Tom Brady’s current contract runs through the 2019 season, when he’ll be 42 years old. But as Brady talks about playing into his mid-40s, or maybe longer, there’s already talk of a contract extension.
Brady and the Patriots have expressed mutual interest in a new contract and have had “very early” talks, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
That shouldn’t be a surprise. Brady and Patriots owner Robert Kraft have consistently agreed to new deals well before Brady hit free agency. There’s surely interest from both sides in keeping things going for the foreseeable future.
Brady has a cap hit of $14 million in 2017 and cap hits of $22 million in 2018 and 2019. Those are affordable numbers for a franchise quarterback, especially when the Patriots are as good as anyone in the NFL at managing their cap. But it could make sense for both sides for Brady to extend his deal with a signing bonus that can be prorated into the future and give the Patriots short-term cap relief. If the Patriots keep taking that approach, they may find themselves in a position where Brady ends up having a huge cap hit the year after he retires, but by that point the Patriots will figure that one year of cap pain is well worth the many years they had Tom Brady on their roster at an affordable price.
If Kraft and Bill Belichick are as confident as Brady is that Brady can keep playing well into his 40s, it makes sense to lock him up well into his 40s.