So Tom Brady got a contract extension. Big deal.
Well, yeah — for the three-time Super Bowl winner and for the Patriots.
There’s nothing unusual about one of the game’s best quarterbacks and leaders being coveted by his team. Or being rewarded.
What’s rare is how well the three-year extension works for both Brady and for New England.
First, the two-time NFL Most Valuable Player, despite some perceptions, did not really take a pay cut with this new deal. It might have sounded that way with salaries of $7 million in 2015, $8 million the next year and $9 million in 2017, far below the going rate for superstar QBs.
Instead, Brady gets a $30 million signing bonus, payable over the next three years, and $57 million overall in a contract that will run through the 2017 season, when he will be 40 years old. Other than backups who are little more than insurance policies, how many quarterbacks even make it on to a roster at 40?
Essentially, he gets $33 million guaranteed for the next two seasons, and he’s surely worth it considering that Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and, most likely, Joe Flacco, will earn more in 2013 and ‘14. Add up each of their Super Bowl rings and it adds up to the number Brady owns.
The extension should have little effect on other quarterback deals, particularly Flacco. The Super Bowl MVP is 28, just entering his prime and in line for a huge contract no matter where he winds up. (Bet on Flacco staying in Baltimore).
Of course, Brady has shown no signs of slowing down — look at his stats for 2012, including 34 TD passes and eight interceptions, and a 12-4 record. He’s still at the peak of his skills, and he wants to be surrounded by players at a similar stage of their careers.
To get that, he understood he needed to rework his contract to free up enough salary cap space for New England to sign more difference makers.