No, Tom Brady doesn’t need the money. Yes, the contract term that would give him up to $5 million in extra pay on performance is nevertheless important to him, otherwise he wouldn’t have taken the time to add it to his deal.
Through 75 percent of the season, the Patriots quarterback is on pace to reach none of the five incentives that would reward him with $1 million each. The payments hinge on Brady finishing in the top five in passing yards, passing touchdowns, passer rating, completion percentage, and yards per attempt.
Last year, Brady finished in the top five in each category. This year, with Brady down a bit statistically and the best of the rest of the quarterbacks way, way up, he’s currently ninth in passing yards (3,342), fourteenth in passing touchdowns (20), fifteenth in passer rating among starting quarterbacks (96.8), twenty-first in completion percentage among starting quarterbacks (65.9), and eleventh in yards per attempt among starting quarterbacks (7.7).
The extra five million was intended to get Brady’s pay in better line with other quarterbacks, given that he had a salary of $14 million at a time when more and more quarterbacks are approaching and passing $20 million annually. Brady has another $14 million base salary in 2019, the last year of his current contract with the Patriots.
Given that Brady plans to play for four more years, it will be very interesting to see whether and what extent he gets an adjustment or an extension in 2019, especially since he likely will lose the $5 million in extra pay he was due to get this year.