While it’s not exactly breaking news that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is due a $3 million roster bonus this offseason, ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss correctly points out that the bonus’ presence in Brady’s deal could expedite long-term contract negotiations.
Reiss notes that the bonus is due on March 5. Rather than make Brady the large payment and sign him to a new deal later on, the Patriots could make the five-time Pro Bowler a multi-year offer before the start of the league year and avoid paying the bonus altogether.
The sides could also push back the bonus closer to the start of training camp if the Patriots decide they would prefer to focus on free agency.
Brady’s 2009 season has been considered a disappointment in some circles, but his numbers were some of the best of his career, behind his monster 2007 campaign. Brady turns 33 before next season, and there’s no question that the Patriots want to make sure he finishes his career in New England.
In addition to the roster bonus, Brady is due a $3.5 million salary in 2010. He has been one of the league’s most underpaid players several years running.