What would Tom Brady get, if he pushed for top dollar?

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The Derek Carr contract raises plenty of questions regarding the deals to come for plenty of quarterbacks. But not for Tom Brady.

While the Patriots could find a way to funnel some extra cash to the most underpaid player in the league as a supplement to a current agreement that runs through 2019, Brady never has (and never will) try to break the bank.

But what if he did? What if Brady opted to drive a hard bargain, grabbing every dollar he could get, whether by holding out or playing out his deal and doing the year-to-year franchise-tag game? What could he get from the Patriots, or on the open market?

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe suggested an upper limit of $40 million per during a visit to Thursday’s PFT Live. While that may be a little high, Brady would be making at least $30 million per year.

Brady’s conscious decision not to take the (justifiable) Peyton Manning approach to contract negotiations, which likely arises both from the fact that Mrs. Brady is bringing home plenty of bacon and from Brady’s reluctance to ever be the subject of a dispassionate “are we paying him more than he’s worth?” analysis from Bill Belichick, impacts other quarterbacks. If Brady consistently pressed for the most he could make, chances are that other quarterbacks would be doing better, chasing Brady’s wake to annual averages greater than the brand new high-water mark of $25 million in new money.

Regardless, Brady — and only Brady — has decided not to take full advantage of his own circumstances as a franchise quarterback. Which likely has had something to do with one or more of the five Super Bowl rings he has won, and counting.

64 responses to “What would Tom Brady get, if he pushed for top dollar?

  1. he would get sent to the browns where he would show the world the system made him who he is.

  2. Why would the Patriots pay above market salary for a QB in a system that can win with a high school QB starting? That would make little business sense despite how popular Brady is.

  3. Not a Pats fan by any stretch, but you have to respect Brady for willingly taking less than he’s worth for the good of the team.

    Although, one has to wonder if there isn’t some behind-the-scenes compensation going on (like the Broncos did in the 90s).

    Either way, Brady shouldn’t be the reason other top-tier QBs aren’t getting paid. His situation is clearly different than theirs. No one WANTS less money. Good for Carr, Luck, Flacco, and anyone else coming up who earns that record-setting contract. Chances are they worked their butts off convincing a lot of people that they’re worth a lot of money.

  4. He could get $50 million, but not from the Patriots. Even though he is a force multiplier who makes everyone else on the team better and routinely wins SBs throwing to UDFAs and lacrosse players, Belichick will ice him in a heartbeat if the team could find better overall value elsewhere. That delicate dance of irresistable force vs immovable object is what has kept the team so successful in the parity era. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that Brady makes a killing off endorsements like his current world tour surrounded by an army of Under Armour employees.

  5. Brady — and only Brady — has decided not to take full advantage of his own circumstances as a franchise quarterback. Which likely has had something to do with one or more of the five Super Bowl rings he has won, and counting.

    I think the reasoning here is backwards. It seems more likely to me he’s got those rings because he didn’t take max contracts which allowed the team bring in enough talent to win as consistently as they do.

  6. If Brady pushed for top dollar, he’d likely be able to get a flat 20% of the salary cap. That’s be $33.4 million in 2017, which seems about the market price if Derek Carr is worth $25m, and Brady’s name value to the franchise and position as the greatest player of his generation and arguably of all time mean he’d have all the leverage.

  7. That is because Brady understands it is a team game and you cant win by yourself. Greed is never good. Freeing up cash for other players is his formula although he has been ticked off privately when the team cheaped out over the years and didn’t spend the extra dough on decent receivers. The guy has made do with castoffs his whole career. Alas that is also the winning secret, Bellichick does not put a ball and chain on the team usually with big contracts.

  8. 30-35 million if Carr just got 25 and Stafford is about to push 27-28.

    A very sad state throughout the NFL.

    Who knew Ozzie Newsome’s wild irresponsibility in 2012, would lead the league to this?

  9. Everybody constantly brings up Brady’s smaller-than-it-could-be contract like he’s a saint or something.

    Maybe it has more to do with him knowing he would be cut at some point in a bloodless and cynical cost/benefit decision.

    Getting top dollar in NE is a great way of getting cut the very second you are not performing to that number.

  10. What would Tom Brady get, if he pushed for top dollar?

    That’s easy. A 39-soon-to-be-40 year old QB thinking he deserved top dollar would get cut.

