I guess nobody read OTC's article earlier this year on salary escalators. Derek Newton had $744,000 in salary escalators, which increased his 2014 base salary by that much. That is why his base salary is so high this year.
The escalator is not guaranteed. Would be a $1.4m in cap savings if released at any point. But he is still relatively inexpensive. Has game time experience. So even if he is not the starter, he is a good back up to have at this point. I am confident Newton will be on the 53 man roster this year.