After significant wrangling, the Patriots and Tom Brady have agreed to a pay bump for 2019. But the structure of the deal means the two sides will be at it again in less than a year.
Brady gets an $8M salary raise from the $15M he was scheduled to make ($14M plus $1M in per game roster bonuses).
But the ensuing two years of what was described by ESPN’s Adam Schefter as a “two-year extension” have salaries north of $30M which means that the Patriots will definitely be back at the table again with Brady to avoid the fat cap hit that will hit in March of 2020.
In short, Brady gets his raise and the Patriots get their way in terms of being able to pull the ripcord on Brady next March if they don’t think he’s worth the huge salary and he refuses a renegotiation.
It’s a deal that allows the Patriots to save face because if Brady were to go into his walk year with a salary far smaller than much lesser quarterbacks, it would have looked bad. And, to be frank, Brady may not have done it.
The placeholder salaries for 2020 and 2021 also mean the Patriots won’t have to franchise him if they want to keep him around and they’ll get him at a lesser price than the franchise tag would have been $32.5M.
And, with the placeholders and the raise, Brady gets the promise he won’t be franchised and have to deal with all the attendant ill will that ensues when that happens.
In the end, as much as Brady has done for the Patriots and is beloved and appreciated by Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick, there are business and football philosophies both men hold that made them unwilling to go longer term for a 42-year-old quarterback.
The deal came together in the past few days and the desire on Brady’s part to get it done was significant. Now that it is done, Brady is in the fold for Detroit this week and Tennessee next week then the rest of the 2019 season.
But whether he’ll be in the fold for the Patriots next year to play when he’s 43 – a goal of his since he told me that was his target back in 2012 – remains very much up in the air.
Tom Brady got a raise for this year. The rest is just window dressing.
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