  11. If Tom Brady started holding out for top end sums of money (which he is technically worth) Bill would have traded him, plain and simple. Brady is smart enough to know that and to know his taking SIGNIFICANTLY less money than he is worth gives the team a better chance at winning by spreading that money out elsewhere. They are all working together towards the greater goal of winning, and yeah the fact that he really doesn’t need the money is part of what makes it work, but oh baby it sure does work…

  12. I think people miss the point on the advantages of how he plays his contract cards.

    Brady’s entire brand off the field exists because of winning. In football you can’t win by yourself. He is sacrificing a few million a year for hundreds of millions of life time revenue because he is now the winningest QB of all time.

    He’s not depending on his wife’s money, he’s following in her footsteps on how to create a global personal brand.

    He has a shot to be a billionaire at some point.

    Derek Carr doesn’t. At least not at this point.

  13. It’s just not fair that no other player in the league is willing to do this for their team. So the Patriots get millions in free cap space every year.

  14. Brady isn’t just the greatest QB … he’s the smartest. Others TALK about the importance of the team … Brady ACTS upon it.

    And the results are there for all to see.

    Carr is good; damned good. But if he was SMART…

  15. It’s nice that Brady isn’t forcing the Patriots to break the bank, and put them in a bad situation regarding their salary cap, but how much money do you think Brady gets in his birthday cards from Robert Kraft? Let’s be real, Brady is making what he’s worth, one way or another.

  16. Tom Brady will end up making more money than Peyton Manning will in the long run and you can book that.

    Bob Kraft will find a way to ‘take care’ of the guy that helped make him one of the richest men in America because that’s the kind of guy he is.

    Additionally, Brady could ride the legend status of his career for 20+ more years of endorsement/speaking/broadcasting income.

    It never made sense to me that Manning always commanded top dollar at the determent of roster talent especially on the defensive side of the ball in Indy. It’s totally his right to do so, but the next generation of fans will see 2 rings vs 5 and no matter how you slice it, QB money was the difference…

  17. Every QB is a product of a system. That does not mean Tom Brady isn’t great or Aaron Rodgers isn’t great, but there’s a lot more that goes into every single completed pass than simply the man taking the snap.

    That’s why I find it strange that teams keep signing these QBs to huge deals when they have all of the leverage in the world. Yes, if you have a Carr or a Ryan you don’t want to lose them, but they also know that they’re not going to go to the Jets or the Browns and immediately turn those teams around.

    Teams are bidding against themselves and signal callers are loving it.

  18. Once Brady gets that $100 million deferred payment from Kraft after he retires, we’ll know that the Patriots cheated the salary cap for a decade.

  19. bkostela says:
    Jun 22, 2017 11:19 AM
    Not a Pats fan by any stretch, but you have to respect Brady for willingly taking less than he’s worth for the good of the team.

    Although, one has to wonder if there isn’t some behind-the-scenes compensation going on (like the Broncos did in the 90s).

    Either way, Brady shouldn’t be the reason other top-tier QBs aren’t getting paid. His situation is clearly different than theirs. No one WANTS less money. Good for Carr, Luck, Flacco, and anyone else coming up who earns that record-setting contract. Chances are they worked their butts off convincing a lot of people that they’re worth a lot of money.

    —————————

    Do you honestly believe Brady needs to take “behind the scenes” compensation like what the cheating Elway/Broncos did for 3 seasons in 1995, 1996 and 1997?

    Besides, the Pats are well aware of Goodell’s antics at this point, concocting faux “cheating” scandals that don’t add up on the back end. No way they give Goodell any ammo of any kind.

  20. rogobrothers says:
    Jun 22, 2017 12:24 PM
    No one is bigger than the team.
    ————————————————————–
    Hey? You want to let Devonta Freeman in on that little secret?

  21. It looks like Brady’s pay is not hindering other QBs from raking it in. If Brady demands his market value the others will still look over overpaid.

  22. But if he got 50M per year, other players on the Patriots would get less. So him taking less is both best for his teammates financially, as well as for the the team’s competitiveness.

  23. When you think about it, Brady has taken less in order for team to be able to surround him with a better roster which has allowed him to build his legacy due to the fact that the Patriots always have a strong roster. Also by virtue of playing so many years, his career earnings will still be on a par with his contemporaries even though he never was paid at the top of the QB market. It appears that he’s headed towards being a 20 year veteran of the NFL.

    Peyton Manning, QB — $244.7 million.
    Eli Manning, QB — $187.8 million.
    Tom Brady, QB — $162.8 million.
    Philip Rivers, QB — $151.9 million.
    Drew Brees, QB — $150.5 million.
    Julius Peppers, DE — $148 million.
    Ben Roethlisberger, QB — $140.5 million.
    Carson Palmer, QB — $138.1 million.

    It must suck being Cooper Manning!

  24. Long after Brady has retired, nobody will care which QB was getting paid the most. The discussion on his legacy will only be about championships, performances and records.

