Brady signed a three-year, $27 million contract extension on Feb. 25, a move that gave the Patriots more cap space to sign free agents and was widely believed to clear the way for the team to re-sign Wes Welker. But Welker signed with the Broncos on Wednesday instead, with the circumstances surrounding the deal making it appear that the Patriots weren’t all that interested in keeping him.
With Brady taking substantially less money than he could have asked for in the latest extension, and with the Patriots failing to follow through on what was assumed to be the biggest factor behind them asking him to restructure his deal, it stands to reason that Brady may be interested in reneging on the extension — if not this year, then in future years, when he’s really making a pittance.
Chris Gasper of The Boston Globe says that’s not a far-fetched idea.
While Patriots owner Robert Kraft was emphatic that the contract extension was a “real deal,” and that Brady wouldn’t be coming back and asking for more money in future years, Gasper said Brady may see things differently.
“By the way,” Gasper writes, “the ironclad standing of that five-year, $57 million deal that Robert Kraft professed to Peter King was not the way influential folks in the Brady camp painted the deal.”
This isn’t the first time Brady has been jilted on the contract end. He took less money before, hoping to see key receiver Deion Branch return, only to see Branch let go on the free-agent market in 2006. Now, he’s forced to work with a next-to-nothing receiving corps heading into 2013 — either incorporating all new players, which has been a struggle in New England before, or working with pieces that weren’t as reliable as Welker in 2012, such as Brandon Lloyd.
Brady has always been a team player when it comes to comments and contract talk, but if he did restructure for the specific reason of retaining Welker, the events of this week may be enough to inspire a little pushback from him this time.