Hannable: Matt Ryan’s new contract potentially could trigger new deal for Tom Brady

Ryan Hannable
May 07, 2018 - 9:50 am

Jerry Lai/USA Today Sports

For years, Tom Brady has been a team-player and gone out of his way to take less money than he deserves, but as Brady plays out the final few seasons of his career, those days could be over.

The quarterback has yet to attend a voluntary offseason workout, which is out of character for him as he’s been a regular over the course of his career except for 2008-10 when he was in California. 

While he says it’s to spend more time with his family, these workouts are just a few hours a day for a few days a week, and Brady makes his home no more than 30 minutes from the Gillette Stadium facility. It’s not like he’s being asked to leave his family for weeks at a time.

This leads us to think maybe there’s more to it, such as wanting new contract. A few weeks ago it was reported by NFL Media that Brady would like a new deal before the season starts, so maybe not attending the workouts like usual is a sign he really wants it.

And after what happened last week with Matt Ryan, Brady may want a new deal even more.

Ryan reportedly agreed to a five-year, $150 million contract extension with the Falcons, which includes $100 million guaranteed. The new deal made him the NFL’s first player to agree to a contract worth $30 million a year.

“Matt is getting what he has earned and we all know the marketplace for a great quarterback,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank told ESPN. “League revenues are up, club revenues are up, new stadiums and the players are the heart of the game.”

How much is Brady making a year? Roughly just $20.5 million after he signed a two-year, $41 million extension in March of 2016. Not even close to Ryan and also not even close to some other NFL quarterbacks.

When it comes to average annual salary, Brady is ranked 16th among current NFL quarterbacks. Some names of players who make more than he does: Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Matthew Stafford and Alex Smith. Other than Ryan, Kirk Cousins, Jimmy Garoppolo, Stafford, Drew Brees (tied) and Derek Carr (tied) round out the top five.

Woof. 

As much as Brady doesn’t think about these things and is all about winning on the field, having 15 quarterbacks in the league make more than him has to frustrate him to some degree, especially given all he’s accomplished over the years.

Owner Robert Kraft has more of an influence on Brady’s contract than any other player on the roster, so could Brady go to Kraft and ask for a raise, especially after seeing Ryan’s numbers? 

If it were to happen, based on Kraft’s comments recently to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, a new deal would likely be coming.

“He’ll be 41 when the season starts,” Kraft said of Brady's current contract. “Neither side has an issue with it. If it becomes an issue, we’ll deal with it.”

As of now, New England has just over $12 million in cap space, so it has the money to give to Brady and also to give to Rob Gronkowski if the team wanted to give him more money as well. There doesn’t appear to be any real reason to deny Brady's request, if it were to happen.

It’s also worth noting the last few times Brady has signed an extension it has come when he has two years remaining on his current deal, which he does now.

Whether or not if Ryan’s new contract potentially sparks the conversation, based on Kraft’s prior comments, if Brady requests a new deal, he’s going to get one. 

The only question would be for how much and how long?

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