How much money could Tom Brady make on the open market? Apparently a lot more than he currently earns.
The Patriots quarterback signed a contract extension this week that — while an extension in name — effectively expires at the end of this season. Brady, of course, reportedly plans to continue to renegotiate and restructure his contract, as he seemingly has done every year, and told reporters Monday that he loves playing quarterback in New England.
However, under the reported terms of his new extension, he will be a free agent, if only briefly, in 2020.
“Someone can call Tom Brady at 4:01 at the start of the league year in 2020 and try to sign Tom Brady,” NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport said Monday. “All of this is factually correct. I will also add that the relationship between Brady and the Patriots is very good and the Patriots want to do everything they can to make sure that he plays well with them. But still, Tom Brady will be, if for just one second, a free agent after this season.”
So what if he did entertain offers from other teams? How much could the six-time Super Bowl champion make, even at the age of 42 going on 43?
Sports Illustrated‘s Conor Orr decided to ask around. And in an article Tuesday, he reported that Brady could get somewhere between $35 million and $45 million a year, according to two NFL contract advisers and a former general manager.
The first answer? $35 million, fully guaranteed. The second? $45 million, assuming the team is rife with talented players and is quite literally one quarterback away from contending for the Super Bowl (think, the pre-Nick Foles Jaguars). The former GM then seconded the $35 million estimate.
For comparison’s sake, the highest-paid player in the NFL is currently Seattle Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson, who makes an average of $35 million a year under the four-year contract extension he signed this offseason.
Even with the $8 million raise included in his new extension, Brady will make $23 million this season. That’s a half-million dollars less than injured Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith makes on average each year.
Fortunately for Patriots fans, Brady says he loves his home in Foxborough, if not his mansion in Brookline.