On Thursday, ESPN's Field Yates reported "Brady’s two-year extension with the Patriots has officially been signed. It includes a [$28 million] signing bonus and [$41 million] in new money." He continued:
Tom Brady’s new cap hits by season:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 10, 2016
ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Marie Russini first reported the news on Feb. 29.
Brady, who turns 39 in August, threw for 4,770 yards and 36 touchdowns against seven interceptions in 2015. He led the Patriots to their fifth straight AFC Championship Game, earned a seventh consecutive Pro Bowl selection and paced all quarterbacks in touchdown passes for the fourth time.
Unfortunately for Brady, it wasn't all roses in 2015. He spent most of his preseason battling with the NFL regarding his involvement in the Deflategate scandal. Initially suspended for four games, Brady won his case on appeal despite the protestations of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The NFL's appeal of that decision was scheduled to be heard on March 3, per ESPN.com.
Brady's season also ended with one of the most disappointing playoff performances of his career. He completed just 27 of his 56 attempts for 310 yards, posting one touchdown against two interceptions as he faced a sea of pressure up front. The Denver Broncos sacked Brady four times in the AFC Championship Game and hit him on 23 occasions.
"When you play quarterback, you're going to take hits," Brady said, per ESPN.com's Mike Reiss. "You have to stand in there and make throws. There are no excuses for me for not getting the job done."
That same Broncos defense went on to fluster league MVP Cam Newton in the Super Bowl, so perhaps Brady had a little more wiggle room than he's willing to admit. Either way, one bad performance isn't about to make anyone waver on whether this extension was a smart decision.
Brady was previously slated to count against the cap for $15 million, per Spotrac. Extending his deal to 2019 and moving around some money—and almost certainly guaranteeing more—could provide the Patriots with more flexibility to fill their roster deficiencies.
Pro Football Talk made an interesting point about Brady's recent extensions:
Kaepernick got killed for doing a crappy deal three years ago. Tom Brady and Don Yee keep doing team-friendly deals and everyone shrugs.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 29, 2016
Brady appears OK with taking less money, provided he winds up getting a more competent offensive line and perhaps a downfield receiving threat. Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman are solid options any quarterback would love, but neither stretches the field. It speaks to Brady's work under center that he's been able to keep the offense humming despite being limited to short- and mid-range throws.
One underexamined layer here is what this extension means for Jimmy Garoppolo. The Patriots used a second-round pick on the Eastern Illinois product in 2014, and he's thrown a grand total of 31 NFL passes since. With just two years remaining on his rookie contract, Garoppolo may be a free agent before anyone ever finds out whether he can actually play.
At the very least, Brady's extension makes Garoppolo look like an underutilized asset.
Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.