Tom Brady's Absurd New Contract Puts Him Below a Host of QBs


Even with five Super Bowl rings, three MVP awards and a rightful place in the “greatest of all time” discussion, Tom Brady still needed a raise to get his salary to market rate.

The Patriots reworked Brady’s contract this week to give him some well-deserved incentives. The new deal will pay him up to $5 million in addition to the $14 million he’ll make in base salary (plus a $1 million roster bonus).

Here is the breakdown of the incentives, with each one worth $1 million:

His incentive package is capped at $5 million, so he could reach all five statistical marks or he could reach three of them and New England wins the Super Bowl to get to the $5 million.

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These are all achievable goals for Brady: He was in the top five in each of the statistical categories last season, and the Patriots are perennial Super Bowl contenders.

If Brady does indeed reach all of the incentives, his total cash for the 2018 season will come in at $20 million. That is undoubtedly a nice chunk of money, but it is also a great discount for the Patriots.

Brady will be ranked 10th among quarterbacks in total cash for 2018 — tied with the Jaguars’ Blake Bortles, who just signed a new extension this offseason.

Brady won’t even be the highest-paid quarterback in his own division: Jets rookie Sam Darnold will make $20.5 million this season.

Will Tom Brady reach the full $5 million in incentives?

Former Brady backup Jimmy Garoppolo tops all quarterbacks at $42.6 million.

Brady would be tied for 17th among all NFL players, assuming he reaches the full $5 million bonuses.

The contract restructure is a win-win for Brady and the Patriots as he can earn additional money and the team is able to drop his cap hit for 2018 by converting some of his salary into a signing bonus.

Brady’s cap number for 2018 drops from $27 million to $22 million, which gives New England some flexibility to make additional roster moves.

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Even if Brady somehow doesn’t reach any of the incentives, he will still be just fine in terms of compensation. Brady will become the third NFL player to surpass $200 million in career earnings this season.

The other two share one name: Manning. Peyton has made more money than any other player in NFL history at over $248 million, while brother Eli checks in at second all-time with over $219 million.

Brady enters the 2018 season having made over $197 million, which just edges out the Saints’ Drew Brees ($194 million) for third place.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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