Good Morning, Broncos fans! Peyton Manning may be (almost) everyone's ultimate quarterback, but Tom Brady is the ultimate teammate, and he's again proven that with his latest contract extension.
Brady and the Patriots agreed to a three-year deal worth an eye-poppingly low $27M (total, not per year), which will keep him under New England's control through the 2017 season.
The remarkable contract is a reprise of the one Brady signed in 2005, which at the time valued the three-time SB winner at two-thirds of what Indy had given Manning a year earlier ($9.55M vs $14.2M).
Now of course, Brady will get more guaranteed cash out of the deal, else the NFLPA would never allow it be consummated.
But the result for New England is that they'll have substantially more cap room, which they can use to either add more veteran free agents, or potentially retain their own key ones, including Wes Welker.
The impact of the deal reaches far beyond Foxboro, though, as it not only lowers the quarterback franchise tender value for 2013, but it reduces the bargaining power of this year's biggest free-agent quarterback, SB MVP Joe Flacco of Baltimore.
As one might expect, competing teams and agents think something about the deal is fishy, but we'll likely never know whether there's truth to that. As Mike Florio also notes in that column, though, we should keep in mind that Tom's compensation is always going to be gas money relative to his wife's, so there's that explanation. Brady is the only QB in the NFL who's not even close to being his family's biggest breadwinner, so why would he care whether he's making $15M or $20M per year?
It's often been said that it was important to Peyton that he be the highest paid QB in the league, and in terms of base salary, he'll again be the highest paid of all players. His cap figure has dwarfed Brady's every season since 2007, as you can see below:
Manning/Brady Cap Numbers 2006-2017
Figures in millions of dollars, rounded to nearest hundred-thousand
Now, before you call Peyton a selfish player, let's note that he's not alone in outearning Brady - he's only one of eight quarterbacks with a higher cap value than the Patriot. And as the son of a former NFL quarterback, and a key figure within the players union, it's also often pointed out that Manning feels a sense of responsibility to his fellow players, not just those on his own team.
So don't look for Peyton to rework his deal; he's never done so before, so why expect it now?
Beyond financials, there's also perhaps a gauntlet thrown relative to longevity. Brady has maintained that he'd like to play at least until he's 40, and that milestone birthday will come just during training camp of the final year of this new deal. Manning is sixteen months' Brady's senior.
We can only hope Peyton accepts the unspoken challenge, which would alter the Denver mindset of their QB only being around for another year or two.
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