Tom Brady is taking less money (kind of). Patriots were able to free up millions in cap room while almost doubling Brady's guaranteed money. Brady is guaranteed $15 million as a 40-year-old under his new contract extension. This isn't all Brady's altruism, but it is a sign that he trusts the Patriots organization to surround him with the right pieces with their new cap cushion. It's a deal that's 50% Brady wanting the Patriots to win with him, and 50% Brady trading money now for money later.
As a Patriots fan, I can't help but be thrilled by this deal. Maybe now they'll be able to add a top-notch deep threat, shore up a shaky secondary, and address other needs. This can obviously only be a good thing for the Patriots, keeping their all-time great QB and retaining the ability to improve as a team in his declining years.
Tom Brady, one of the best three quarterbacks in football for about 10 years running, will essentially be making Matt Ryan money. What does that mean for Matt Ryan? What does that mean for Joe Flacco? What does that mean for Andrew Luck? We just fought about how much players deserve less than two years ago during the lockout. This may constitute another setback for quarterbacks and other star players trying to get the money they probably deserve.
I'm not sitting here crying over Sam Bradford making a few million less than he would have, but it does set an interesting precedent. It messes with the market. It emboldens dickhole owners to say, "We'll give you Tom Brady money, snicker snicker snicker." It makes players who want more money for, y'know, actually DOING the football, seem like dicks for not sacrificing for the SYSTEM. It's just one more bargaining chip for the owners, and it could be a powerful one. So in that sense, at least from my perspective, it's probably a pretty bad thing for the league.
Then again, this contract did end up being more or less mutually beneficial for Brady and the organization. Brady actually gained a lot in this contract, namely guaranteed money as a 40-year-old. This is a pretty creative contract, and it could serve as a model for other high-profile players who want to seem altruistic. Maybe this will be the start of a new kind of NFL contract, a contract that eases burdens on teams while satisfying players in different ways other than just the BOTTOM LINE RIGHT NOW.
Ehh, probably not.