As it turns out, Tom Brady won’t play a game in 2018 without a newly-tweaked contract.
I confirmed that Brady and the Patriots agreed to enrich his current deal with a series of escalators that will take him far past his bargain salary of $14 million for this year (with an additional $1 million roster bonus).
Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the deal, saying it was similar to what the Patriots did last year with the contract of tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Gronk’s escalators allowed him to pocket an additional $5.5 million based on a combination of postseason honors, playing time and statistical production.
There are expected to be stat-based incentives in Brady’s new deal as well.
The Patriots open preseason Thursday night against Washington.
This feels like more of a Band-Aid than a fix for Brady, who’s been hoping for an extension to the deal that expires after the 2019 season. It assuages irritation that nothing was done to bring him closer in line with the lesser quarterbacks making twice as much, but to do so he has to, in essence, sing for his supper.