    And really – the man has earned almost $200 million in salary alone. He’s done okay.

  25. The whining little insects are swarming around full force today.

    Keep making up things like Brady is being paid under the table or whatever other lies make you feel better about yourselves.

    But that’s all they are, jealous lies.

    His wife makes 50 mil a year. He’s already made something like 250 mi from his NFL pay and endorsements. He doesn’t need anything more than that, especially since his brand will continue to make money and generate endorsements long after he’s out of football.

  26. Tom Brady long ago decided to be a legend in his own lifetime rather than push for more money than his great great grandchildren could ever spend in theirs. The envy, jealousy and ridiculous venom being spouted here only shows just how well he achieved his goal. Trolls don’t lose what little they have left of their minds over the Jay Cutlers and Ryan Tannehills of the game.

    This Dolphins fan respects greatness no matter what uniform it wears. In my lifetime Starr and Staubach have been the best field leaders, Marino was the best pure passer and Montana had the most impressive skill set but Brady may well be the greatest of them all when it comes to what matters most and that’s winning. Brady just wins, whatever it takes. That’s who he is and it’s what he does. I read elsewhere that the Patriots have run 5 separate ‘systems’ in the time he has been their starter (returning to a modified version of an earlier one would really make it 6). What they all have in common is Brady running them and an amazing win percentage. There are only just so many ways to QB an offense but if a new one arises he will make that look easy too. He really is the GOAT, anything else is just noise.

  27. How does anybody know if Kraft gives Brady $15 MIL a year under the table ???

    Or if Brady shows up at 2 non-game ‘events’ (during the season, or off-season), and Kraft gives him 5 or 10 MIL ‘appearance’ money, per event, to make up for it ???

  28. Brady prioritizes winning over money. It’s that simple.

    With an annual salary of $20.5 mill, he isn’t starving either.

    He’s smart.

    -Bills Fan

  29. Salary is a short term view compared to the marketing campaign of the winningest franchise
    QB of all time in retirement .

  30. Brady is already getting paid under the table. He just hasn’t been caught yet.
    Just like Denver and San Francisco back in the day.

  31. finnymcphin says:
    Jun 22, 2017 1:15 PM
    Tom Brady long ago decided to be a legend in his own lifetime rather than push for more money than his great great grandchildren could ever spend in theirs. The envy, jealousy and ridiculous venom being spouted here only shows just how well he achieved his goal. Trolls don’t lose what little they have left of their minds over the Jay Cutlers and Ryan Tannehills of the game.

    This Dolphins fan respects greatness no matter what uniform it wears. In my lifetime Starr and Staubach have been the best field leaders, Marino was the best pure passer and Montana had the most impressive skill set but Brady may well be the greatest of them all when it comes to what matters most and that’s winning. Brady just wins, whatever it takes. That’s who he is and it’s what he does. I read elsewhere that the Patriots have run 5 separate ‘systems’ in the time he has been their starter (returning to a modified version of an earlier one would really make it 6). What they all have in common is Brady running them and an amazing win percentage. There are only just so many ways to QB an offense but if a new one arises he will make that look easy too. He really is the GOAT, anything else is just noise.

    5 1
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    —————

    Thank you for your honesty. Marino was the best pure passer and Montana was great in the pre cap era as well, but clearly, Brady is greatest of all time.

    As for the 5 system comment, I am not sure about that other than considering which particular positions they want to use as the base.

    From 2000-2005 under Weis, it was a 1 or 2 back set with 3 WRs and 1 TE in the Perkins/Erhardt System.

    When Weis left, it was still pretty much that system, but by 2006 McDaniels had Brady in the shotgun a lot more with only 1 RB on the field, many times with empty sets.

    By 2007, it was fully realized with the right personnel, would have been more of the same in 2008 but Brady got hurt, so they scaled it back with more running with Cassel. In 2009, they didn’t have the personnel again, as it was only Moss/Welker that really in rhythm with the offense along with Ben Watson.

    By 2010, it morphed into a true 2 TE set with Gronk/Hernandez as the focal point.

    Since that time, it’s essentially been the case.

    It’s essentially a Ray Perkins/Erhardt —West Coast hybrid, 2 full systems integrated and tweaked week to week with a massive playbook, so they can be a chameleon week to week like their defense is.

  32. Tom Brady and his wife are worth over $600M. He doesn’t need to squeeze for more because he realizes that it’s about winning Super Bowls.
    Interesting to note that Mark Davis has a net worth of about $500M. So he is already wealthier than a current owner.

