It's not like ya can spell champion without the letters CAM!

Posted by: CammieCamCam | May 19, 2015 5:24:07 PM

bull123. Upfront money is prorated over the life of the contract. If $12 M is the signing bonus for a 6 year contract, $2M per year counts against the cap. This is how contracts are 'restructured'. The season salary is paid upfront, then that amount is prorated for the rest of the contract. Good, short term. Bad, long term. Another of Hurney's bad habits.

Posted by: Ben | May 19, 2015 7:46:52 PM

i think tannehill's a hell of a player and obviously the QB position is incredibly important and cam is a helluva talent that you would want to keep.

that all said.....these guys are getting way too large a % of the cap when mid level guys are getting 20 a year.

smart teams would spend that money on having an elite line and defense and get a comparable mid-level talent from the waiver wire. there just isn't that much of a margin between tannehill and newton and guys like jake locker or nick foles. i'm not saying i would take locker or foles over those 2. i'm saying if you're talking 5-6 a year vs. 20 a year, i'm going for the guy somebody just threw in the trash and putting the other 14-15 to better use than just 1 guy in a sport where guys get hurt regularly.

for every brady there's a dilfer.

more specific to the panthers....they're going to have to do it because of newton's star profile. he'll get top 5 money because he has top 5 profile. he might even have top 5 talent, but he's like ~12-15 results thus far.

Posted by: charlottean | May 19, 2015 10:18:20 PM

@charlottean You just compared Cam and Tannehill to Jake Locker. The guy who has never had success or stayed healthy long enough to prove he is a good QB. Not to mention he retired this offseason. Maybe you should pick another person to compare him to.

@NASTAR99 Wonderlic score doesn't mean a damn thing when comparing these players. Blaine Gabbert got a 42. Maybe the panthers should let came walk and get Gabbert. Ryan Fitzpatrick got a 47. Lets get him over Cam. Those scores don't mean anything when it comes to actual play on the field

Posted by: gainer | May 20, 2015 9:02:20 AM

did you read the point i made?

i clearly said I would take cam or tannehill over a locker or foles or comparable. i just made the point that by paying cam 20+ million a year, you're putting an awful lot of cap on 1 guy for a long time. you could just as easily win a ring paying 20 million a year to a 10-15 QB as you could paying 5-10 a year to a 20-30 rank QB and spending the rest on defense or offensive line.

too many teams have won superbowls with jake lockeresque quarterbacks. that's the point. dilfer, brad johnson, mcmahon, rypien all have rings. then there's a whole slew of guys like hasselbeck and delhomme and gannon and grossman who came up just short.

it's not locker over cam, it's locker for 5 million over cam for 20+. i'm a huge proponent of newton, i'm just making the point that these mid-level QBs should not be getting paid like brady/manning/rodgers/rothlisberger types, most of whom got their big contracts after winning rings.

how much did nick foles make last year? mark sanchez? eagles went 10-6.

giants, bears, rams, saints are 4 of the top 6 spenders at QB last year. eagles and seahawks were 2 of the bottom 3 spenders.

they have to pay the guy because the market dictates it, but there are always teams that win without doing so.

Posted by: charlottean | May 20, 2015 12:45:54 PM

Apple turnovers are tasty.

Posted by: Crackback | May 20, 2015 9:45:28 PM


Excluding Wilson on his rookie salary, and well just exclude rookie QBs salaries in general as they are set, were there any top 10 teams or playoff teams in the league with a $5MM-$7MM salary QB that you describe above?

GB, Dallas, Detroit, NE (Brady did take a huge pay cut but that was his choice NE would pay him whatever he wanted), Den, Balt, Pitt, Cincy, all with QBs making $15MM+. Car, Ind, Sea all w/ rookie scale QBs though being first overall Cam and Luck I think made close to the $15MM range last year.

Posted by: Mason | May 21, 2015 3:33:15 PM

"Those scores don't mean anything when it comes to actual play on the field"

Of course they do.

Sure, a high wonderlic score won't help a guy who isn't skilled...

...but a very low score (and Cam is in the basement) certainly is indicative of low IQ and as complex as NFL offenses and defenses are these days low IQ players are going to struggle.

As such, the KitKats have had to dumb down the offense for SuperKitty and even then he just keeps making the same mistakes over and over and over again. Face it, Cam is dumb.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | May 22, 2015 2:26:17 PM

rookie deals are 5 year deals now. so excluding them doesn't really make sense. that would mean that guys on rookie contracts can't win in this league and that's been proven to be false. investing a draft pick in a QB every 5 years is more worth it than sinking 20+ million of cap space in one unless he is surefire a top 5 guy.

it just doesn't make sense to overpay for a mid level guy is the entire point.

and philly went 10-6 with the 3rd least spent on quarterbacks last year. the fact that we got the playoff birth and they didn't is pretty meaningless.

again, too many teams have won superbowls with below average quarterbacks making nothing to justify paying a mid level guy a ton of money when you could spend that money on elite linemen and just run the ball over and over and over mixed with a few big playaction plays (something that has been proven to win superbowls).

these quarterback deals are getting entirely too top heavy. for every manning, there's a stafford (who has lost his 2 playoff games in 6 years) or a palmer (who has lost his 2 playoff games in 11 seasons).

would you pay the 16th best punter in the league the same as the top 5 guys? it's eerily similar to how in baseball the pitcher has become so overvalued that the teams that are winning are the ones that aren't spending big on pitching. buying what is undervalued and selling what is overvalued is the game.

if they traded cam right now, they could probably get 4 1sts or something comparable to that. as opposed to letting him eat up most of the cap. i'm a cam fan. this really has nothing to do with him specifically, just applies to him as well. mid level quarterbacks are way overpaid. and it isn't a successful strategy.

Posted by: charlottean | May 26, 2015 5:28:22 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.