All of New England will soon be able to sleep comfortably. Reports are surfacing that Tom Brady will be signing a three-year, $58 million extension within the next day or so.
Though Brady has a contract for this year that will pay him $6.5 million, many worried about making the franchise quarterback play with no other contract set for the future.
But now that we pull out our calculators, we can see that this is a lot of money.
A whole lot.
Most might say my next question is blasphemy, but is he worth it?
Let's dissect this issue.
Though technically he isn't making the most in the league during the extension because of these crazy rookie salaries, he will be close to $20 million a year annually.
That is pretty hard to earn, in a 16-game season. Does this automatically make him overrated?
I say no, considering Eli Manning, is making $16.4 million per season. But it will open the door for the critics.
Brady has pretty much been the Teflon Don and almost Jeter-like in his lack of criticism through the years, but this might open the door.
It seems like a long time since the Patriots have won a Super Bowl, doesn't it?
Well it has been. Six years to be exact.
And although they almost won it all in 2007, this ain't horse shoes.
Since the last Patriots title, both Manning brothers have rings, Big Ben has two of them, and Drew Brees and the Saints are planning on repeating.
Now when elite quarterbacks are mentioned the order is Manning, Brees, and then, maybe, Brady.
Some might say Aaron Rodgers has joined the elite.
During the early 2000s New England knew if they could get through the division unscathed, that would mean a bye week to prepare for a Super Bowl run.
Now that Sexy Rexy and his Jets are a formidable opponent, they aren't even guaranteed a division title, never mind a bye week.
The path to the Super Bowl is significantly tougher nowadays for the boys in red, white, and blue.
Which makes it harder to earn that lofty paycheck.
Since the day he arrived in Foxborough, Randy Moss has been on his best behavior.
So much so, that the press stopped beating him up about his past.
Well, recently he mentioned how much of himself he has given to help the team succeed and how he feels unwanted.
Is he a ticking time bomb?
The Patriots might think that Wes Welker is the key to the offense, but Randy Moss' numbers are consistently mind-blowing.
No Moss, no title run.
Brady has had major surgery and missed a whole season.
He recently turned 33 years of age. How much longer before he starts showing the effects of wear and tear on his body?
Will he make it through this contract extension at the same level that he is now?
Will his decline be gradual or overnight like some past stars?
He has long passed the NFL average for length of career.
Matt Cassel was a career back-up. I mean that literally.
In four years at USC he completed 19-of-33 passes for 192 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception.
Not in a half. Not in a game. In four years.
He sat behind Carson Palmer. Then he sat behind Matt Leinart.
If he had more eligibility, he would've probably sat behind JD Booty and Mark Sanchez.
And then Tom Brady went down with an injury.
And Cassel steps in to lead the team to an 11-5 record.
So you have to wonder, how much does Brady mean to the team when Cassel could do that?
Wes Welker caught 123 passes last year, second most in NFL history. Welker is the inside receiver and gets pounded every play, sometimes even if he is the decoy.
How many more seasons can a guy who is 5'9" 185 pounds take that kind of pounding?
Are the Patriots the same offense if Brady doesn't have Welker to go to? Probably not.
Because it is such a team sport, Brady can't reach his goals without key members of the team being there with him and Welker is as key as anybody.
From 2001-2007, Patriots tried as hard as possible to keep the key members of their championship teams intact.
But as players get older and some seek new contracts, you get turnover.
Now Brady looks in the huddle and doesn't see many people that he has gone to war with.
And conversely, these new guys have heard about the legend of Tom Brady, but to them he's just another guy who hasn't won a title since they've been there.
Does he have the right pieces to make a Super Bowl run? If not, will he take the blame?
Yes, at least some of it.
Belichick has always been an enigma to most of the media and public.
But one thing most people have been able to figure out is that he hasn't won a title since the departure of his trusted staff members: Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis.
Also he has lost Eric Mangini, Scot Pioli, and Josh McDaniels.
Maybe the "Hoodie" can't do it alone and won't admit it.
Right now it is just him and Brady trying to breakthrough to a title.
If they do it, they will prove everyone wrong.
But they might not be enough.
When Brady first took over for Drew Bledsoe, he had something to prove.
Everyone wanted to know what would make Belichick stay with a sixth round, 199th pick over a proven possible Hall of Famer in Bledsoe.
But since he became the Pats head man, no quarterback in the league has won more championship rings.
So he has less to prove.
And he has a wife now (the lady pictured) and two kids.
Does the same fire still burn in him?
Would it in you?
It might, but not as bright.
In the end who is to say if he will have earned that lofty contract extension.
But I think Tom Brady is worth every penny, not just for what he will do, but for the pay cuts he has taken so that the team could sign other players. He has been a great leader and I think he is actually underrated in the league and in NFL history.
With one more title, I would put him on the Mount Rushmore of all-time greats. With Montana, Marino and the fourth spot we can keep open for either Manning or someone else...