Tom Brady bet on himself this NFL season, and he lost big.
The New England Patriots quarterback had restructured his contract to give the team more flexibility to spend on other players, taking less guaranteed money in exchange for the chance to hit certain performance-based incentives. As Yahoo Sports noted, Brady had the chance to make an extra $5 million this season by reaching the different incentives, but didn’t reach any of them as he saw his production hit a decline at the age of 41.
Brady was still able to lead the Patriots to the No. 2 overall seed in the AFC and a bye week to start the playoffs, but he saw nearly all of his passing statistics fall from his career averages. That left Brady making only his $15 million base salary, putting him at the lowest end for starting quarterbacks in the NFL not on their rookie contracts.
As Yahoo Sports noted, to reach the incentives listed in his contract, Brady needed to finish in the top five in the NFL in passing yards, completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdown passes, and passing yards. He finished far off the mark in all except total yards, where he finished seventh in the NFL.
Tom Brady signed a revised contract this year that gave him up to $5 million in incentives, but he's set to earn $0 in extra income because he'll reach none of those incentives https://t.co/96F6X9xDLw— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) December 29, 2018
But losing money is nothing new to Tom Brady. As Business Insider reported, Brady’s tendency to take team-friendly deals have cost him an estimated $60 million over the course of his career, though it has also freed up the Patriots to pick up other players needed to make the team a perennial Super Bowl contender.
“We imagined a scenario where Brady signed new deals in 2005, 2009, 2013, and 2017 that were the equivalent of the going rate for the top quarterback at the time. In each of those four years, we imagined Brady signing a new contract equal to that of the biggest contracts for veteran quarterbacks that had been signed before that season or the previous season. We also imagined that Brady only played four seasons under each contract and then signed a new deal.”
Losing $5 million likely won’t hurt Tom Brady or his family too much this year. The NFL star’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, was named one of the world’s highest-paid models by Forbes, taking in an estimated $10 million last year. And Brady still has the chance to console himself with another Super Bowl this year, plus an extra week off before his team starts its trek back to the NFL’s final game.