UPDATE: According to ESPNBoston’s Mike Reiss, the restructure does not reduce Brady’s cap hit but rather allows the team to “get creative’’ with contract negotiations.
Prior to Brady inking this restructure, the Patriots would have had to commit the $24 million due him up front by the end of March, though the cap hit would still be spread over the next three years. The change instead gives the team flexibility to offer more up-front cash to critical free agents like Revis, McCourty and Nate Solder.
Brady will get an additional $1 million each of the next few years as part of the deal, but he’ll still be a relative bargain at a total of $27 million over that period.
ORIGINAL STORY: Tom Brady today restructured the remaining three years of his deal to free up $24 million for the Patriots, as per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. According to Schefter, the $24 million of “skill’’ money guaranteed Brady has been changed to “injury’’ guarantee, meaning it will now only be guaranteed in the event of an injury.
The restructure essentially reverts Brady’s contract to what it was a few days ago, as the money only became “skill’’ guarantee by virtue of his being active Saturday.
The additional cap flexibility afforded by this deal could help the team pick re-sign or extend pending free agents such as Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty, Dan Connolly or Stephen Gostkowski.
According to Patriots salary cap expert @patscap and patscap.com administrator, the deal does not free up a lump sum of $24 million but rather allows the Patriots to move the remaining money guaranteed Brady out of escrow. It does not reduce Brady’s cap hit any of the next three years.
Teams have to escrow the amount of fully guaranteed contracts. Rmoving the fully gtd portion from Brady's contract eliminates that for Pats.— [email protected] (@patscap) December 29, 2014
The change from a fully gtd contract to injury only guarantee does not change Brady's cap numbers.— [email protected] (@patscap) December 29, 2014
Changing from fully gtd contract to injury-only just allows the Pats to avoid putting $24 million now into escrow to cover Brady's salaries— [email protected] (@patscap) December 29, 2014