Thoughts on the Tom Brady Restructure with Patriots

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According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Mike Reiss Tom Brady resturctured his contract with the Patriots to convert his guarantees from skill, injury, and cap to injury only in exchange for an extra $1 million per year. This is not really a salary cap maneuver but simply a move made to improve the cash situation of the Patriots next year.

Teams that have a skill guarantee with a player prior to the season will be required to set aside that money such that it is guaranteed to be covered in the event the player is terminated from his contract. For the Patriots that meant in March they would have to deposit $24 million, Brady’s full guarantee, in an account that they could not touch. Once converted to injury only the Patriots are not required to deposit the money unless Brady was so injured that the injury guarantee could kick in. This is one of the reasons some teams will use vesting guarantees in a contract when the guarantees seem as if they are fully guaranteed upon signing.

Brady’s actual salary this year was set to be $7 million and it will now increase to $8 million, so the real cash flow gain for the season by the Patriots is going to be $16 million rather than the $24 million being reported. Based on the reports this move will reduce New Englands available cap space next year by $1 million. For Brady this is a no risk restructure as he would likely earn at least what he gave up if he was released and put on the open market.

Brady’s relationship with the Patriots is one of the most interesting dynamics in all of sports. His willingness to do these things almost creates an unfair advantage as no other high end QB has ever played ball to this level with a team.  Brady’s initial $24 million extension was signed at a time when he would have likely commanded between $55 and $60 million over the same timeframe on a regular contract extension.

Brady’s $8 million salary in 2015 ranks 17th in the NFL, a ranking that will fall further once quarterbacks are extended and other drafted in the top 5. His cap charge of $14 million also ranks 17th. Meanwhile his closest contemporaries of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tony Romo will carry cap charges of $21.5, $26.4, and $27.7 million and actual salaries of $19, $19 and $17 million. There is likely no other player in the NFL that would work with a team in this manner and the Patriots should be thankful for having a player like Brady.

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  • TheeLidman

    I’m not saying Brady doesn’t give up something to insure his team can have cap flexibility. First, I would wonder why, outside of this year, NE has squandered that available space. To me, it’s a real knock against Belechick for not getting the necessary pieces to win another SB. The second thing we should all remember: Brady’s wife is worth $300+mm, and makes more money than he does (annually). Between them, they are worth close to 1/2 billion dollars. So, Brady giving up 5-6mm/year for 2-4yrs, is a lot different than most guys.

    • icerob

      Maybe a little different, but not a lot. You imply that he has enough money while the others do not. But how much is enough? For some, it would seem no amount is enough. But from my perspective, they all have enough. Brady is different because he does not have an insatiable appetite for money -or for the ego that comes from getting paid more than others.

      • TheeLidman

        How do you know that? Do you know him personally? Maybe you do (not begin sarcastic). But, go down the list of the guys who ‘don’t give up money’, to the extent he has (they all work with their teams). Sure, all those guy have $80-130mm in contracts..so, no they don’t ‘need the money’. However, there is a big difference between $100mm net worth and $500mm net worth. My only point is because of his own financial situation, Brady likely doesn’t look at the money the same way. He’s a great team player and I’m not trying to disparage him. It’s just a counter point.

        • icerob

          I don’t, but neither do you. My point is that no matter how rich people are (and I’m talking about people whose net worth is much more than Brady) going after the money becomes a habit. Satisfaction is a rare thing. It’s pretty much the same as winning Super Bowls. When you have none you think five is enough; when you have five you want ten.

          • TheeLidman

            Fair enough…I will go back to one of my original points though…everyone lauds Belechick’s genius, yet this guy gets top 5 QB play and doesn’t pay top 5 QB prices..sure they win the division , but recent playoff failures certainly illustrate he’s not necessarily the best talent gatherer.

          • icerob

            Agreed, that seems to be his weak spot. Brady’s talent plus cap number (not to mention Belichik’s abilities in other things) are a huge advantage and they haven’t reflected that on the ring category as they should have. The near-perfect season comes to mind.

          • Dan Kunze

            I think you guys are holding Belichick up to a standard of perfection, rather than to a standard of what is successful in the NFL. Being a Bear fan, I would kill to have all of those playoff failures.

      • McGeorge

        I think Brady is ultra competitive, and winning means a lot to him. I assume he’s thought about this, and to him having XXX millions, and a chance at 2 more Super Bowls is worth more than XXX+30MM, with XXX being in excess of 300MM.

        300MM vs 330 MM, or something like that, vs having a chance at a few more Super Bowls (like this year). I think the Pats have a good shot at a super bowl win this year. That may be worth 10MM to Brady.

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