How Newton's return to Panthers helps Patriots' 2022 salary cap situation


Cam Newton is finally back in the NFL.

The veteran quarterback agreed to terms on a new contract with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday. The Panthers selected Newton with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and he played for them from 2011 through 2019.

Newton returning to the Panthers actually helps the New England Patriots -- the team that gave the former league MVP a chance to revive his career after Carolina released him in 2020.

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How so? 

The most impactful result is the Patriots receiving a $1.5 million salary cap credit for the 2022 season, as The Boston Globe's Ben Volin explains in the tweet below:

A credit of $1.5 million doesn't seem like a lot, but every little bit is valuable, especially for a team like the Patriots that's trying to contend for the playoffs.

New England was projected to have just over $30 million in salary cap space in 2022, per Spotrac, before Newton went back to the Panthers.

The Patriots spent quite a bit of money in free agency last offseason to address various weak spots on the roster. They'll have a few areas of need in 2022 as well, and a little extra cap space could go a long way in helping adequately fill those roles.