NFL: Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers

Earlier this week, quarterback Cam Newton shocked the NFL world by signing a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. What was even more surprising is that his base salary is just a little over $1 million and his signing bonus is $550,000. The deal is laden with incentives, but it's certainly not a contract the former MVP was expected to sign. The deal even had San Francisco 49ers All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman shaking his head, calling it "disgusting." 

While the Patriots may have gotten Newton for a steal, the three-time Pro Bowl signal-caller isn't too worried about dollars and cents -- he's just happy for the opportunity. On Thursday, Newton took to Instagram to explain that 2020 isn't about his wallet, but about his pride.

"It's not a lot of things money cannot buy, but amongst the top of that list of things, you would find respect as one of those!" Newton wrote. "This is not about money for me, it's about respect." 

Newton followed this caption with several hashtags such as "All I know is work" and "I'm betting it all on me." 

The concern with Newton has to do with his health. While a foot injury held him out for most of the season in 2019, his shoulder issue is the one fans should be wary of. After being shut down for the last two games in 2018 due to the injury, Newton was forced to change up his throwing motion last offseason. In the two starts he made in 2019, he didn't exactly impress. Newton completed 56.2% of his passes for 572 yards, zero touchdowns and an interception, as the Carolina Panthers began the 2019 season with two straight losses. 

Everything reported this offseason concerning Newton has been positive, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in March that Newton underwent a physical in Atlanta which was coordinated by the Panthers and his agency team, and his shoulder and foot both checked out fine. Newton was said to be checking out well and was hungrier than ever and eager for the next opportunity.

Former Panthers teammate Shaq Thompson believes Newton will be back to his old self in 2020, and that he is an "MVP quarterback" who "still has it." If Cam indeed does "still have it," then the Patriots might have just pulled off the best bargain of free agency.