When Ryan Tannehill inked a multi-year contract extension last month it was expected he would be the first in a fairly long line of 'franchise quarterbacks' getting new deals before the 2015 season.
And, whilst the likes of Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck remain at the early stages of the negotiation process, it looks like the Carolina Panthers are about to follow the example set by the Miami Dolphins.
That is after reports emerged today revealing that Cam Newton and the Panthers are moving ever closer to what will be a lucrative, and long, new contract.
Newton endured a bit of a tough 2014 campaign as injury and ill-form saw him post the lowest numbers of his four-year long NFL career. He remains an exciting talent, however, and the Carolina Panthers have long been working to secure the former first overall pick's future with the franchise.
As yet there is no clue as to how much the dual-threat QB can expect to earn when he signs on the dotted line but it is expected it will be somewhere in the region of $20 million per year in the wake of recent quarterback deals for the likes of Jay Cutler, Colin Kaepernick and Tannehill.
Cam Newton is the first signal caller ever to represent the Panthers who can legitimately be called a franchise quarterback and it will be a huge boost for the team's fans to learn that a new contract is all but done.
Getting a new deal, to 2020 no less, for Newton means that the franchise can avoid the distractions that would inevitably have lingered on through preseason and the regular season had no progress been made.
Newton is already a two-time Pro Bowler and was named Offensive Rookie of the Year back in 2011. If he can return fully healthy in 2015 there is no reason why the Panthers cannot mount an assault on the top of a weak NFC South division.
With the likes of Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen having been joined by exciting rookie WR talent Devin Funchess via the draft, there are growing options for Newton in the offense moving forward, too. Combine that with a restored running game of his own and there is reason for optimism in Carolina.
Panthers fans: Is Cam Newton the man to take the franchise to the very top? Have your say in the comments below...
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