Confession: two days ago, I was one of you, albeit briefly. If you’re among those praising Tom Brady for accepting a contract that was at the time thought to be well below market standards, I joined your kind in the immediate aftermath of the deal before the details were known, calling Brady the “Mother Teresa of football“. Please excuse me while I eat soap.
Since then we’ve learned that what looked like a $27 million extension for three years actually gives Brady more guaranteed money, and thus, well, more money because the guaranteed portion of NFL contracts is all that ever matters. Prior to the deal he was under contract for two years, and set to receive $30 million in guarantees. Now that number has nearly doubled to $57 million, which includes a $30 million signing bonus.
He’s no saint. He’s just a regular rich football player, and now he’s guaranteed to become significantly more rich over the next five years. The gains for the Patriots are in the base salary and salary cap hit, which are achieved by siphoning the money through that bonus. That’s how $15 million in cap space has been found.
So it may be that soap I’m still eating, but I threw up a little bit while reading Brady’s comments earlier this morning during an interview with WEEI in Boston.
“Athletes are always talking about money at a time when everyone else is struggling so badly to make it. We all make way more than our fair share. And I just think it reflects poorly on myself and my teammates. I really do just want to win, and that has and will continue to be the reason that motivates me and is the biggest factor in my decision-making process.”
Did you catch that? Here’s when I puked…
“Athletes are always talking about money at a time when everyone else is struggling so badly to make it.”
Tom, you’re not normal. You’ve never been like the everyman, and like Sully who paints his face every Sunday and still can’t say Wes Welker’s name properly. You’ve guaranteed that over the next five years of your life, you’ll earn nearly $60 million, which doesn’t even make you charitable by NFL standards. For some perspective, Drew Brees is a year younger than Brady, and the contract he signed last summer contains $40 million in guaranteed cash.
Brady chased money. That doesn’t make him the devil, or a greedy, awful demon. It makes him an NFL player.