The NFL Players Association fought the good fight for Tom Brady in court, but the union might not be so happy with the New England Patriots quarterback after finding out his new contract details.
While NFL free agents are signing exorbitant new contracts, Brady’s deal reportedly will pay him $60 million over the next four seasons. He will count $14 million against the salary cap in 2016 and 2017 and $22 million against it in 2018 and 2019. He will have base salaries of $1 million in 2016 and 2017 and $14 million in 2018 and 2019.
Brady had been set to earn $19 million over the next two years. Now he’ll be paid $30 million over the next two years, which still is a steal, considering Brock Osweiler will make $37 million over the next two seasons in his contract with the Houston Texans.
Osweiler has seven career NFL starts. Brady has 223.
The Patriots freed up $1 million in cap room this offseason and $2 million next offseason with this Brady deal. That’s not overly significant, but it can help the team sign free agents or extend its own players.
Part of the reason why the Patriots annually can keep so many of their own players is because they’re able to keep Brady’s cap hits so low. They likely will extend Brady again before they face his $22 million cap hits in 2018 and 2019. Those figures might seem like a bargain anyway by that time with the way NFL contracts are trending.
Brady, who’s widely considered one of the best, if not the best quarterback in the NFL, will have the 18th highest cap hit among quarterbacks in 2016, behind Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, Kirk Cousins, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, Jay Cutler, Andrew Luck and Colin Kaepernick.
Brady will have the 19th highest cap hit among QBs in 2017 behind the above players, while swapping out Brees, Cousins and Luck for Sam Bradford, Ryan Tannehill, Andy Dalton and Osweiler. Yes, you read that right. Brady’s cap hit is set to be lower than Bradford’s.
Even when Brady’s cap hit rises to $22 million in 2018, it still will be less than that of Romo, Flacco, Roethlisberger and Manning.
The new contract helps out Brady, too, though. If Brady is suspended four games this year, he’ll lose just $235,941,17 in game checks, since his salary is so low. He would have lost $2.11 million under his old contract.
All in all, it’s a deal that works out great for Brady and the Patriots but not so much for the NFLPA. It’s most beneficial to the Patriots, however. If a player has plans to complain about his contract, the team must only point to Brady and show that the team leader also is putting that squad, and winning, ahead of money. Of course, most Patriots players aren’t married to a high-paid supermodel or have expensive endorsement deals, but those facts likely will be left out at the bargaining table.
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