Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers agree to extension
While the Bucs did not reveal any details, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that it is a four-year contract extension that voids to a one-year extension. The deal ties Brady to Tampa through the 2022 season, sources said.
The move saves the Buccaneers $19 million against the salary cap this year, sources said. The additional voidable years are there to defray the cost. It was another effort from Brady to keep as much of the team together as possible.
In an Instagram post on Friday, Brady said he's ready to chase his eighth Super Bowl win.
"When we acquired Tom a year ago, we were extremely excited about the leadership, poise and winning track record that he would bring to our locker room. Since that time, he has proven himself to be the ultimate competitor and delivered in every way we had imagined, helping us capture the Lombardi Trophy," Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said in a statement Friday. "Year after year, Tom proves that he remains one of the elite quarterbacks in this game and we couldn't be happier to keep him in Tampa Bay as we continue to pursue our goals together."
As of Friday morning, before Brady's new deal, the Bucs were $7.756 million over the $182.5 million salary cap, after using the franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin and re-signing inside linebacker Lavonte David to a two-year extension.
Like Brady's deal, David's contract includes voidable years, something the Bucs have not used in well over a decade. David will count only $3.5 million against the salary cap in 2021, despite playing on a two-year deal worth $25 million, because his contract includes three voidable years. The drawback to doing voidable years is that the Bucs will essentially be borrowing from the future. But they recognize that Brady's window is small, even with an extra year on what was originally a two-year contract.
"Tom is one of those guys that understands that it takes a whole village to win," David said Friday. "It takes a team, a group of guys, to win football games. Me, the same thing. I'm all about team. And I'll do what I can, do what it takes to hopefully get everybody back and go do this thing again. ... The bond that we had, the bond that we shared this year -- it was like no other."
Brady's deal gives the Bucs space to try to bring back outside linebacker Shaq Barrett, who notched 4.0 sacks in the postseason and led the NFL with 19.5 sacks in 2019.
But Barrett isn't the only one the Bucs have to think about. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, wide receiver Antonio Brown, kicker Ryan Succop and running back Leonard Fournette are all set to become free agents on Wednesday if new deals can't be reached.
In February, Licht said that he and coach Bruce Arians would be "elated" if they could extend Brady.
Brady, 43, had previously said that his goal was to play until age 45, but he said during the week of the Super Bowl that he would now consider playing beyond 45. Brady will be 44 next season, and tacking on a year to his deal keeps him under contract through his 45th birthday. Family will play a major role in determining if, in fact, Brady plays beyond that.
In his first season with the Buccaneers, Brady won his seventh Super Bowl title, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Tampa in the first Super Bowl to include a team playing in its home stadium. He is the first Bucs quarterback ever to sign a second contract with the team.
Also on Friday, the Bucs and inside linebacker Kevin Minter reached agreement on a one-year contract, a source confirmed to ESPN.
Minter was the team's 2020 special-teams captain and a key backup for Tampa Bay. He stepped in for Devin White when White was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list in Week 17, finishing with 13 tackles. Minter also started in White's place in the Bucs' wild-card win at Washington.
Minter's agreement was first reported by NFL Network.