This past week, the New England Patriots and Tom Brady announced a new contract extension to keep the future Hall of Fame quarterback in the state of Massachusetts through 2017. It is a big, yet easy commitment for the Patriots as they look to make their final Super Bowl pushes in the last years of his career.
While signing him through 2017 is a no-brainer, the Patriots have done a creative job to lock him up for well under market value. He will make $13.8M, $14.8M, $13M, $14M and $15M in those five years, which gives New England plenty of flexibility. The one wildcard is health, because all of the money is guaranteed up until he turns 40 years old. It is worth the gamble for New England though to ensure he stays a Patriot for life.
With the deal structured the way it is, a lot of money is now freed up for the Patriots to use to improve their team in other areas. He will be making $8M less in 2013 than he was scheduled to make, which means the team now has close to $27 million to spend this offseason.
Several free agents, such as Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Aqib Talib and Sebastian Vollmer, all need to be decided on. The Patriots seem to be set on bringing back Vollmer in particular, but they want him to play right tackle instead of left tackle for them. By now being able to increase their offer, the proposal seems a lot more convincing.
Welker is another key guy the Patriots have to decide on, and chances are Brady would be all in when it comes to bringing back one of his favorite wide receivers ever. Look to him to put up some serious fantasy football numbers if he is a Patriot next season. The money that is now free due to the deal though will show up the most on the open market. New England still has some small holes to patch up before making another Super Bowl run in 2013. Now that Brady, Bill Belichick and the rest of the gang is locked up for a while, it is time for the team to get back to business.
*Thanks to Hannah Miller for this post*