Report: Tom Brady, Patriots Agree on 2-Year, $23M Contract Extension

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2019

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on during the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Despite the fact that he turned 42 on Saturday, Tom Brady appears far from retirement after he reportedly agreed to a contract extension with the New England Patriots on Sunday.  

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Brady is signing a two-year, $23 million contract extension after Ian Rapoport of NFL Network first reported the agreement. 

Schefter noted the contract will make Brady the sixth-highest-paid quarterback in the league.

"I appreciate this team and the opportunity it gave me in 2000," Brady told reporters Wednesday when asked whether he deserved a new contract. "I play for a great coach in Coach [Bill] Belichick, and [offensive coordinator] Josh [McDaniels] and I have a great working relationship. I love Mr. [Robert] Kraft and his family. We've had just incredible success. Hopefully we can keep it going."

Brady has spent his entire 19-year career with the Patriots and is coming off another productive season. He threw for 4,355 yards, 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while leading New England to a sixth Super Bowl title.

The timing of Brady's extension isn't surprising considering he's entering the final year of his contract. He has previously indicated he plans on playing in 2019 and beyond, too.

Mike Reiss @MikeReiss

Tom Brady, to @westwood1sports, if he's coming back in 2019 and playing a full season: "I absolutely believe I will. I know I've talked about it for a long time. I have goals to play not only next year, but beyond that. I'm going to try to do as best I possibly can."

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Asked if there’s any chance that Super Bowl LIII is his last game, Tom Brady told @JeffDarlington, “Zero.”

Given Brady's age, though, his future can't be taken for granted. He's basically entering uncharted territory. According to Pro Football Reference, only five quarterbacks have continued playing after turning 42. Of that group, only Vinny Testaverde played the equivalent of a full season.

Granted, the NFL's various rule changes about helmet hits and making contact with the quarterback have made life easier for passers than at any other time in history. 

Because of that, Brady will be confident he can remain one of the league's best while also avoiding a lot of contact in the pocket. Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers have all remained productive in their mid-to-late 30s, so this may be the new normal for the elite at the position.

Along with the general questions about Brady's longevity, though, there are the issues ESPN The Magazine's Seth Wickersham raised in January 2018.

Wickersham detailed how Brady and Belichick's relationship appeared to be fraying, and Brady's desire to continue playing well into his 40s disrupted Belichick's plans for a post-Brady future.

With Brady going nowhere, Patriots owner Robert Kraft told Belichick to trade Jimmy Garoppolo—Brady's heir apparent—which the Patriots did when they sent Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers. Wickersham spoke to Belichick's friends, who described him as "furious and demoralized" after the move.

Any animosity Belichick might have felt didn't stop the Patriots from beating the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LII.

While it's true the partnership of Brady and Belichick is bound to end, Wickersham's report had some wondering whether the end was coming sooner than expected.

Brady at least isn't going anywhere for the time being. Eventually, the Patriots will have to start looking ahead to life after their legendary leader.

The timing with Garoppolo didn't work out. He was already 26 when New England traded him and headed for a huge payday. The 49ers signed him to a five-year, $137.5 million extension that included $74.1 million guaranteed.

The 2018 and '19 drafts presented the Patriots with opportunities to draft a quarterback of the future. They took Danny Etling in the seventh round last year and Jarrett Stidham in the fourth round this year, passing on QBs taken in the early rounds of both drafts. 

Now, New England has essentially doubled down on the present by giving Brady a new deal, which isn't a bad strategy considering the team has reached three straight Super Bowls and collected three titles in five years.

Nobody is arguing the Patriots need to replace Brady now, but the longer they wait to figure out a succession plan, the harder it may be to fill the void left by the surefire Hall of Famer.

Stick to Football is live! We did our ultimate preview for the ACC and went around the latest NFL news, including Brady's extension (2:00-3:!5).