Tom Brady is retired (he posted like six pages on Insta, you can read it there because I am not transcribing it).
I — a person with zero sources — felt very confident in saying that he was done. But, I also thought that he was a smart businessman, with loyalty and respect for Tampa Bay (and the game in general). And so I told all my friends that he was not going to announce this foregone conclusion anytime soon.
WHY? Money. For both he and the Bucs.
Brady was under contract through the 2022 season. He — as he has done time and again in his career — moved money around and freed up $19.3M of 2021 salary cap room by inking a one-year, $27,941,176 contract extension. He did this to help the Bucs “keep the band together” in an effort to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
It didn’t work, as the team lost in the NFC Divisional round.
That extension included three voidable contract years (Google Taysom Hill contract for some real silliness) which meant, his fully guaranteed $20M kicked in on the fifth day of the 2021 league year and his roster bonus and $20M signing bonus is prorated over five years (through 2025) instead of over just two years (through 2022).
All that math meant that Brady was scheduled to make $10,395,588 in 2022 on a $20,270,588 cap number. That $10,395,588 consists of an injury guaranteed $8.925 million base salary, which becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2022 league year waiver period (Feb. 18) and a $1,470,588 17th regular season game roster bonus.
What do all of those number mean?
Well… now that Brady is retired, he stuck the Bucs with $32M in dead money, counting against the cap.
I would never predicted him to do that. Again, I have no sources, was just trying to be super smart.
If he dragged out his announcement until June 2, then the team would have been able to spread $24M of that money out. The Bucs could also pick up another $12.27M in cap space with his retirement at that point AND it would void out $1.875M in potential incentives that were built into his contract.
If Brady and the Bucs wanted to go in this direction, it would be — basically — giving Brady a $16M golden parachute… but it would have dropped Brady to a $1.12 cap hit and free up nearly $12M in cap space, while not sticking the team with a $32M number.
It is a pretty good deal for both sides and what I thought would happen.
I mean, it would have been in his best interest to get $16M versus $0… right?
“I’m just still going through the process that I said I was going through,” he said Monday night on his SiriusXM podcast. “Sometimes it takes some time to really evaluate how you feel, what you want to do, and I think when the time is right, I’ll be ready to make a decision, one way or the other, just like I said last week.
“I understand my decision affects a lot of people’s lives so when that decision comes, it’ll come.”
The ‘lot of people’ is more than just his immediate family. It is also the Bucs free agents.
The team is now saddled with his dead money, leaving it with only $15M to spend in free agency. If Tom played ball, it moves that number closer to $30M.
“I’ll know when the time’s right,” he said. “When I know, I’ll know and when I don’t know, I don’t know, and I’m not going to race to some conclusion about that.”
I thought the ‘time would be right’ in early June.
Tom thought the time was right this morning.
I was wrong.