While Tom Brady's contract extension lowers his average base salary and creates significant salary-cap space for the New England Patriots to surround him with a team capable of challenging for a Super Bowl, the quarterback also nearly doubled the guaranteed money owed him over the next five seasons, according to a league source who has reviewed the documents.
Until the agreement was revealed yesterday, Brady was under contract to the Patriots for two seasons with a contract containing $30 million in guarantees. Now he's under contract for five seasons with $57 million guaranteed for injury.
Brady's deal includes a $30 million signing bonus, which will be paid out over a period that extends to Feb. 15, 2015, according to a league source. Brady will earn $10 million of that signing bonus during the 2013 season, $5 million in a payment on Feb. 15, 2014, $10 million during the 2014 season, and $5 million on Feb. 15, 2015.
Brady's salaries for 2013 and 2014 are now $1 million and $2 million, respectively, and are fully guaranteed. His old deal was scheduled to pay him $9.75 million in base salary for each of those seasons.
Brady's salaries for 2015, 2016 and 2017 are $7 million, $8 million and $9 million, respectively, and are fully guaranteed for injury only, which means that if Brady is released because of an injury, he will still be paid that money. In the unlikely event that he were released due to skill considerations, he would not be paid that money.
The $24 million for 2015-17 becomes fully guaranteed if Brady is on the roster for the last game of the 2014 season, according to a league source.
Regarding Brady's salary cap charges, the breakdown is as follows:
2013: $13.8 million
2014: $14.8 million
2015: $13 million
2016: $14 million
2017: $15 million
The new contract also provides Brady more financial protection in the event he suffers a career-ending injury in 2013, increasing the money guaranteed to him from $25 million to $57 million. Brady has already suffered one catastrophic injury in his career, at the beginning of the 2008 season.
While the Patriots save $15 million in cap space, there is nothing preventing the team and Brady from restructuring this deal again if necessary before the quarterback retires.