Newton was set to be a free agent this season. The fact that he re-upped with the Patriots is relevant to both the Raiders and to Mariota for a couple of reasons.
One: Newton is now off the market, so the Raiders can take him off the list of potential backups to starter Derek Carr and Mariota will have one less competitor on the quarterback market if/when he hits free agency.
Two: It also gives both the Raiders and Mariota a guideline to what his worth will be. ESPN reported that Newton will make close to $14 million in 2021.
Comp update: Patriots are finalizing a 1-year deal worth close to $14 million for Cam Newton to return to New England, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2021
However, here are more details:
Cam Newton's contract with the #Patriots has a $5 million base value, according to sources:— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 12, 2021
$2m signing bonus
$1.5m base salary (guaranteed)
$1.5m total in per-game roster bonuses
The rest ($9m) is in incentives for playoffs, Pro Bowl, All-Pro, MVP, Super Bowl MVP, etc.
Mariota is set to make $10.7 million. If he is traded and becomes a starter, his contract will raise to more than $22 million. That likely won’t happen.
So, the Raiders can either decide to keep Mariota (maybe they will now that they have ample salary cap room) or cut him and receive the extra cap space.
Now, Mariota knows his market as well. It would be a surprise if he makes more than Newton this season. So, perhaps this latest bit of information will kickstart a resolution in an ongoing saga in Las Vegas.