  33. joetoronto says:
    Jun 22, 2017 11:39 AM
    His age is the game changer, you can’t sign a QB who’s pushing 40 to a mega deal.
    ********************************
    While this is true, he was the same way 10 years ago when he could have pushed for a mega deal.

  34. they’re in it for the ring? well, in it for the ring when it is giftwrapped to them like the last two …sure….who wouldnt be…

    their last two before the gifts, they got their asses beat and two yard tommy was exposed as the overrated qb he has always been…

  35. uglydingo says:
    Jun 22, 2017 1:44 PM
    Tom Brady and his wife are worth over $600M. He doesn’t need to squeeze for more because he realizes that it’s about winning Super Bowls.
    Interesting to note that Mark Davis has a net worth of about $500M. So he is already wealthier than a current owner.

    ————————-

    Brady’s Super Bowls are what drives the net worth.

    The TB12 brand wouldn’t be worth much if he had never won a Super Bowl.

    Keep in mind that George Clooney just sold a tequila company for a billion dollars. What some famous people can do with their brand in the digital age is worth way more than their career earnings much of the time.

  36. davew128 says:
    Jun 22, 2017 2:05 PM
    joetoronto says:
    Jun 22, 2017 11:39 AM
    His age is the game changer, you can’t sign a QB who’s pushing 40 to a mega deal.
    ********************************
    While this is true, he was the same way 10 years ago when he could have pushed for a mega deal.

    0 0
    Report comment

    ——-

    He did. He signed the highest QB deal ever in 2010, under heavy pressure from the union into the 2011 Lockout, to do so.

    In fact, the “cheap” Pats (another lie due to low IQ and jealousy) signed their QB, their NT (Wilfork), their best Guard (Mankins), their best LB (Mayo) and their best WR (A slot WR named Welkie) to the highest paid deals in the entire NFL at those positions.

    NE did their fair share to work well with the union in good faith, heading into the Lockout.

  37. “While the Patriots could find a way to funnel some extra cash to the most underpaid player in the league…”

    Brady only made 8 million in endorsements last year. But it was just enough for Forbes to rank him as the 15th highest-paid athlete in the world for 2016.

    Not 15th highest-paid in NFL football…15th in the world.

    Where do you think that money came from?

  38. If Brady’s goal in taking a lower salary than he could get elsewhere is to collect Super Bowl rings, he could’ve structured his contract around that somehow (as long as I perform to certain stats or better and we fail to make the AFC Championship game, I get MORE money). Him taking less than he’s worth may be great for Pats fans, but it kinda screws over his fellow union members. Now front offices can be like, “well, The GOAT was willing to take less than his market value, so if you want to be in the running for GOAT someday yourself, you should probably take less too… that’s how championships happen!” In that sense he’s actually being selfish, despite appearances. He could just as easily get his full market value and donate whatever part of it he felt was too gaudy to charity, meanwhile raising the boat for all other players. OTOH, maybe he just loves Pats fans, or working with BB, or his ring collection, more than his co-workers.

  39. “He could just as easily get his full market value and donate whatever part of it he felt was too gaudy to charity, meanwhile raising the boat for all other players. OTOH, maybe he just loves Pats fans, or working with BB, or his ring collection, more than his co-workers.”

    His co-workers are guys on his team. He takes less, that leaves more for them. That’s a strange definition of selfish.

    As for other players on other teams, that’s not his concern. And teams can say what they want, they have a minimum level of money to pay out.

  40. Not 15th highest-paid in NFL football…15th in the world.

    Where do you think that money came from?
    ——
    What money? Salary and endorsements? He might have had a bonus payment, which for their purposes would count all in one year.

    Anyway, are you insinuating that he’s so highly paid because of “under the table money”? How would Forbes or whatever know about this money?

  41. A point to consider… $20m likely translates into $10m after taxes. $30 to $15. I am no tax expert, but when we talk about numbers, the numbers need to be analyzed in perspective. Personally, while I believe qb “could ” be the most important player on the field, teams overpay for the fear of missing out.

    That said, who ARE the great quarterbacks in the league? The ones that can out run the defense because the O-line sucks? The ones that can adjust calls at the line based on vision? Strongest arm? most athletic receving core? Dunno. It’s more than the man behind the center.

  42. That’s a strange definition of selfish.

    Is he taking less because he wants his teammates to make more? That would indeed be unselfish. If he’s doing it to burnish his legacy, it not so much… it’s doing an apparently unselfish thing to benefit himself.

    I shouldn’t have said “co-workers”. I meant fellow union members. This applies to all industries. Musicians, for example, who play for “exposure” make paid gigs that much harder to come by. Self-interest though… I get it. I just don’t think it’s perfect. But whatever, doesn’t matter to me. It’s just the frickin’ slow-news off-season.

