After the terms were released of the restructured deal that Tom Brady recently signed with the New England Patriots, some looked at the time when the guaranteed money would finish being paid to Brady and wondered if that was when the Patriots and Brady would renegotiate again. Brady is set to make $33 million under the new, five-year deal worth $57 million overall, so a significant chunk of it is guaranteed. That guaranteed money helps offset the meager $3 million base salary over the next two seasons, but the guaranteed pay ends after the 2015 season (2016 and 2017 are not guaranteed).
That creative math and cap control done by the New England Patriots was a stroke of genius, as they allocated some of Brady’s base salary funds (the majority of it, really) towards guaranteed money in order to help reduce his cap hit and make re-signing key free agents, most namely Wes Welker, more achievable.
But make no mistake, this deal is not simply a facade. As Peter King writes in his excellent Monday Morning QB column on Sports Illustrated, there is no need to be skeptical. In this piece, King looks at Brady’s new contract (as well as Joe Flacco‘s), and I would like to share a key quote from Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“No, no, no. This is a real deal. Look at our track record. We don’t do fake deals. The contract we have with Tom Brady is a real contract we will both live by.”
So yeah, let’s quit the speculation and also remember that $57 million over five years is $57 million over five years. For those of you stating that Brady will make far too much money per his age, I implore you to take a look at Peyton Manning‘s contract and his age. I’m not trying to stain Manning or anything (he is an incredible person, based on a story a friend of mine told me recently), but the point is that Brady did take one for the team. He could have made a lot more than $12 million per year if he wanted to, but Brady is showing why there is a “Patriot Way” and that he is the epitome of a team player.
There will be no re-restructuring; Kraft, the Patriots, and Tom Brady will be honoring this deal. Based on what I know about this organization, the owner running it, and the quarterback responsible for most of its success, I am going to believe it no matter if even more speculation and criticism flies around.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.