September 17, 2010
In 2009, it apparently made a lot more financial sense to find oneself on runways and magazine covers than on football fields, putting up huge numbers. That's what New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady(notes) learned the hard way. According to Forbes.com, Brady's wife, model Gisele Bundchen, made approximately $25 million in a year (June 2009 to June 2010) that included the birth of the couple's first child. This income came from several product campaigns, a skin-care line, and a very successful line of sandals, despite the continued reduction in income for the magazine-publishing industry. Being recession-proof is quite an accomplishment these days, but Bundchen appears to have found the answer.
In that same year, Brady made a grand total of $5 million in base salary. He was set to make just $3.5 million base in 2010, but the New England Patriots finally came through with the contract that Brady had long deserved, signing the three-time Super Bowl champion to a five-year, $78.5 million contact on Sept. 9. With $38.5 million guaranteed and a $16 million signing bonus, Brady not only insured that he'll retire a Patriot, but that he'd be on at least an even standing with his wildly successful wife.
[Related: Tom Brady ties a Joe Montana record]
According to Pro Football Talk, Brady will earn a total of $30 million in 2010 alone: the $16 million signing bonus, a $7 million base salary, and a $3 million roster bonus that carried over from the previous contract and hit the books on the first day of the league year. He also got a $4 million salary advance, which seems a bit humorous given the sheer rotundness of his bank balance when he signed that new deal.
We're hopefully past the point where it matters which gender brings home most of the bacon (then again, until the Ines Sainz story broke, I thought we were past the whole "Dur ... no wimmen in da locker room!" concept as well), but it just goes to show how overdue Brady was for this kind of compensation, and how well he handled it. The financial disparity in his family had been public knowledge for quite some time, and your average locker room isn't exactly a breeding ground for sensitivity and enlightenment when it comes to things like this. Brady probably got his share of flak about this from players who had more money coming to them and hadn't done as much in the league.
In this case, good things came to he who waited, and Brady waited the right way.
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