Allow me to introduce you to Joel Corry, whose bio reads, "Former sports agent, NFL contracts and salary cap expert, and writer. Catch my NFL contracts and salary cap articles on @CBSSports."
And with the entire country splashing around in an Olympic-sized adult swim of Tom Brady Free Agency Speculation Insanity with no lifeguard blowing a whistle and telling us to knock off the horseplay, far be it for a guy with that job description to not cannonball into the deep end:
Source - I have set target prices with total contract value and overall guarantees for the top eight impending unrestricted free agent quarterbacks. ...
Contract Package: $100 Million/3 Years ($33,333,333 Per Year)
Overall Guarantees: $65 Million
Brady has an expiring contract for the first time in his illustrious 20-year career. Reports started surfacing around the Super Bowl that the Patriots would be willing to pay at least $30 million per year to keep Brady, and the Raiders would also be in pursuit. There has been plenty of speculation about the Chargers as a potential suitor since Philip Rivers won't be back for a 17th season.Brady has consistently stated he wants to play at until he's at least 45. He is already in uncharted territory as the oldest full-time starting quarterback in league history. Ben Roethlisberger, who will be 38 in March, sets the older quarterback market. The Steelers gave him a two-year, $68 million extension where $37.5 million was fully guaranteed last April.
Sure. $100 million. $68 million guaranteed. Sounds about right. Just to beat this metaphor to death, allow me to Triple Lindy my way into the crazy pool. Why not? The water's fine.
We've still got a month to go in the process. Other teams are technically not even supposed to be talking to him. And already we've got an ex-agent cracking the 12-digit barrier. Which is just under half of Brady's total career take of $212 million. This past year he made $23 million. His last long term deal was 2016, when he signed for four years at $60 million. The time before that was 2013 when it was five years, $30 million guaranteed and $57 million in total. All grossy under market deals that he took because he's a guy who walks the walk when he says winning is his top priority. But now, at the age of 43, he's going to squeeze $100 million out of someone, after coming off a statistically down season.
Fine. Let's do this. Let's believe that as he approaches his mid 40s, Brady has had a total course correction in his life and career. That he's a changed man. Now all of a sudden he's decided to keep score in dollars. That that's how he measures success. It's ridiculous on its face to think he's become some different person with his priorities swinging 180 degrees from where they've been for 20 years. But I'm playing along, just for the sake of argument.
If it's $100 million with $68 guaranteed (Note: It won't be) then it's not going to happen in New England. It'll be one of the places Jeff Darlington was talking about, but not here.
As a quick aside, how do you talk about this quarterback and use the phrase "more likely than not" instead of "more probable than not"? Is this a sign ESPN thinks we're living in a post-Deflategate world? Like those wounds aren't still fresh? Nice try. But …
But getting back to the topic, there's simply no way Bill Belichick will try to build a Super Bowl contender around that kind of a cap hit. Not on a team that needs a major upgrade at tight end, help at wide receiver and has their left guard, most versatile linebacker and generational safety all facing free agency too. Again, I don't buy for a hot second Brady's suddenly looking to break anyone's bank. I'm just saying he won't even get to the teller's window in Foxboro with those numbers.
So this is where we're at. A couple of weeks ago, a report came out the Pats were willing to go two years at $60 million. A report the team is allegedly pissed off about because it didn't come from them and it's not helping matters any. Now we've got a self-proclaimed expert in the field from CBS Sports saying it's $100 mil with 68% of that guaranteed. I'll assume that in a week or so those numbers will sound like Family Dollar Store prices. It's already nuts, and only going to get nuttier.