When Tom Brady signed his new contract the other day, it looked like it was going to lock Brady in for the 2019 season and then two more seasons after that. After hearing more reports, it turns out that Brady’s extension is actually not an extension at all. It is simply a pay raise for the 2019 season that will void after the 2019 season.
Before getting too deep into the contract, it is important to note that Brady’s legacy in New England is undeniable, and there isn’t much doubt that both sides want him to finish his career in New England. With that being said, this newest contract is an interesting subject to dive into.
As stated above, it was initially reported that the new agreement would lock Tom up through his age 44 season. This premise obviously excited Patriots fans, and stacked up with Brady’s desire to play until he’s 45 years old. Unfortunately, it will not be that easy to get done with.
The truth of the contract has emerged, and it includes an 8 million dollar pay raise for Brady, with a clause that keeps the Patriots from Franchise Tagging him after this season. The contract was reported as a two-year extension, but it is not that. The Patriots utilized what is called a void clause, which will cause the last two seasons on Brady’s contract to void at the end of the 2019 season allowing Brady to become a Free Agent if he so desires. Another important bit is the fact that the deal does not fall in the category of contracts that cannot be renegotiated before one full calendar year has passed. This is a fluid situation where the two-sides have the freedom to negotiate at any point if they want to. Finally, the new deal will also free up 5.5 million in cap space for the coming 2019 season.
Ultimately, I would not worry if I was a Patriots fan. Brady has long since liked contracts that help the team out, and this is another one of those. This extra cap space can allow them to sign veterans who may be cut by other teams, or to trade for a player they otherwise may not have been able to afford. This will for sure help the team for the upcoming season, and there is no reason to believe Brady would ever want to entertain playing elsewhere. I also would not even put it past Brady, Kraft and Bill to have a *wink, wink* type of agreement, where they are simply going one year at a time to maximize the salary cap in the best way. The Patriots and Brady are seeming to be on this year to year basis at this point, and the true reality is that they are in uncharted waters like Brady said himself. There has never been a 42-year-old Quarterback playing this well, and winning this much. While this is not a bad thing by any stretch, it makes for an interesting situation surrounding contracts, that the Patriots have chosen to handle one season at a time.
Obviously, hearing the words “Tom Brady” and “Free Agency” in the same sentence can be daunting, and that much is understandable. On the flip side, the QB is coming off another Super Bowl victory, and knows his best chance to keep playing and keep winning lies in New England. For a little perspective, Drew Brees has the exact same contract and void clause with the Saints, and you haven’t heard their fans panicking about it or even talking about it. When both sides want to keep working together, it is most likely that they will find a way to continue to do so. It seems that is the case here and that will be the theme to prevail in the end. Per usual, Tom said exactly what many Patriots fans have been thinking themselves; “It is what it is.”
Photo: Charles Krupa/Associated Press