  43. What everyone fails to realize is that Mr. Brady and Mr. Kraft have a wink-nod arrangement whereby Mr. Brady will end up with partial ownership of the Patriots as a reward for his extremely low salary as a top level QB. This will lead to an investigation by the NFL and will eventually result in the Patriots having to vacate all wins and championships during Brady’s career.

  44. I think Brady is the smartest football player that has ever lived. Do i think Brady is the most gifted player, no I don’t and I beleive it’s not even close, but that last point doesn’t matter in the slightest. Overall Brady has balanced getting paid and being unbelievably successful on the football field.

  45. “What everyone fails to realize is that Mr. Brady and Mr. Kraft have a wink-nod arrangement whereby Mr. Brady will end up with partial ownership of the Patriots as a reward for his extremely low salary as a top level QB. This will lead to an investigation by the NFL and will eventually result in the Patriots having to vacate all wins and championships during Brady’s career.”

    Um. No.

  46. ftomasic1961 says:
    Jun 22, 2017 2:24 PM
    they’re in it for the ring? well, in it for the ring when it is giftwrapped to them like the last two …sure….who wouldnt be…
    their last two before the gifts, they got their asses beat and two yard tommy was exposed as the overrated qb he has always been…

    ——————-

    From ESPN “Tom Brady ranked eighth in the NFL on throws 20 or more yards downfield last season, completing 44 percent, a marked improvement from recent seasons.”

    The decision to throw deep or not throw deep is based on personnel, not Brady’s arm or talent. He will win the best way he can with the tools he has at his disposal. He ran the ball with Corey Dillon in 2004, who ran for 1635 yards while Brady only threw for 3,692 yards and Brady aired it out to Moss in 2007 for best in the league 4806 yards and 50 TDs. He just cares about winning.

  47. fishyinalittledishy says:
    Jun 22, 2017 3:04 PM
    I think Brady is the smartest football player that has ever lived. Do i think Brady is the most gifted player, no I don’t and I beleive it’s not even close, but that last point doesn’t matter in the slightest. Overall Brady has balanced getting paid and being unbelievably successful on the football field.

    ———————-

    It depends what you mean by gifted. He certainly isn’t the most athletically gifted. But he was always a gifted thrower (don’t forget he was drafted by the Expos to pay catcher, which requires an elite arm). He is also gifted with a work ethic that very few people could match in the world. Athlete or not. He’s clearly also gifted from a game processing perspective which is a lot like Wayne Gretzky and Magic Johnson were. Gretzky for example was not the fastest, didn’t have the hardest shot and was too small, but has 1000 more points then the next best player ever. It’s all between the ears. That’s gifted.

  48. According to Spotrac, if Brady plays out this contract he will earn a career total of $227 million. His final season of this contract would be his 20th, averaging out to $11.35 a year. That is one hell of a bargain for a would be 19 year starter.

  49. Please will one of you people who keep on insisting Brady is merely a system QB come up with good explanation as to if it is that simple why no other teams in league have copied it and had success with it. After all if as you claim a High School QB could be successful in the ‘system’ think of all the money a team could save!!!

    I won’t hold my breathe waiting for s sensible response!!!

  50. “It’s the system…It’s the system” waaaaahhhhh

    God you haters just can’t get over your jealousy that your team isn’t the best there ever was.

  51. Robert Kraft is going to continue paying Brady well after he is retired. Kraft will give Brady some sort of title and salary after playing whether anybody is aware of it or not. Frankly he deserves it. They’ve been so good in part to his leaving money on the table to pay for other players. Tom knows it’s best for his longevity and his legacy. If he went for top dollar every year he would have a worse supporting cast around him, loose more games, and possibly get hurt more. Good for him. I still don’t like the Patriots though.

  52. I like the conspiracy theories here is mine :

    TB12 is in fact a Soviet dissident trained by Mossad as a football player and hiding in plain site .
    or
    Mexican cartels own the Patriots and fill balls with flake.

  53. His Greatness has transcended any pay scale. It just doesn’t apply. No use wasting time on it. We will never see anything like it again.

  54. Trust No One says:
    Jun 22, 2017 3:03 PM
    What everyone fails to realize is that Mr. Brady and Mr. Kraft have a wink-nod arrangement whereby Mr. Brady will end up with partial ownership of the Patriots as a reward for his extremely low salary as a top level QB. This will lead to an investigation by the NFL and will eventually result in the Patriots having to vacate all wins and championships during Brady’s career.
    ======
    you win the internet today for stupid.

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