Tom Brady is arguably the most powerful player in football – a six-time Super Bowl champion whose value on the field led to winning a power struggle with the mighty Bill Belichick.
The New England Patriots quarterback does not leverage that power when it comes to contract negotiations with the team.
Tom Brady’s history of discounts
Brady has consistently taken team-friendly deals that have allowed the Patriots to spend elsewhere, a significant advantage in a salary-capped sport where quarterback contracts often hamstring teams from being competitive.
Business Insider recently broke down his career football earnings that exceed $197 million. It’s a lot of money, but the analysis estimates that Brady has left anywhere from $60 million to $90 million on the table in taking discounts and restructuring his deals to provide the team more flexibility.
For example, he restructured his deal in 2007 to allow New England to sign Randy Moss.
Brady’s latest two-year extension comes with a $22 million cap hit in 2018 and a $27 million hit in 2019. Again, it’s by no means a pittance. But when Kirk Cousins is signing for three years and $84 million guaranteed, the discount he’s providing is clear.
Dak Prescott not taking Tom Brady route
It’s a blueprint for winning, and it’s one Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott wants nothing to do with.
And that’s fine. We’re not here to begrudge an athlete – or anybody for that matter – for going out and getting paid as much money as they can.
Dak’s reason why
But it’s Prescott’s reasoning for declining a discount in a recent interview with USA Today that stands out. He’s not married to a super model.
“Nobody’s wife makes as much money as his wife does either,” Prescott told USA Today, referring to Gisele Bundchen. “When Tom Brady isn’t the breadwinner in the home, then that’s a great problem to have. So in that case, he can do that. He can do his contract however you want to do it.”
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Bundchen’s net worth is $400 million, more that twice that of her husband, whom the site values is worth $180 million on his own.
So, yeah, there’s nothing resembling financial strife in the Bundchen-Brady household. And that certainly makes it easy for a guy like Brady to value taking a discount that can lead to more rings while leaving a few million on the table here and there. Then again, Brady started giving discounts before he was married in 2009.
You can only spend so much, right?
For Prescott to assume that’s why Brady takes a discount is presumptuous, of course. Whether sharing $580 million or sitting on a $180 million fortune of his own, at some point there’s only so much money one can spend. If leaving a few million behind can lead to more Super Bowl rings, then it might not matter at all to Brady how much his wife makes.
And then there’s the part about Prescott putting himself in the conversation with Brady to begin with. He and the Cowboys have a completely different set of concerns than Brady and the Patriots when it comes to football.
When it comes to contracts, Prescott’s next concern is pressing. He’s coming up on the end of his rookie deal, which will have paid him around $3 million total over four years at the end of the 2019 season.
Prescott due an extension soon
If the Cowboys plan to make him the quarterback of the future, which is expected, he’ll be due a significant raise. That seemed far from a sure thing in the middle of the 2018 season, when Prescott had largely put up mediocre numbers in his short stint as the Dallas starter. But a second playoff appearance in three years bodes well for Prescott’s future, regardless of how much credit he actually deserves.
When he does sign an extension, there’s a chance that he could end up with a higher annual salary than Brady. It’s just how the NFL works. Until he finds his own super model wife, don’t expect him to demand any less than the market bears.
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