[Editor’s note, 9:37 a.m. ET: The following story was based on an article published by the Boston Herald. The Herald has since retracted the story without explanation. Apparently, the retraction happened because the source for the story was a prankster who was pretending to be Tom Brady‘s agent, Don Yee. Multiple other stories at ProFootballTalk.com address the situation, which as of this update continues to develop and evolve.]
The GOAT wants to get paid accordingly. Reportedly.
Ron Borges of the Boston Herald reports that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has decided to get compensated in a way that he never really has. Citing unnamed “sources close to” Brady, he is “ready to sit out all of this year’s offseason organized team activities unless he receives a contract extension that carries with it up-front money similar to what his former protege, Jimmy Garoppolo, will receive from the San Francisco 49ers.”
It’s unclear what “up-front money” means. Signing bonus? Full guarantees at signing? Something else?
Brady currently is due to make $14 million in 2018 and 2019, the final two years of his current deal. He consistently has gotten new contracts that trigger praise for “taking less” while always getting plenty of “up-front money.” His latest contract, signed in 2016, paid him $28 million to sign. The contract before that one paid $30 million to sign.
He’s never had to make a power play to get paid, and it’s odd to think that Brady already has drawn a line in the sand, only five days after Super Bowl LII, about his next contract. Besides, if he’s going to make a power play, wouldn’t it be much better to say he’ll simply retire?
Some in league circles believe that Brady made that threat in order to ensure that the Patriots keep offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Borges hints at dynamic, writing that McDaniels’ retention “was in part orchestrated by Brady’s insistence he be retained as head coach-in-waiting.”
Here’s the other thing that doesn’t make sense here. It hasn’t been all that long since Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com painted a picture of the Brady-Garoppolo relationship that had everything but a mirror, mirror on the wall. Brady would confirm the notion that he had a bizarre obsession with Garoppolo if Garoppolo’s contract suddenly sparked Brady, who consistently takes less, to suddenly want more — and to use Garoppolo’s deal as the comparison.
Borges may eventually be able to say “I was right” on this one because the Patriots are likely to give Brady a new deal before the starts of OTAs. And there surely will be a way to interpret the details of the two deals and argue that Brady indeed got “up-front money similar” to Garoppolo, since Brady already may have twice gotten “up-front money” as good or better than Garoppolo’s new deal. Still, it seems like a bit of a stretch to think that Brady would specifically demand to be paid like any other quarterback, since he’s never taken that position a single time in his 18-year career, regardless of who at any given money was getting paid more than him.
UPDATE 7:00 a.m. ET: Um. Yeah.
UPDATE 8:12 a.m. ET: Here’s more on the situation. Borges apparently was duped.