Tom Brady Gone from Tampa Bay. He leaves a championship legacy — with a $35.1 million cap hit for 2023.
That’s not money Bucks Brady owes. It’s money the Buccaneers have paid before, using available fixtures to kick the can in future years.
As for Brady’s contract, the chickens are now coming home to roost. And the bucks are screwed.
Yes, they got what they wanted and needed from Brady. A Super Bowl Championship. Donkeys in the seats for a maximum of two years (no fans in the first season due to the epidemic). Sale of jerseys and other items.
But now, as they target more than $55 million, the Bucs need one last helping of Brady. He will sign a contract through 2023 with a minimum salary of $1.1165 million. Then they should get his retirement after June 1.
Such a deal would reduce Brady’s cap hit for 2023 to $11.941 million. Retirement after June 1 would leave $10.776 million in debt in 2023, and that would push $24.328 million in debt into 2024.
For Brady, if he changes his mind about playing, this will prevent him from joining another team. Although he now believes he will never play again, he could change his mind.
Signing a new contract can be very difficult. Initially, he will remain under contract with the Bucs until they place him on the reserve-retired list in June. After that, he will remain on the reserve-retired list until the Buccaneers release his rights or trade him.
After the trade deadline, Brady must clear waivers after being released from the reserve-retired list.
So becoming a free agent is in Brady’s best interests. It gives him the flexibility to do whatever he wants without any problem or limitations. But it’s in the team’s best interest to have Brady commit to the Bucks on paper.
If Brady does a contract favor for the Bucs, it would have to happen before his current contract expires in mid-March. If he manages that, it’s a clear sign that he doesn’t want to join another team.
He said he could re-sign in Tampa with the express understanding that if he decided to play again, the Bucks would immediately release his rights. But, again, that has to happen before the trade deadline to avoid going through waivers.
Yes, Brady says he did it for good. But men change their minds. Who knows how he will feel in July or August or September? Maybe he doesn’t know either.