Brady is expected to become a free agent for only the second time in his career, barring retirement. Tom Brady’s 23-year career in the National Football League came to an end on Monday night after the Buccaneers were eliminated from the playoffs in the wild-card round by the Cowboys with a score of 31-14.
This season was the most challenging of Brady’s career. The choice that Tom Brady made during the offseason of the previous year to stop his short 40-day retirement in order to continue playing football resulted in the dissolution of his marriage to the supermodel Gisele Bundchen, which had lasted for 13 years. At the end of October, the divorce was granted in its entirety.
In his debut season in the NFL, Brady’s team finished with a losing record. With a record of 8-9, the Buccaneers were able to win the NFC South division.
The man, who is 45 years old, had at long last begun to feel the effects of Father Time. He did not even come close to recreating his MVP-caliber performance from 2021, in which he led the league in passing yards and set a career best with 43 touchdown passes while also throwing for 5,316 yards. This season, Brady set new marks for the most throw attempts and completions in a single NFL season with 733 and 490, respectively. Additionally, he finished third in the league in throwing yards with 4,694 yards.
Against the Cowboys, Brady had all of the signs of an ageing quarterback. It was perhaps the worst game he had played in the playoffs throughout his whole career. It is a miracle that he only threw one interception despite the staggering number of 66 pass attempts he made. He only completed 53 percent of his passes.
Brady’s Past Contracts with the Buccaneers!
During his postgame news conference, Brady avoided making any firm commitments on his future. He made it clear that he was going to deal with everything “one day at a time.”
As of March 15, Brady will be eligible to sign a deal with any team he chooses, marking the second time in his career that he will be able to do so. It is impossible to stop him from going out into the open market. There is a stipulation in Brady’s contract that prevents the Buccaneers from classifying him as either a franchise player or a transition player in any capacity.
After agreeing to terms with Brady on a fully guaranteed two-year, $50 million deal for a maximum of $59 million with incentives as an unrestricted free agency in March 2020, the Buccaneers overhauled their strategy for managing their wage cap. There was a consistent focus on “win now” mode personnel changes, with little concern given to long-range planning. Through a series of contract restructures with various players, notably Tom Brady, the team was able to push forward its salary cap responsibilities into the future on a recurring basis. If Brady decides to hang up his cleats, the bill will start to accrue interest.
By extending Brady’s contract for an additional year at a cost of $27,941,176 in March of that year, the Buccaneers were able to “keep the band together” in their quest to defend their title as Super Bowl winners. This move freed up $19.3 million of salary cap space for the Buccaneers in 2021.
Because his fully guaranteed $20 million fifth-day-of-the-2021-league-year roster bonus and $20 million signing bonus may be prorated over five years (through 2025), rather than over just two years, the agreement includes three nullifying contract years (through 2022, 2023 and 2025). The pay ceiling was set at $4 million per year over these five years, and both of these wage components received a proportional share of that amount.
In April of last year, Brady’s contract was revised once again as a result of his decision to play in a 23rd season. His salary was increased to $15 million in 2022 instead of $10,395,588 based on a cap number of $20,270,588. This was accomplished by effectively buying out the $4.5 million in incentives that were included in his contract.
Brock Purdy of the 49ers is no longer a rookie in the eyes of the Cowboys’ coach.
A dummy or voiding contract for the year 2026 was added, and the original $13.88 million was turned into a roster bonus that was payable one day after the new deal was executed. This roster bonus would be prorated throughout the term of the contract, much as a signing bonus would be. The addition of the new dummy/voiding year made it possible to set the roster bonus’s salary cap proportionately at $2.776 million each year for the years 2022 to 2026. As a result of this procedure, the cap amount for Brady in 2022 was reduced to $11.896 million.
If Brady retires: How Brady’s decision impacts Buccaneers financially
If Tom Brady decides to hang up his cleats, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be responsible for the salary cap penalty equivalent to $35.104 million worth of “dead money.” The dead money would be comprised of $12 million in roster bonus proration for the year 2021 (covering the years 2023 through 2025), $12 million in signing bonus proration for the same time period, and $11.104 million in roster bonus proration for the year 2022. (2023-2026).
With Brady’s $35.104 million in dead money, a problematic position in 2023 regarding the wage ceiling would become much more challenging. Using NFLPA data and offseason accounting rules, in which only the top 51 salaries (i.e., cap numbers) matter, Tampa Bay would have approximately a $52.5 million overage in 2023 if the salary cap is set in the vicinity of $225 million. This is based on the assumption that the salary cap will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $225 million.