Monday, February 25, 2013
Impact of Brady's new deal
By Tim Kavanagh
In a move that will be cursed by representation for Joe Flacco, Tony Romo and Matt Ryan, Tom Brady has inked a three-year extension to stay with the New England Patriots through the 2017 season (when he'll be 40 years old) at a rate of just $27 million for the entire span of the deal. Brady is certainly leaving some money on the table here, but he does have the luxury of giving the Pats a discount, given the earning power of his betrothed. So what does the deal mean in a larger sense for the Patriots?
According to Albert Breer of NFL.com, the Brady deal clears about $15 million in cap space for 2013, and the Pats will now have over $30 million in space the next two offseasons (pending other transactions). This gives them some flexibility in general, as noted by Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com, and specifically when it comes to Wes Welker. It was believed that the two sides were ready to bid each other adieu, but reports over the weekend indicated that the Pats were now re-considering doling out a multi-year deal to the WR. The fact that the Brady deal gives them some extra breathing room from a cap standpoint doesn't seem to be a coincidence in this case.
But in addition to Welker (and fellow impending free agents Sebastian Vollmer and Julian Edelman), the extra space can also be used to find a deep threat (such as they haven't employed since the heyday of Randy Moss' time in New England) as well as getting help for a defensive secondary that was not up to snuff in 2012. This may alter the playing field in their dealings with CB Aqib Talib, as well as any outside free agent targets.
All of this considered, Monday was a very good day for Patriots fans.