Tom Brady signed a two-year contract on Friday, with a base value of $50 million. All of it becomes fully guaranteed within three days after signing.
But the deal has no signing bonus. That’s consistent with Tampa Bay’s usual approach to free-agent contracts, given that cash flow in the offseason is very different from what it is when the cash is flowing from the ticket office and the TV networks.
And that gives Brady flexibility in the event that he decides to call it quits after one year. He’d have no repayment obligation of any kind, walking away with $25 million for one year — the same that Philip Rivers will get in Indianapolis. (All due respect to Rivers, but the Bucs got a bargain.)
The base deal is simple. Brady has a salary of $15 million each year, and a roster bonus of $10 million each year.
Brady can make another $9 million in incentives, earning up to $2.25 million each year if he’s in the top five in passer rating, passing touchdowns, passing yards, completion percentage, average yards per pass. Brady can earn up to another $2.25 million per year for incentives based on qualifying for the playoffs, playoffs plus playing time, and Super Bowl plus playing time.
So to get the full $59 million, the Bucs will have perform at a much higher level than he has the past two years, and he’ll have to make it to the Super Bowl in each of the next two years.
If that happens, Brady will have earned a hell of a lot more than $59 million.