Patriots

NFL rumors: Salary details of Tom Brady's contract with Buccaneers revealed

NFL rumors: Salary details of Tom Brady's contract with Buccaneers revealed

Former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has officially signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in NFL free agency, and the financial details of the 42-year-old's deal are beginning to surface.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Friday that Brady's contract is a two-year pact with $50 million in guaranteed money. Here are the other details:

ESPN's Field Yates provided a further breakdown:

For many years Brady signed team-friendly contracts with the Patriots, which helped the team build a championship-caliber roster around him. It was beneficial for both sides, to say the least, as the Patriots won six Super Bowl titles during Brady's 20 years in New England. 

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In this contract with the Bucs, Brady has secured a huge amount of guaranteed money. Here's more context from Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer:

The veteran quarterback led the Patriots to an 11-5 record last season, during which he completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 4,057 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Brady should post even better stats in Tampa Bay next season when he's surrounded by plenty of top-tier offensive talent, most notably wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, as well as tight end O.J. Howard. 

Brady's decision already is having an impact in the sports betting community. Oddsmakers have given the Buccaneers the fifth-best odds to win Super Bowl LV, which will actually be played in Tampa Bay's home arena, Raymond James Stadium.

Bucs' 2020 opponents: How many games will Brady win in 2020?

No substitute for Cam Newton's experience as Patriots practices heat up

No substitute for Cam Newton's experience as Patriots practices heat up

So far so good for Cam Newton. 

It's one thing to be praised by new teammates, from Julian Edelman to Isaiah Wynn and Lawrence Guy. It's another to earn some early plaudits from Bill Belichick. But that's exactly what Newton received from his new head coach on Friday morning.

Belichick, of course, is careful not to single out players even when asked specifically about an individual. Therefore, in answering a question about Newton during a WebEx call with reporters, Belichick did not share impressions on Newton alone. But when he did highlight what he's seen from his new quarterback, the sentiments were nothing but positive.

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"We've done a lot of meetings, a lot of walkthroughs," Belichick said. "A lot of information has been transferred to all the players. He's worked very hard, I'd say, as all our players have. We have a hard-working group. Those guys are ready to go and we've put in some long days. They've been very attentive during the process.  

"I'd say all the quarterbacks, at that position, those guys have been locked in, been focused, worked extremely hard. All four of them. When they all get in the huddle, everybody has a lot of confidence in what they're able to do, and the information they have to give the team. Play-calls, adjustments, audibles, protection adjustments, things like that.

"But again, we haven't played anywhere near the speed we're going to be playing at so we'll see how it all comes together at that point. But Cam's a hard-working kid. He really is."

At Patriots practice Friday, Newton will have an opportunity to put on display all the hard work he's put in for years prior to his Foxboro arrival. It's the portion of the summer schedule when Newton's experience level should shine through. And if there is truly a quarterback competition underway at Gillette Stadium, it's when Newton could show off a Secretariat-style final-stretch kick.

Why? After months of slow-playing things, Belichick's offense and defense will have an opportunity to square off for real -- kind of. The two sides still won't be in pads, but Friday will be their first up-tempo practice, Belichick indicated. 

For quarterbacks, that means it's time to put their post-snap diagnostic skills to the test. Up until this point, all they've been able to rep with any consistency are pre-snap reads during light workouts, meetings and walkthroughs. But they haven't performed against buzzing defenses from the pocket, so deciphering where to go with the football after the ball is snapped has been a bit of a blind spot, so to speak.

"To this point," Belichick said, "for all positions, it doesn't really matter which position you're talking about, the pre-snap, line of scrimmage and initial assignment -- we've had an opportunity to go over that extensively. And I feel pretty good about where we are there. What we're missing is things that happen post-snap and the fundamentals and execution of our assignments at a high tempo, with contact, against a quality opponent. 

"Those are the things we haven't done, nobody's been able to do. We'll start that process really (Friday), Sunday and next week with pads is when we'll be able to hit those with some solid experiences for the players and hopefully progression. We're about as far as we can go in terms of walkthroughs and calls, communication and all that. But the speed of the game post-snap and what happens once everybody starts moving, we've seen some of that at a slow pace, I would say to a certain degree, but nothing like what is really gonna happen.

" ... Last night should've been our first preseason game. We haven't even had a full-speed practice yet, let alone in pads."

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Reporters will be able to see for themselves how Newton looks in competitive situations starting Monday. But when the speed of practice picks up Friday, who would you expect to be the greatest beneficiary between Newton and second-year man Jarrett Stidham?

Stidham may have had an advantage early in the offseason compared to Newton. He'd spent a full season with the Patriots, learning in their meetings, impressing in their practices. He understood the language of the Patriots offense. He understood what Josh McDaniels demanded from the position.

And while Newton has had weeks to chip away at a playbook Stidham has had for a year -- a playbook filled with "calculus," Edelman told Newton -- the former MVP has 125 career regular-season games under his belt plus seven playoff contests. (His 131 starts are more than three times that of third-stringer Brian Hoyer.) Newton has seen live NFL defenses. He's broken them down, deceived them, exploited them in real time. 

Newton's post-snap reactions to blitzes, pressures, man and zone coverages will certainly have to be tailored to his new offense. There will be teaching moments for him in that regard. But he's proven over the course of his career that his internal processing speed can ramp up and excel against the game's best. For Stidham, who hasn't been put in a position to take any snaps of consequence, that just hasn't happened yet.

Indeed, 47 days after he signed, Newton may feel more at home than ever as the intensity at Patriots practice heats up.

How Bill Belichick is handling Patriots' punishment from videotaping incident

How Bill Belichick is handling Patriots' punishment from videotaping incident

As if losing their franchise quarterback and several core veterans to free agency wasn't enough, the New England Patriots also will be down a pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Patriots lost their third-round pick in 2021 and paid $1.1 million in club fines as punishment for a team staffer illegally videotaping the Cincinnati Bengals' sideline during a Week 14 game last season.

Head coach Bill Belichick was asked about the NFL cracking down on his team Friday for the first time since the league announced its punishment in late June.

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"Obviously the league had a long investigation on that, but really we're just looking ahead," Belichick said in a video conference, referring to the seven months it took for the NFL to reach a verdict.

"We have a lot of things ahead of us here, especially getting ready for the season and all that. We've moved on, and we'll deal with what we have to deal with in front of us here. Just let everything go in the rearview mirror and go ahead."

Belichick and his staff have plenty on their plate as training camp ramps up: They need to integrate a new quarterback (Cam Newton) and a handful coaches in different roles (Jedd Fisch, Troy Brown and Tyler Hughes, to name a few) while accounting for the losses of eight players who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19.

The loss of a 2021 draft pick obviously impacts New England's future plans, but if Belichick and his staff apparently aren't looking that far ahead -- or if they are, they're not letting on.