Bucs get creative with Tom Brady contract

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Mike Florio
·2 min read
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After plenty of confusion regarding the new deal signed by Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, the details show some real creativity by the defending Super Bowl champions.

Albert Breer of SI.com has posted the full numbers, and PFT has confirmed that they are accurate. (Accuracy of reported contract numbers is hardly automatic these days, given that many are simply rushing to Twitter with whatever they’re told, without asking questions or listening to that little voice that suggests something may be amiss.)

Brady gets a $20 million signing bonus. However, $15 million won’t be paid until 2022. Brady also gets a $20 million roster bonus this month, along with a minimum salary of $1.075 million.

That’s a total of $41.075 million in 2021 earnings, with $26.075 million actually paid in 2021. (In contrast, Dak Prescott both will earn and be paid $75 million this year.)

In 2022, Brady will earn a base salary of $8.925 million — barring another raise, which is likely inevitable if the Bucs in another Super Bowl or get close to it. He’ll be paid $23.925 million in 2022.

The deal also has $9 million in performance and playoff incentives, with a schedule of extra payments each year that is identical to the amounts he earned in 2020 for winning the Super Bowl (ultimately, $2.25 million). The deal also pays $562,500 if Brady finishes in the top five in each of various categories: passer rating, touchdown passes (or if he has 25 or more), passing yards, completion percentage, or yards per attempt. (To earn the passing touchdowns and passing yards incentives, the Bucs also must improve their NFL rank in yards per rush, a device aimed at making the incentive “not likely to be earned,” and thus charged to next year’s cap.)

The deal also pays Brady roughly $1.5 million more if the NFL implements a seventeenth game in 2021 and 2022.

With three voidable years, the new deal still reduces Brady’s cap charge by $19.3 million. Eventually, there will be a cap reckoning of more than $20 million. By then, however, the cap should be much higher than it is now.

Brady could have asked for a lot more than $26.075 million in cash this year, given what he did for the team in 2020 and what he’ll do for revenue in 2021 and 2022. By keeping his earnings at $25 million per year at a time when the top of the market has moved $20 million higher, Brady enhances his chances of getting Super Bowl victory No. 8 and, possibly, Super Bowl victory No. 9.

Bucs get creative with Tom Brady contract originally appeared on Pro Football Talk