Thanks to those of you who joined in on a pretty lively SportsNation chat, especially one that fell after the scouting combine but with a full two weeks remaining before free agency. More than a few of you wanted to follow up on Tuesday morning's post about the impact, or lack thereof, for Tom Brady's new contract on the three NFC North quarterbacks who figure to sign new deals in the next year or so.
After seeing the full numbers and poking around a bit, I think it's fair to say that Brady is at least a few years away from being paid below market value. Let's run through the relevant conversation and then I'll have a few more things to say:
Tom Brady is my new favorite player. The decision to take a below-market value contract in the interest of winning...why would a player wait until the end of his career? Why wouldn't a QB in his prime want to build the strongest possible team around him so as to go on a series of runs while he's at his peak? $9 million/yr is plenty. The average American earns [less than] $2 million over a 40-year working career. Do Rodgers and Stafford NEED $20 mil/yr to validate themselves? If they value legacy...they should do what they can do to win...and they need talent around them to do that.
Kevin Seifert (2:03 PM)
Glad this came up. Nothing against Brady, but this wasn't exactly a heroic act. He got an additional $3 million over the next two years to add three years, at $27 million to the back end of his contract for cap purposes. He will be paid a total of $33 million in 2013 and 2014. If he plays in 2015, he will almost certainly renegotiate rather than play for the lower rate. He helped their cap, but he didn't lose anything on their end. Another reason why I don't think this deal will impact any of the other contracts in play right now.
The point with brady is he is still paid well below market value ... If you are serious about winning you can take less than market value and still be insanely rich but with a better chance of having a competitive team
Kevin Seifert (2:40 PM)
But he really isn't. He now has $57 million guaranteed in his contract as long as he plays the next three years. That's a $19 million average. Just below Brees, and above Manning.
We all expect the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers, the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford and the Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler to get new deals sometime before the end of next offseason. Even if Brady had truly taken a huge discount, Drew Brees would still have a contract that averaged $20 million annually. The market for the best quarterbacks would still be set.
In the end, Brady helped the Patriots' cap situation in exchange for $3 million extra in cash and a lot of long-term security. And if he is still playing in 2015, chances are he will renegotiate his contract again. Long story short, we're in no different place now here in NFC North quarterback negotiations than we were when the week began.