The New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady reached a new contract agreement earlier this week.
The new deal guarantees the future Hall-of-Famer a larger bonus, but the Patriots have more cap space to work with which is something several teams might now expect from their quarterbacks.
Brady’s new contract is for five years, $57 million. The quarterback will receive $30 million of his contract through signing bonus payments over his first three seasons, according to RotoWorld.com.
This means even if he never plays another down because of injury or any other reason, the Patriots will owe Brady $30 million. The contract expires after the 2017 season, and the quarterback will be 40 years old.
Whether or not fans look at Brady as an unselfish teammate or as scourge looking for more guaranteed money, the fact remains this new deal gives the Patriots more than $23 million in cap space. The additional money will likely be used to improve a weak secondary that ranked 29th in passing yards allowed in 2012. The money could also help the offense add another weapon at receiver.
Also in contract negotiations this week was Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Although a slightly different circumstance, Big Ben and the Steelers agreed to a new deal that frees up $6 million in cap space. Linebacker Lawrence Timmons and receiver Antonio Brown also agreed to new contracts which gives Pittsburgh $14 million more in cap room.
Unlike in New England’s case, Pittsburgh was reworking several contracts because the team was over the salary cap. Still, Brady’s new deal and Roethlisberger following suit will mean a lot to other quarterbacks looking for big contracts around the league.
The most notable free agent quarterback this offseason won the Super Bowl MVP, Baltimore's Joe Flacco. But Flacco’s representation does not believe Brady’s contract will affect his client’s negotiations.
“The bottom line is, whether Brady took a pay cut or took $27 million a year, it wouldn’t have an impact on what we’re doing,” said Flacco’s representative Joe Linta, according to RotoWorld.
That statement might leave some fans scratching their heads. Quarterbacks Drew Brees’ and Peyton Manning’s big contracts from last offseason are most likely affecting what Joe Flacco wants in his deal. So Brady’s contract should have the same impact. In order to figure out how much one’s worth, one compares himself to the market. That’s how it works in any business.
Of course, Brady is worth much more than the $1 million base salary he will earn in 2013. But he and Roethlisberger, who have already won multiple championships, are putting their team first. Brees and Manning, who have each won only one championship, chose the big money.
What will it be for the Super Bowl MVP? Take less money to give his team a greater chance to win multiple championships or the bigger contract.