Potential Impacts of Tom Brady's New Contract on Aaron Rodgers' Next One
News broke on Monday that Tom Brady has signed a new contract, but the real excitement came when Sports Illustrated's Peter King broke the contract down—especially for Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is due for a new contract, which will naturally be affected by another top quarterback's deal.
According to King, Brady took a contract which paid him about 50 percent of the market value for a quarterback of his level. The top guys like Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are pulling in about $20 million per year and Brady himself was making an average of $14 million.
Heck, right now Mark Sanchez outearns Brady.
Right now he also makes less than Rodgers.
What are the implications here?
Well, there are two ways to look at it.
First of all, this is an aberration and not just because it's a "hometown discount." So the impact financially probably won't be huge. Brady is also 35 while Rodgers is 29. One is nearer to the end of his career while one is just reaching or is at his pinnacle.
Of course it impacts a little since both are considered among the best—top two or three depending on who you ask—so there are few players you can compare them to.
However, despite the fact that they're in the same "class," a better indication of any new Rodgers contract will be Joe Flacco's deal. Flacco is a younger, up-and-coming signal-caller coming off a Super Bowl win.
You know where it will impact Rodgers?
The details of Brady's contract really are telling. As King says, Brady saved his team $15 million in cap space over the next two years, which should be a stagnant or flat cap.
The Packers have some issues in terms of cap room and some very big contracts coming up—not just Rodgers, but guys like Clay Matthews as well.
While many Packers fans won't assume that Rodgers would take a hit in the wallet for the team, many NFL fans might, or at least raise an eyebrow when he doesn't.
On a side note, that goes for more than Rodgers. Anyone coming up for a contract talk (Matt Stafford) will get that comment. Especially if they haven't ever won a Super Bowl (or are close) and the team needs more talent.
Rodgers and the Packers certainly have some holes and having cap space to use on someone other than the quarterback would be helpful.
Should this be Rodgers' concern? Yes and no.
No, because it's a business and he needs to take care of his own family as well as his football family. He's worth a lot to the franchise—should he take less?
Do you expect Rodgers to take less to help with cap space?
Yes, because he is a leader on the team and a guy who has to know they need some more talent to make it back to the Super Bowl.
I'm actually intrigued by what he does because we know how big a competitor Rodgers is. Does he look at what Brady did and consider a similar move? Not so much taking $9 million a year (though the $30 million signing bonus takes the sting off the overall pay cut), but taking less than he could to leave room for other players?
Much like Brady did in 2005, when, as King noted, he took a contract that was about 70% of market value?
Whatever his decision—or fan expectations and public perception—the reality is, the Packers and Rodgers are smart enough to move the cash wherever they need to in order to get the best team on the field they possibly can.
And above all, let's remember that Brady didn't exactly take $4 and a basket of Five Guys french fries. He has a bonus of $30 million which, while spread over several years, will be paid mostly up front.
Source: Tom Brady's new contract includes a $30 million signing bonus to be paid out over a period that extends to March 15, 2015.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 26, 2013
Could it have been more? Sure.
But as always, smart NFL teams like the Packers and Patriots can find a way to make room every time.
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