Tom Brady is taking heat for taking less money.
Pretty much everyone knows the news by now, that the New England Patriots and Brady recently negotiated an extension to his current contract, helping the team dramatically and keeping Brady with the team to 2017.
The fact that Brady has been getting criticized for making the deal is unbelievable.
Really? A star quarterback wants to win and make sure the Patriots can field the best team around him for the remainder of his career, and he is getting crushed for doing it?
The Patriots' star quarterback has been having people questioning his motives for why he would make the move. The 35-year-old Brady is seeing his football mortality in front of him, and he wants another ring.
You want the stars on your team behaving like this—putting the team first and realizing that they don't have to chase every last nickle.
But let's not paint Brady as completely selfless either. He is getting most of his contract guaranteed, and he is protected against injury. He also stands to benefit with better players around him.
In his talks with people around the league, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio went so far as to speculate that something else may be afoot:
Should Brady be criticized for his new deal?
Still, teams and agents are looking at the numbers and wonder what else could be going on. Whispers of a side deals already have begun in league circles, even though there is (and likely will be) no proof of a wink-nod arrangement that will see Brady get compensated in other ways.
It is pretty obvious that Brady and Patriots are in a no-win situation.
Even when making a team-oriented move, Brady and the Patriots suffer a backlash from the rest of the league and the fans of other teams.
It is suggested that this might affect the contract negotiations of the other star quarterbacks in the league.
Good. It is not Brady's job to worry about what his deal will mean to other players in the NFL. He has earned that right at this point in his career. B/R's Gary Davenport has an interesting take on the impact of this deal for the league.
Any team paying a star quarterback $20 million a year will impact the quality of the players at the bottom end of its roster—that's just a fact in today's NFL.
If you want to criticize Brady, criticize his recent poor playoff performances against the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Giants. Criticize his inability to take the Patriots high-scoring offense to another Super Bowl victory.
But criticizing Brady for signing a team-friendly contract in order to give himself a chance to win? That just doesn't make a lot of sense.