Tom Brady for years has accepted a salary below market value from the New England Patriots.
The team reportedly is willing to change that this offseason.
According to a report Sunday morning from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots are open to paying Brady upward of $30 million in order to get him re-signed. Brady, meanwhile, reportedly wants New England to use its resources to bolster its subpar group of pass-catchers.
“It’s my understanding that going back to New England is a legitimate and real option for Brady, obviously, and they’re willing to make it worth his while,” Rapoport said on NFL Network. “I’m told they’re willing to pay him in excess of $30 million if that, in fact, is what it’s going to take to bring Brady back. It would bring him in line with much more of the salaries of the elite quarterbacks for the first time in his career.
“We’ll see if that’s enough, because from what I understand, he wants a commitment from them that they will spend specifically on weapons for this offense, something they tried to do it last year with Antonio Brown — did not work.”
The Super Bowl LIV @NFLGameDay Notebook with @MikeGarafolo:
— The #Patriots are willing to pay Tom Brady in excess of $30M if that's what's required to keep him.
— The #Chargers among teams expected to make a push.
— New England's fall back options include trading for a QB. pic.twitter.com/G4dxkUQmTh
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 2, 2020
Brady’s “No. 1 priority” is an improved group of offensive weapons, per Rapoport. The Patriots lacked consistent secondary receiving threats behind Julian Edelman and James White and received next to nothing from their tight end trio of Ben Watson, Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo.
Following a pseudo-extension signed last August, Brady made $23 million from the Patriots this season, the eighth-highest salary among quarterbacks. The final two years of his contract automatically will void when the new NFL league year begins March 18, making the 42-year-old a free agent for the first time in his career.
The Patriots currently have just shy of $30 million in salary cap space for the 2020 season, so signing Brady to a deal in that neighborhood would require some finagling. They can increase their cap space through cuts, extensions or restructures.