Cam Newton, the Panthers No. 1-overall draft pick, has signed his contract, and will make more than $22 million over four years, all of which is guaranteed.
Bus Cook, Newton's agent, told the The Associated Press via a text message Friday night that the deal was for four years and "$22 million-plus."
That's according to our Carolina Rapid Reporter Steve Reed, who cites a source close to the negotiations.
Newton, who played one year at Auburn before turning pro, will make substantially less than last year's top pick, Sam Bradford made. Like, a lot less: Bradford signed a deal for $78 million over six years.
But that money, freed up by new CBA rules governing rookie salaries, also allowed the Panthers to go out and sign some of their bigger names -- Charles Johnson, DeAngelo Williams -- in free agency.
Newton was seen Friday evening driving into the back lot of the Richardson Physical Activities Building and entering the offices that serve as team headquarters for Carolina's training camp at Wofford College.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera had said earlier Friday that he expected the former Auburn quarterback to be at Wofford when Carolina held its first practice session on Saturday. Also earlier Friday, general manager Marty Hurney said the sides were making good progress on an agreement.
|Free Agency Frenzy|
It's a testament to Jerry Richardson's involvement with the CBA that Carolina was able to pull off such moves; it's highly unlikely he would have drafted Newton if he'd thought that the quarterback would make the type of money that previous top-selected quarterbacks did.
Instead, the Panthers were able to not only pick up a potential franchise quarterback -- who, admittedly, has boom-or-bust potential -- but also reload their roster with the top talent that appeared to be headed elsewhere.
That might not ease the pain of losing $30 million in guaranteed money for Newton, but it'll at least ease his transition into the NFL.
"I don't think it's going to be a problem for me. I think it's just timing more than anything," Newton said last May. "Just repetition as far as me knowing what I have to do, knowing the assignment, the alignment and what everybody's doing on that particular play."
Newton has had Chudzinski's playbook since April 29, when a judge temporarily lifted the lockout. Panthers receiver Steve Smith said he was impressed with Newton's skills he saw during private workouts the two have had before labor peace was reached.
Another Panthers rookie from Auburn, receiver Darvin Adams, called Newton a "natural born leader."
Newton will be looked at to bring stability to a position where the Panthers struggled greatly last season. Carolina was last in several NFL categories and finished with the fewest points in team history.
Rivera said Newton would battle for the starting job with the quarterbacks in camp, last year's starter Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike. General manager Marty Hurney didn't rule out bringing a veteran quarterback to add depth during camp.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.