|ESPN.com: New England Patriots||[Print without images]|
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made an emphatic statement Monday in agreeing to a three-year contract extension through 2017.
Some players say it isn't about the money when it really is about the money. With Brady, it isn't about the money.
Few, if any, can argue that based on this unprecedented deal.
This is a case in which Brady sacrificed his leverage and took significantly less money -- a $27 million extension over three years -- than he potentially could have later commanded because he wants to finish his career with the best chance to win Super Bowl championships. Inking the deal, which is about half of what star quarterbacks earn on an average per-year basis, spreads his salary-cap charges over five seasons, which lowers them and gives the Patriots flexibility to surround him with better players at a time when the NFL salary cap isn't rising.
Brady is 35 and opportunities for a fourth Super Bowl ring, and possibly more, are dwindling. Super Bowl losses in the 2007 and 2011 seasons have stung him deeply.
He just wants to win and he's willing to give up leverage and dollars to do so.