When evaluating player contracts, there’s players on the rookie deals and then there’s everyone else, as ESPN.com’s Field Yates points out. The recent CBA made rookie deals an absolute bargain for every team that does a decent job drafting their first and second-round picks.
Past that, how does Tom Brady’s contract fare? As far as veteran salaries go, is Brady’s deal advantageous for the Patriots?
Yes, at $14.8 million dollar for 2014, Tom Brady is a bargain.
But considering the position he plays, the scale of compensation for players at his position around the league and what we know he brings to the team both on and off the field, we’d make the case that perhaps no Patriots player represents a bigger bargain than quarterback Tom Brady, despite the fact that he has the team’s highest cap number for 2014 at $14.8 million.
Yates contextualizes the situation nicely.
Most teams wouldn’t care about bargains when speaking about an elite quarterback. Teams would pay great sums of money for Tom Brady in free agency. So it’s wild that the Patriots can have their cake and eat it too with Brady. He adjusts his salary according to team needs, and while it often means he earns a greater sum, it also means he is guaranteed less of it.
Brady is such a bargain because he might as well be on payroll as a coach, too. Chandler Jones, who is still in his rookie contract, can’t coach young players like Brady has and will continue to do with the three second-year receivers in Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce and Kenbrell Thompkins.
On his current contract, Brady will average $11.4 million until it ends in 2017. It would be surprising if the terms stayed the same, but if Brady can play as long as he’d like to — into 40s — the Patriots would still be getting a bargain.