Terra’s Take on Tom Brady and the Patriots
Earlier this week, Tom Brady gave the New England Patriots the gift that they wanted but couldn’t ask for.
Brady restructured his deal and freed up $24 million for the Patriots to use this upcoming offseason. Usually when these contracts are renegotiated, the guaranteed money gets split over a couple of years; very rarely does it disappear.
The way that Brady’s contract was written, the Patriots owed him the final $24 million dollars in his deal ($7 million for 2015, $8 million for 2016 and $9 million for 2017). Because this money was all guaranteed, the Patriots would have had to keep that money set aside in the event they cut him. Now the money is an injury guarantee, which means the Patriots don’t need to set this money aside and it is no longer guaranteed.
This is a huge risk for Brady as the Patriots no longer face any penalty for cutting him. Brady is clearly closer to the end of his career than he is to the beginning, and nothing speaks to this more to that than the fact that the Patriots drafted a quarterback in the second round of the last draft. At 37, it is only logical to keep an eye on the future, especially in a sport like football where hard hits can take a toll on a body over time.
If Brady does stick around with the Patriots, he will get a $1 million boost each year. This way if Brady continues to play at the high level he played at this season he gets more money. The guaranteed money doesn’t mean a lot for Brady as he is married to the world’s highest paid super model in Gisele Bundchen who pulls in around $47 million a year.
This isn’t the first time that Brady has reworked his deal to help out the Patriots financially. Brady reworked his deal in 2012 in hopes that the Patriots would re-sign his favorite target, Wes Welker. Welker instead joined the Denver Broncos and Brady wasn’t too happy with the Patriots after that. People in New England began wondering if Brady would actually play for such little money, and it looks like he will.
With this extra $24 million in money, the Patriots will be able to use that to re-sign some key members of their team. Running back Shane Vereen is a free agent, as is offensive lineman Nate Solder, kicker Stephen Gostkowski and safety Devin McCourty.
Perhaps the biggest name that the money should be going to is cornerback Darrelle Revis. Revis is owed $25 million next season if his contract isn’t renegotiated or he is cut, which makes him an unrestricted free agent.
Revis has done so much to change this Patriots defense. He may not have the stats like some of the other cornerbacks in the league, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t the best at his position. It’s hard to intercept balls when they aren’t being thrown towards you.
Revis and the Patriots went through a gauntlet of great wide receivers and look at what some of them did with Revis covering most of the time.
Name: Catches/Targets, yards, touchdowns.
AJ Green: 5/7, 81 yds. 1 TD.
Brandon Marshall, 3/10, 35 yds. 0 TD.
TY Hilton: 3/7, 24 yds. 0 TD.
Calvin Johnson: 4/10, 58 yds. 0 TD.
Jordy Nelson: 2/6, 53 yds. 1 TD.
Malcolm Floyd: 3/6, 54 yds. 1 TD.
The other thing that the Patriots could do with this money is attempt to bring in some of the big name free agents that are hitting the market. Wide receivers Randall Cobb, Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant as well as tight end Julius Thomas are available (could you imagine a two tight end package with Gronkowski and Thomas?). If the Patriots wanted to continue rebuilding on defense, Jason Pierre-Paul, Gerald McCoy and Justin Houston are set to be free agents as well. It’s safe to say that the money will be put to good use.
The New England Patriots have to be so thankful for the fact that they have Tom Brady. Not only because he won them three Super Bowls and got them to another two, but because he may be one of the nicest guys in existence. Very few players will give up guaranteed money not once, but twice–especially when it is millions of dollars.
Tom Brady trusted the Patriots once to surround him with the talent and they didn’t do it. Now we will see what happens this time.