For many of us, Friday is payday. For one of us in particular, the most recent Friday included a significant paycheck.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady got $14 million, the second installment of a $28 million signing bonus earned last year as part of his latest contract extension.
Brady’s salary for 2017 is a paltry $1 million, but bonus payments put his cap number at $14 million.
In 2018, Brady has a salary of $14 million and a cap number of $22 million. He can make another $1 million in per-game roster bonuses. For 2019, the same terms apply.
Brady still remains underpaid, but at his own volition. He consistently has taken less than he could get, if he wanted to push it as aggressively as he could. Instead, Brady has left millions on the table in order to ensure that the Patriots will have the cash and cap space to put a quality team around him.
Five Super Bowl rings and a legacy that has him regarded as the best quarterback of all time would suggest that he made the right decision. It remains to be seen whether any other franchise quarterback ever makes that same gamble, and if so whether it pays off.