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:
Max of $2.25M in performance incentives means Brady maxes out in hitting 4 of the 5, and those require minimum of 224 pass att. On the team incentives, Brady needs to hit 75 percent play-time to get them.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 21, 2020
Incentives are in both years, $4.5M/year. Which gets you to max of $59M.
Let's start with the playoff incentives.
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.