Dead Man’s Chest: Breaking Down Brady’s New Contract

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At this point it’s clear that Tom Brady will be taking his talents south to Tampa Bay, Florida. After 20 seasons as quarterback of the New England Patriots, the six-time Super Bowl champion will be turning the page and joining a franchise who is more notorious for mediocrity than actually winning.

It’s been reported by multiple sources that Brady left Boston because of personality clashes with longtime head coach Bill Belichick. However, it’s important to understand that he also made this decision based off of irreconcilable monetary differences between the two.

Now, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have backed up reports that they are “all-in” on the G.O.A.T. after signing the former University of Michigan alum to a two-year, $50 million-dollar deal, which is fully guaranteed.

According to Spotrac, the deal provides security by offering an annual average base salary of $15M, with roster bonuses that come due over the next two seasons in the amount of $10M apiece (1st due: 3/23/2020 and 2nd due: 5th league day of 2021). Because the deal is fully guaranteed, the Bucs will take a cap hit of $25M each over the next two seasons for the life of the contract.

Also, the contract provides Brady with a sense of stability for both himself and his family, The deal states he cannot be franchise tagged following the 2021 season, and protects him from trade consideration with a full no-trade clause.

Brady is notorious for having taken hometown discounts for the Pats’ throughout most of his career, so that Belichick was able to surround him with more talent to help the organization win throughout the years. Realizing that he was entering the twilight of his career, the California native wanted to be paid on par with other top-tier quarterbacks in the league.

Here’s the problem. Belichick is notorious for not committing large sums of money to high-price tag free agents, and his ideology did not waver when re-negotiating with Brady. Instead he intends to stand pat with an untested Jarrett Stidham (currently in the 2nd season of a 4YR/$3.15M deal) and familiar veteran Brian Hoyer (1YR/$1.05M).

Now, Brady’s new deal with Tampa Bay will include bonus incentives for reaching different passing and playoff milestones. In total, the future Hall-of-Famer has the opportunity to earn an additional $23,125,000 over the next two seasons.

Passing incentives include:

$2.25M annually, minimum 224 attempts

$562,500 each category for finishing top 5

  • Passer Rating
  • Touchdowns
  • Passing Yards
  • Completion %
  • Yards Per Attempt

Playoff incentives (require a min. 75% playing time)

  • $500,000 for a playoff berth
  • $750,000 for wild card win
  • $1.25M for NFC Championship
  • $1.75M for Super Bowl appearance
  • $2.25M for Super Bowl victory

In total, the contract would pay Brady $73,125,000 over the next two seasons in the event he hits all the milestones needed to reach each possible bonus. With a potential average of $36,562,500 annually, he would surpass Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson ($35M) as the highest-paid player at the position in the NFL.

Not bad for a 42-year-old quarterback with six Super Bowl rings, whose longtime head coach no longer sees the value in an aging passer that is still revered by Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and admired by the New England fanbase.

One man’s trash can be another man’s treasure, and Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians is certainly excited about the possibilities now that Brady is making a turn from patriot to pirate.

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