Tom Brady has been an absolute bargain for the New England Patriots.
Last season was the first time in his entire career he made more than $20 million. That’s barely more than backup-quality quarterbacks like Eli Manning and Joe Flacco, and much less than the $30+ million elite quarterbacks are making.
We’ll never hear Brady complain about his salary in public, though. After all, he chose to help the Patriots sign better players by taking less.
But it has to get to him at least a little bit – right?
According to Gary Tanguay of NBC Sports, the answer is yes. He says that Brady feels embarrassed about how his salary compares to other quarterbacks in the league.
This season, Brady’s salary ranked 13th among quarterbacks at $23 million. Ranked ahead of him were injured Redskins quarterback Alex Smith, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, and one of his former backups, Jimmy Garoppolo.
Sure, Brady didn’t have a career year, but he still deserved more than those guys.
After years of willingly taking backup-level money, it’s understandable that he wants to get paid fairly.
There’s just one problem – he can’t command an elite paycheck anymore.
NFL teams don’t pay players according to how well they have played. They pay for how good they are right now.
No one expects a 43-year old quarterback to be a superstar – not even the GOAT.
But given how the Patriots offense looked in 2019, Brady doesn’t look like he’s in line for a pay raise at all.
He threw for 4,000+ yards and had a 3-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio, but the offense was a middle-of-the-pack unit led by a middle-of-the-pack quarterback.
The Patriots got what they paid for.
Football’s a cutthroat business. When the Patriots (or any other team) make Brady an offer, they are going to look at this past season, as well as his age, and then come up with a fair-market salary figure.
And Tom Brady probably isn’t going to like it.
If he’s embarrassed by his salary now, he’s in for a rude awakening once free agency starts.