Patriots

Tom Brady contract: Will Buccaneers QB hit these incentives next season?

Tom Brady contract: Will Buccaneers QB hit these incentives next season?

When the salary details of Tom Brady's two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were revealed last Friday, it was reported he could earn an additional $9 million in incentives ($4.5 million for each season) on top of the $50 million in guaranteed money.

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer tweeted Saturday an in-depth breakdown of the milestones Brady needs to hit to earn these incentives. Some of them are more attainable than others.

Here's what Breer reported:

Let's start with the playoff incentives. 

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It's hard to imagine the Bucs not making the playoffs if Brady is healthy and plays a full season. He hasn't missed the playoffs in a full season since 2002. So, the first $500,000 for clinching a playoff spot seems pretty likely. Reaching the NFC Championship Game would require the Bucs to win at least one playoff game, depending on their seed, in a very competitive NFC. Still, it's certainly a realistic goal for Brady, who will inspire confidence in his teammates given his incredible postseason experience. What about the Super Bowl? Well, oddsmakers are giving Tampa Bay a decent shot to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. The Buccaneers have the fifth-best odds to win Super Bowl LV, which will be played at Tampa Bay's home arena, Raymond James Stadium.

Now, let's turn to the stat-based incentives.

If you look solely at what Brady did last year, it would be tough to expect him to hit these incentives, but we have to factor in his new offense. Unlike last season, Brady will be surrounded by plenty of top-tier offensive talent at the skill positions in Tampa Bay. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin rank among the top wide receiver duos in the league, and Bucs tight end O.J. Howard has plenty of ability as well. 

The passing yards incentive is probably the most attainable one. Brady finished seventh in pass yards in 2019, which was pretty impressive given the struggles of New England's offense over the second half of the season. His 24 touchdown passes last season were three behind fifth place, so that incentive also is quite attainable now that the 42-year-old QB has better wide receivers and tight ends around him. Yards per attempt is an interesting one because Bucs head coach Bruce Arians love to throw the ball beyond 10 yards, therefore Brady should have plenty of chances to rank high in that category. Hitting the completion percentage and QB rating incentives also are possible, but likely less attainable than the others.

It'll be fun to watch Brady take aim at earning these incentives. Playing for a new team and throwing to several really talented pass-catchers could be enough to inject new life into his career, and that might result in a very strong 2020 season from a statistical perspective.

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

NFL Rumors: Patriots re-sign undrafted rookie WR Isaiah Zuber

NFL Rumors: Patriots re-sign undrafted rookie WR Isaiah Zuber

The New England Patriots brought one of their undrafted rookies back into the fold on Wednesday.

Isaiah Zuber, a wide receiver out of Mississippi State, reportedly has been re-signed after being cut by the team a week ago.


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Zuber played three seasons at Kansas State before transferring to Mississippi State for his senior season, in which he tallied 14 receptions for 211 yards and two touchdowns. The 23-year-old's best college season came during his junior year, when he had 52 catches for 619 yards and five touchdowns.

The Patriots have had eight players opt out of the 2020 NFL season so far -- including WR Marqise Lee -- thus opening up roster spots for the undrafted free agents who initially were cut. Fellow UDFA receiver Will Hastings also was re-signed by the team shortly after being released.

NFL opt-outs: Complete list of players who won't play in 2020 season

NFL opt-outs: Complete list of players who won't play in 2020 season

NFL training camps officially began Tuesday, but there were some notable absences.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020 season last Friday, citing health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, multiple players have followed suit, continuing a trend across all major North American professional sports of players declining to participate in their seasons as COVID-19 persists in the United States.

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The Patriots especially have felt the impact of this trend: Eight New England players -- including star linebacker Dont'a Hightower -- already have opted out, the most of any NFL team.

Below is a running list of the players who have opted out of the 2020 NFL season, according to reports or team/player confirmations. The list is sorted alphabetically after the Patriots, with the date of the players' opt-outs in parentheses.

New England Patriots

RB Brandon Bolden (July 28)
OT Marcus Cannon (July 28)
S Patrick Chung (July 28)
LB Dont'a Hightower (July 28)
WR Marqise Lee (August 1)
OG Najee Toran (July 27)
FB Danny Vitale (July 27)
TE Matt LaCosse (August 2)

Arizona Cardinals

OT Marcus Gilbert (August 4)

Baltimore Ravens

OT Andre Smith (July 28)
WR/KR De'Anthony Thomas (July 27)

Buffalo Bills

CB E.J. Gaines (August 2)
DT Star Lotulelei (July 28)

Carolina Panthers

LB Jordan Mack (July 28)
LB Christian Miller (August 3)

Chicago Bears

DT Eddie Goldman (July 28)
S Jordan Lucas (August 3)

Cincinnati Bengals

OT Isaiah Prince (July 31)
DT Josh Tupou (July 31)

Cleveland Browns

DT Andrew Billings (August 4)
OL Drake Dorbeck (July 29)
OL Drew Forbes (July 29)
OL Colby Gossett (August 4)

Dallas Cowboys

CB Maurice Canady (July 27)
WR Stephen Guidry (July 28)
FB Jamize Olawale (August 2)

Denver Broncos

OT JaWuan James (August 3)
DT Kyle Peko (July 28)

Detroit Lions

DT John Atkins (July 29)
WR Geronimo Allison (August 2)
C Russell Bodine (August 5)

Green Bay Packers

WR Devin Funchess (July 28)

Houston Texans

DT Eddie Vanderdoes (July 28)

Indianapolis Colts

DB Rolan Milligan (August 5) 
LB Skai Moore (August 4)
DB Marvell Tell (August 5)

Jacksonville Jaguars

EDGE Larentee McCray (August 1)
DL Al Woods (July 31)

Kansas City Chiefs

OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (July 24)
RB Damien Williams (July 29)

Las Vegas Raiders

LB Ukeme Eligwe (August 4)
CB D.J. Killings (August 3)
DE Jeremiah Valoaga (August 3)

Los Angeles Rams

OT Chandler Brewer (July 31)

Miami Dolphins

WR Allen Hurns (August 4)
WR Albert Wilson (August 5)

Minnesota Vikings

NT Michael Pierce (July 28)

New Orleans Saints

TE Jason Vander Laan (July 28)
TE Cole Wick (July 28)

New York Giants

CB Sam Beal (August 5)
WR Da'Mari Scott (August 2)
LT Nate Solder (July 29)

New York Jets

OL Leo Koloamatangi (July 28)
LB C.J. Mosley (August 1)

Philadelphia Eagles

WR Marquise Goodwin (July 28)

San Francisco 49ers

WR Travis Benjamin (August 4)

Seattle Seahawks

OG Chance Warmack (July 27)

Tennessee Titans

OL Anthony McKinney (July 28)

Washington Football Team

DT Caleb Brantley (July 27)
LB Josh Harvey-Clemons (August 3)

Free Agents

G Larry Warford (July 28)