FOXBOROUGH – One of the most underrated and least discussed aspects of the New England Patriots' dynasty, which has had the longevity to last from 2001 to the present day, is the financial flexibility the team has enjoyed. Quarterback Tom Brady, the greatest to ever play the game, could demand any salary he wanted and would probably get it. And yet, Brady has perennially taken less money to remain with the Patriots organization.
Obviously, Brady makes a ton of money through promotional deals off the field, but to take less money than inferior quarterbacks like Matthew Stafford and Cam Newton shows that Brady has managed to keep his ego at least somewhat in check. For him, it is all about winning. And when he takes less money, the team has more funds to spend elsewhere, hopefully surrounding him with players of increased talent. As such, the Patriots are more inclined to win because of Brady's selfless attitude towards his salary.
This pattern continued over the weekend when reports that Brady and the Patriots were nearing a new contract extension quickly snowballed into a deal announcement, per ESPN's Field Yates.
Brady inked a two-year contract extension with New England, eliminating his "lame duck" status and keeping him with the organization through at least the 2021 season, when he will be 44 years old. (Brady just celebrated his 42nd birthday on August 3. Happy birthday to the GOAT!)
Brady was slated to make $15 million this year, but by signing the extension, he altered the funds for his future, allowing them to be re-evaluated each season. He also increased his pay in 2019 to $23 million, which resulted in the Patriots receiving $5.5 million extra in salary cap space to improve the team around Brady.
The contract extension makes Brady the sixth highest paid quarterback in the league, tied with Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. The Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford remains the league's highest paid QB.
At 42, Brady is entering never-before-seen territory for most NFL players, and I am willing to bet that the extension will be more than worth it for his talents over the next two years.
Image via Flickr by Jeffrey Beall