Tom Brady’s contract extension with the Patriots might not significantly alter New England’s plans this offseason or in the years ahead, but the new deal reportedly gives the quarterback a well-deserved raise and the organization a little extra financial flexibility.
Brady reportedly will earn $23 million this season, which represents an $8 million raise over what the 42-year-old originally had been slated to make in 2019. The extension, which frees up $5.5 million in cap space, technically runs through the 2021 season, but it includes two void years. Brady more or less will be on a year-to-year deal with the Patriots moving forward, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter elaborated on Monday during an appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.”
?They can spread it out from a cap standpoint and they can soften the blow and can do things like that,” Schefter said, as transcribed by WEEI.com. “Keep in mind you can?t re-do a contract within a calendar year, so again, they would have to wait until next August 4 or 5, whenever the contract is entered with the NFL to do it. But it?s not a big deal. I don?t believe that you are going to get big savings from Tom Brady during the offseason next year. You have his salary locked in where it?s right now. They could always adjust later on in the summer during camp.
“They have gone through all these scenarios. It wasn?t like they couldn?t get an agreement done and now they are going to be under the gun in the offseason next season — they knew exactly what they were doing with the entire situation. I don?t think Tom Brady is ever leaving. I don?t think he?s walking out the door. I don?t think he?s threatening to hold out. There?s certain things that just transcend sports and it?s so hard to imagine it could go any other way than that.?
As Schefter mentioned, the Patriots can use the cap space they saved with Brady’s new deal to augment their roster, which features a few holes with training camp in full swing. Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams has been linked to New England in trade rumors, so that’s one potential avenue Bill Belichick could explore. But let’s not forget about retired tight end Rob Gronkowski, who theoretically could get the itch to return at some point during the season.
“Listen, if you want to bring up Gronk in this, when they freed up the $5.5 (million) (Sunday), in the back of my mind I wondered, ?Oh, that might come in handy if Rob does decide he wants to play later in the season, October or November, which who knows,’ ” Schefter said, per WEEI.com. “But that is the kind of thing you want to have, that rainy day, slush fund money in your back pocket just in case something like that happens.?
All in all, Brady’s extension seems like a win for everyone, except those hoping the six-time Super Bowl champion someday will have a falling out with the franchise that ultimately leads to his departure.