Tom Brady: Five Reasons Why a Deal Won’t Get Done Before The End of 2010
Tom Brady, the New England Patriots, and contract extension. Whenver those words are uttered in the same sentence, fear strikes the hearts of Patriots fans, while curiosity creeps into the minds of media types.
Whenever the possibility exists that a legend could leave the team they got their start with, the headlines immediately rotate in that direction. So that much is no surprise.
More surprising, however, is the notion that this deal won't get done. I'd go so far as to call that very notion ludicrous.
While it still seems likely to get done, the deal may take awhile before its finalized. Here's why.
Collective Bargaining Agreement Remains Unresolved
We enter 2010 with no salary cap. We didn’t see the spending spree that many were expecting, but that could be because an undetermined salary cap may loom ahead in 2011 (if there’s football at all).
With all that in mind, the Patriots’ biggest priority remains Tom Brady. They don’t need to be swift, but they must work out a deal that works for both Brady and the team as a whole moving forward. Brady’s contract may not be paying him much on the back-end, but his deal wasn’t cheap, just severely front-loaded to allow the team room to move under the cap.
Peyton Manning Remains Unsigned
The Tom Brady-Peyton Manning rivalry has been long and storied from their battles on the football field, but all this has led to their eventual battle in salaries.
They’ll both go for the long bomb, and their respective front offices will go deep with big offers. The Brady camp has said that they will probably wait for a Manning deal to be inked before signing on the dotted line, so once the ball gets rolling on that, look for a Brady deal to follow shortly.
Only problem is, the Colts and Manning don’t appear to have the ball rolling, either.
When Manning’s pen hits the dotted line on his contract, Brady’s name may follow swiftly, but neither appears to be close at the moment.
As explained on ProFootballTalk.com, the 30-percent rule is just an easy way of saying that in an uncapped year, a player’s salary can’t be more than 30-percent greater than the previous year. Tom Brady’s heavily front-loaded contract had him earning just over $5 million, far less than younger guys like Eli Manning and Philip Rivers.
A 30-percent increase on that is still shy of $7 million, meaning the Patriots would have to guarantee him around $13 million this year alone, and maybe even more in future seasons, just to ensure he’s appropriately compensated for his talent by comparison to the aforementioned Manning and Rivers.
Brady's services may be worth the dough, but is that money the team is willing to shell out out-of-pocket, on top of player salaries in 2010?
New England’s Track Record
The Patriots have developed a track record of not extending their players. In fact, until this season, they didn’t really resign many of their players after their contracts expired.
Brady still has the entire 2010 season to play for the Patriots, and since Robert Kraft says he isn’t worried about it and that something will get done, there's no reason for concern in the long-term. A deal will likely be in the works before the end of the 2010 season, whether or not the CBA is cleared up.
He Doesn’t Appear To Be In Any Rush, Either
It seems that this year more than any other, players are selfishly opting to hold out in a contract dispute. Brady could easily be among them, but that’s never been how he’s approached his job. It’s always been about the team.
It could take until the end of the season before a deal gets reached, but if you think for one second that it will impact Brady’s team-first mentality headed into 2010, you’ve been watching a different man than I have for the past decade.
But Honestly, He Isnt Going Anywhere
I've been wrong about these things before, but something gives me the feeling he's not going anywhere.
It may not happen as soon as New England fans would like, but a deal will get done. It's incredibly beneficial for both sides to do this deal, as it keeps New England in contention and keeps Brady with a competitive team for the rest of his career.
When do you think his deal will get done?