If the angel in Tom Brady’s new contract arises from the cap savings over the next two years, the devil resides squarely in the details.
At a time when Brady is being heralded for taking less money via a three-year, $27 million extension, league insiders can’t wait to see whether and to what extent Brady takes less money over the two remaining years of the four-year extension he signed before the lockout.
Though we’ve yet to get our eyes on the numbers, we’re confident in making this guarantee: There’s no way he took less in 2013 or 2014.
Yes, the cap numbers are lower by $15 million. But that doesn’t mean he reduced his base salary or other compensation.
Instead, it appears that Brady has actually picked up an extra $3 million via the signing bonus paid now as part of his three-year extension. He also has likely had a large amount of his base salary for the next two years converted to a guaranteed payment, which allows cap dollars to be pushed to future years.
So did he take less this year or next year? No way. Will he take less in 2015, 2016, or 2017? We’ll see.
If the cap goes up enough in 2015, maybe he’ll get a new deal in 2015. If he wins the NFL or Super Bowl MVP after the 2014 season, maybe he’ll get a new deal in 2015.
For now, adding three years gives the Pats more room to operate, at a time when other teams are trying to decide which veterans they can afford to throw overboard in order to get under the cap. It couldn’t have happened for the Pats without adding three years to his deal. And it will now be easier to get other players to take less via the perception that Brady is.
Even if, you know, he isn’t in 2013 or 2014.