The Truth About Tom Brady's New Contract (with Special Guest Star Matt Schaub!)
|Gisele Bundchen: It's fun being rich.|
So now, perhaps this would make you say "Well, Sean, then Tom Brady's deal is actually a LOT like those guaranteed NBA and MLB contracts, huh?" And I would say, sort of. But there's more....
3. Make no mistake, Brady's three-year extension from 2015 through 2017 serves two main purposes, and neither of them is to give the Patriots a "home town deal" from 2015 through 2017
First, from a functional standpoint, because the NFL salary cap allows teams to spread signing bonus money out prorated over the life of a contract, the years 2015 through 2017, first and foremost, serve as a placeholder for the pro-rata portion of the aforementioned $30 million that Tom Brady is getting paid in signing bonus money these next two years.
Second, because it is virtually guaranteed, the three-year extension establishes a floor for Brady's compensation from 2015 through 2017, and more importantly establishes a golden parachute in the event he is catastrophically injured at any time during the life of the contract.
In other words, of all the things that the last three years of Brady's deal are expected to do, making sure he gets paid half of his market value salary-wise out of the kindness of his heart is at the very bottom of that list, and I would argue that it's not on the list at all. So, to that end....
4. If you want to bet with me right now that Matt Schaub will make more money than Tom Brady in 2015 and/or 2016, I'll be happy to take your action.
And I guess this is where I say, I'm looking right at you, Jay Lee of the Houston Chronicle! On paper, as of this moment, Matt Schaub is slated to make salaries of $12.5 million in 2015 and $14.5 million in 2016. More importantly, his cap figure for those two seasons is set to be $17 million and $19 million, respectively.
And MOST importantly, Schaub is not guaranteed a dime of that 2015 and 2016 money, and barring a Schaub-led Super Bowl victory by the Texans over the next two years, he has zero chance of seeing all of that money in either of those years, in my opinion. Might he see some of it as the Texans quarterback going forward in 2015 and beyond? Maybe. But he'll be 34 heading into the 2015 season so Schaub's not being back at all after 2014 is certainly a possibility, depending on how these next two years go.
In my mind, Brady's salaries are no less a moving target than Schaub's in 2015 and beyond, they're just potentially moving in a different direction. Whereas Schaub's salary figures represent ridiculously high ceilings (like Sistine Chapel high), Brady's 2015-through-2017 salary figures are baseline floors that can be raised or supplemented with more bonus money come 2015, especially if the salary cap goes up at any point over that time.
There are reasons, I suppose, to think that Brady will just live with his $24 million income over those three seasons. After all, he doesn't really need the money. He himself is worth well over nine figures, and his wife is the highest paid supermodel in the world. Together, they are the third highest paid celebrity couple on earth, behind Jay-Z/Beyonce and Mariah Carey/Nick Cannon.
But he didn't really need the money this week when he reworked/extended his contract to make the deal more cap friendly. And yet that deal also became more "Brady friendly" for the next two years.
The three years after that were signed for around what career backup Matt Flynn signed for in Seattle. I mean, if you're Tom Brady, there are "home town" deals, sure. But less than half market value? Matt Flynn dollars?
Tom Brady is, by all accounts, a great teammate, a fierce competitor, and inarguably one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Maybe the greatest quarterback of all time.
Let's just wait until we get to the 2015 offseason and see what happens with those next three years before we start canonizing him as some sort of selfless football philanthropist.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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