Tom Brady He went from Tampa Bay. He left behind a legacy of championships – along with a $35.1 million fee cap for 2023.
That’s not the money the Bucs owe Brady. It’s money hackers have previously paid, using available hardware to roll out the can in years to come.
As for the Brady deal, the chickens are now home to stay. And Bucs screwed up.
Yes, they got what they wanted and needed from Brady. Super Bowl championship. Two years of maximum asses in the seats (the first season didn’t include any fans, due to the pandemic). Jerseys and other merchandise sales.
But now, with them sitting at a projected $55 million over the cap, the Bucs need one last favor from Brady. They need him to sign a contract for 2023, with a minimum salary of $1.1165 million. And then they need to address his retirement after June 1st.
Such a contract would reduce Brady’s maximum fee to $11.941 million for 2023. Retirement after June 1 would result in $10.776 million in dead money for 2023, and he would pay out $24.328 million in dead money through 2024.
For Brady, that would preclude him from joining another team, should he change his mind about playing. Although he may now think he will never play again, he may change his mind.
Signing a new contract will make it more difficult. For starters, he’ll be under contract with the Bucs until he’s placed on the reserve-retirement list in June. After that, he would remain on the reserve retiree list until the Pirates released or traded his rights.
After the trade deadline, Brady would have to go through waivers after being released from the reserve retiree list.
So it is in Brady’s best interest to become a free agent. This would give him the flexibility to do whatever he wants without complications or restrictions. But it’s in the best interest of the team for Brady to stick with the Bucs, on paper.
If Brady is going to provide contract service for the Bucs, it would have to happen before his current contract expires in mid-March. If he kept going, that would be the clearest indication that he isn’t really interested in joining another team.
However, he could also re-sign Tampa with the express understanding that if he decided to play again, the Bucs would immediately release his rights. But, again, that has to happen before the trade deadline, in order to avoid passing the waivers.
Yes, Brady says he did for good. But humans change their minds. Who knows how he will feel in July, August or September? Maybe he doesn’t even know.
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