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Panthers sign No. 1 pick Newton

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By PFW staff

QB Cam Newton, the top overall pick of the 2011 draft, has agreed to a contract with the Panthers. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the deal is for four years and worth $22 million. The entire contract is guaranteed.

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn is expected to come in and compete for the starting job in Carolina for new head coach Ron Rivera. His main competition for the job is the team's second-round pick from 2010, Jimmy Clausen, who struggled greatly during his rookie year.

Newton will have plenty of offensive weapons around him, based on moves the Panthers have made in recent days. The team re-signed RB DeAngelo Williams, committed to keeping WR Steve Smith and traded for TE Greg Olsen, giving the quarterback a nice offense to enter into.

The way we see it

Compared to last year's No. 1 pick, Rams QB Sam Bradford, Newton is both a winner and a loser. The Panthers have much more offensive talent than St. Louis did a year ago, and Newton won't be asked to carry the entire team the Rams young quarterback did in 2010. However, the new CBA limits how long and how expensive rookie contracts can be, as Newton's deal dwarfs in comparison to the six-year, $78 million (with $50 million guaranteed) contract Bradford signed last July.

 

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