It seems Tom Brady is not satisfied with seven Super Bowls.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Brady have agreed to a four-year extension that voids to a one-year deal, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
This move saves Tampa Bay about $19 million against this year’s COVID-reduced $182.5 million salary cap—which is down eight percent from last season—while also tying the greatest of all time to the Bucs through the 2022 campaign, sources told Schefter.
The added years at the end of the deal are part of an elaborate strategy teams have been using a lot more often this offseason to help defray costs or move them down the line considering the current state of the $182.5 million salary cap, which is down from $198.2 million in 2020.
Brady taking a pay cut is just the latest of many efforts by the 43-year-old to keep this Super Bowl-winning team together. In an instagram post announcing the signing, Brady added the caption: “In pursuit of 8… LFG Buccaneers we’re keeping the band together.”
The Buccaneers are coming off of a dominant win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55 last month, yet they sit second on 888sports’ odds table behind Kansas City (+500 NFL odds) with +800 odds to win the Super Bowl. We could very well be getting our first Super Bowl repeat in a long time next season, so either one of those bets is looking mighty fine right about now.
Tampa Bay was about $8 million over the cap before the Brady deal, having already placed the franchise tag on Chris Godwin and re-signed linebacker LaVonte David to a deal packed with voidable years similar to the one Brady signed.
“Tom is one of those guys that understands that it takes a whole village to win,” David said Friday. “It takes a team, a group of guys, to win football games. Me, the same thing. I’m all about team. And I’ll do what I can, do what it takes to hopefully get everybody back and go do this thing again.”
The voidable years strategy is great for a team like the Bucs who are trying to win now with a 43-year-old Brady, but in a few years the chickens will be coming home to roost in a big way. However, you’d have to think that If the Bucs already have a fistful of rings by then, they surely won’t mind a couple of years of cap hell down the road.
Tampa Bay still has a lot of work to do, but the Brady restructure could go a long way in helping the team to sign pass-rusher Shaq Barrett, who was a huge reason the Bucs beat the Chiefs for the Lombardi Trophy as he tormented Patrick Mahomes all night.
Running back Leonard Fournette, wideout Antonio Brown, tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and kicker Ryan Succop are also slated to become free agents if they are not signed by the start of the new NFL year on March 17th.
Brady is coming off his 21st season in the NFL, his first with the Bucs after leaving his longtime team, the New England Patriots during last offseason. The consensus, without-a-doubt GOAT of the NFL, Brady will be looking to add to a trophy case that must be more like a trophy room by now.
The 43-year-old has indicated that he’d love to continue playing through age 45, so that trophy room already stuffed with a Comeback Player of the Year award, three NFL MVPs, five Super Bowl MVPs, five All-Pro selections, and 14 Pro Bowl nods might need an addition soon enough.