Tom Brady: Deal or No Deal?

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick

Brady and Belichick celebrate after a 2009 victory against the Jaguars.

The mainstream Patriots media has been all aflutter about the supposed “disconnect” between the Patriots front office and Tom Brady’s camp, including agents Donald Yee and Steve Dubin.

Now while the Patriots have let players walk before, see Asante Samuel and Ty Law, recently Bill Belichick and company have been very successful in holding onto players that find valuable.  Leigh Bodden and Vince Wilfork both got fair-market deals this year, as well as Ty Warren, Kevin Faulk, and James Sanders recently.

That said, Tom Brady is truly in a different category than any of the players listed above.  The difference between him and his imminent replacement, in this case Brian Hoyer, is more disparate than any other position on the Patriots.  This places the leverage squarely in the hands of Brady, which he has carried softly in the past.

Tom Brady will be 33 years old at the start of the 2010 NFL season, and arguably has another three to five good years in him.  It seems like a three year deal makes sense for both the player and team, keeping future options open.  The money will be a little harder to calculate.

If you average the cap-numbers of the five highest paid quarterbacks in 2009, you end up with just over $16 million dollars.  Brady will earn $3.5 million dollars in 2010, excluding any off-season bonuses ($3 million Roster Bonus) and prorated amounts from earlier signing/option bonuses.  He is probably looking for, and definitely deserves, a healthy raise from that figure — especially considering that Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and other lesser NFL signal-callers are making more than twice that in some cases.

We would propose that the Patriots offer Brady a three year contract, worth $7, $8, and $9 million respectively in base salary.  Add on a $26 million dollar signing bonus and you end up with a 3-year deal for $50 million dollars. That places Brady’s average at just under $17 million, which is right where he should be – at the top of the heap of NFL quarterbacks.

What do you say? Deal or No Deal?

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One Response to “Tom Brady: Deal or No Deal?”

  1. Jared says:

    I think Bradys’ agents would like the deal more than the Patriots would. 20 million dollar bonus on a three year deal is a big-time bonus(even if it is salary cap friendly). I say something like $8.33 million/year, with a $15 million dollar bonus-making the deal worth about $40 million. I know it makes sense to say that both parties are waiting for the Manning chip to fall…but I think Manning will end up getting more money & more years from Indy. Brady beeing underpayed isn’t fresh news, its old. They could have him for the next two seasons under contract without signing a new deal, if the franchise tag is there and they use it-hopefully it doesn’t come to that. You can’t tell what BB & company are thinking because they play the waiting game with ALL of their big contract guys now. It used to say mean they weren’t going to sign the player (Branch,Asante), but then there was a big wait for Vince, but he got paid. So who nows, I believe Robert Kraft when he says Brady is going to be here in the future. before the Pats blew my mind with the Wilfork deal, I would have definately said Brady will stay underpayed…now, who knows, i think the deal could be anywhere between 3 yrs/$35 million – 5 yrs/$75 million… but it will get done.

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