The new contract extension Tom Brady signed with the New England Patriots means more than prosperity for him until 2017, but also has a serious effect on the ability of the Pats to remain competitive for top free agents in the next couple of seasons, while also changing the negotiation status for players like Tony Romo and Joe Flacco.
Tom Brady was signed until the end of the 2014 season on a contract worth $72 million for four years, with $48.5 million of it guaranteed. With his continuing to be among the highest in the NFL, and no apparent health problems affecting him, the Patriots made a move to keep the future hall-of-fame quarterback with them until 2017, while clearing some cap space for future moves, giving Brady $27 million until 2017 on a three year extension.
Yes, Brady took a discount and left some money on the table, but he knows it’s for the sake of staying relative in the hunt for the fourth Super Bowl ring, after building the team around him, instead of him just being another piece in the puzzle like during the earlier years of success, not living up to expectations.
The deal clears about $15 million in cap space for 2013, and although pending on other transactions the Patriots make, it will help them clear $30 million for the next two off-season periods. More specifically, it helps the Patriots get some more space to use on Wes Welker, as things didn’t look too good between the sides recently, but with more salary to offer Welker, a multi-year deal can be reached, with the same going for Sebastian Vollmer and possibly Aqib Talib. Meanwhile, the Patriots are hoping to try and get a deep-threat wide receiver and possibly some help to their secondary in the free agency period.
The Brady deal does have some sort of effect outside the Patriots as well. With Joe Flacco trying to become the highest paid quarterback in the NFL, and Tony Romo also about to enter a contract renegotiation period with the Dallas Cowboys, the way Brady left money on the table for the good of the team might have an impact on those contracts as well.