Tom Brady isn’t one to cause a ruckus with his team through the media. He’ll leave that to others who feel a need to air their dirty laundry in public. Yet, Brady has every reason to up the pressure in negotiations with the team as he enters the final year of his contract.
Brady has built a reputation fro being the ultimate team player, even sacrificing some of his own personal financial well being in order for the organization to sign other key players. Brady has carried the team-first attitude since arriving as a sixth-round pick out of Michigan.
The three-time Super Bowl champion is not on this year’s list of top 50 paid athletes, according to a recent Sports Illustrated article. Despite leading his team to the playoffs every year but one, Brady isn’t even among the top three paid players at his position.
Negotiations over a new deal for the Patriots leader have been quiet. Though progress has been slow – perhaps too slow -- ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that progress is indeed being made. Sources told Schefter that a deal might be consummated this summer despite lack of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. If accurate, that’s good news for New England.
The team has already resolved one contentious contract negotiation with All Pro defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, and is in the middle of another with All Pro offensive lineman Logan Mankins. Both Wilfork and Mankins became visibly frustrated at the progress – or lack thereof – in negotiations. While Wilfork’s deal is done, the team isn’t building a reputation for expeditious resolution in these matters.
Brady is just one of the high profile quarterbacks in a contract year. Indianapolis Colts leader Peyton Manning is also in the final year of his contract. The Colts have publicly stated that Manning will get a new deal, one that will keep him in Indy for the rest of his career. One that will make him the highest paid at his position.
Brady may not become the highest paid quarterback in the league with his next deal, but he should land in the top 3, alongside Manning. Brady’s base salary is $3.5 million and he was paid a $3 million roster bonus already according to Caplan.
With players like Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick receiving contracts worth over $100 million, Brady can (and should) expect to be well compensated. Matt Stafford, last year’s top pick, received a six-year deal worth $72 million ($78 with incentives) and close to $42 million guaranteed. By comparison, Sam Bradford – this year’s top pick in the Draft – is looking at a contract which would pay him in the area of $45-50 million guaranteed.
Patriots camp opens this week. New contract or not, Brady will be there, just like he’s been since he joined the team.