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.