Tom Brady may not be leaving any money on the table (and actually getting a raise) when it comes to his new contract extension with the Patriots, but the carefully orchestrated way that he is reportedly taking all of that money off the table will give the team flexibility when it comes to retooling the rest of the roster.
Citing an unnamed league source, ESPN Boston reported that Brady will receive a $30 million bonus to be paid out in installments through Feb. 15, 2015, along with his cap-friendly base salaries of $1 million in 2013 and $2 million in 2014. Brady's previous deal would have paid him a $9.75 million in base salary in 2013 and '14. For context, Mark Sanchez is set to earn a base salary of $8,250,000 in 2013, according to Spotrac. Brady's extension runs through the 2017 season but the savings are targeted toward the next two campaigns. As Deadspin noted, Brady and the Patriots will likely tear up the deal and rework it again down the road.
"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," Brady wrote in an email to John Dennis of WEEI.
In a copycat league, the Steelers are reportedly attempting to the rework the contract of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, according to Albert Breer of NFL.com With their newfound spending money, the Pats could target one of Roethlisberger's primary targets, free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace, according to WEEI.
With salary cap flexibility at a premium in the modern NFL, here are eight quarterbacks who with bigger cap hits than than Tom Brady in 2013:
*Salary cap data via Spotrac