Due to his current contract status, Tom Bradywill not be a happy training-camper this Sunday. However, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Brady might not be a training-camper at all, stating that “Tom Brady has 3 Super Bowl rings; Patriots were near bottom in payroll last year; the ‘take 1 for the team’ isn’t flying well anymore.”
The fact that the Patriots were near the bottom in payroll in 2009 is misleading. They spent almost 100% of the available salary-cap, but didn’t have as many bonuses as other teams. The myth of the Patriots’ unwillingness to spend money has been severely undermined by the Wilfork and Bodden signings.
That said, Tom Brady is obviously underpaid. Depending on how/when you count bonuses, Brady will take home either $3.5 or $6.5 million dollars in 2010. Mortensen expects Brady’s eventual new deal to pay him about $20 million on average, about $3 million more than we first postulated a couple months ago.
Will the Patriots patience in this matter ultimately cost them? A long holdout isn’t in anyone’s best interests, but if significant progress isn’t made in the next few days, the thought might cross Brady’s mind. Eventually, we see cooler heads prevailing and #12 in camp on time, ready to go for his favorite ring – “the next one.”