Patriots Offer Tom Brady Less Money, Things Go From Bad To Worse
The New England Patriots offered Tom Brady less money than he wanted, and now things are going from bad to worse.
Heading into the offseason, it was unclear how much Brady and the Patriots truly wanted to reunite.
The 42-year-old seemed to want to play for a new franchise with a better roster and for more money. Head coach Bill Belichick, in turn, seemed to want to prove that he could win with any quarterback.
Neither party publicly committed to the other in the way that multiple franchises have publicly expressed interest in signing Brady.
Some continued to argue that behind the scenes the Patriots would still work hard to sign Brady, but that is becoming an increasingly more questionable assertion.
According to WEEI radio host Dale Arnold, Brady and Belichick had a very bad conversation last week. Apparently an offer was ultimately floated to Brady during the talk, but it was one that would pay him a smaller salary than the one he earned in 2019.
.@DaleEArnold on conflicting reports regarding last week’s phone call between Brady ans Belichick:
“This is what I was told happened: there was a phone call…the Patriots told Tom Brady that all they can do is a 1-year deal at less money than [Brady] made last year…” pic.twitter.com/sutdqQtD6K
— Dale & Keefe (@DaleKeefeWEEI) March 12, 2020
“This is what I was told happened: There was a phone call between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. There was not a negotiation,” he said.
“There wasn’t a, ‘We will offer you a two-year deal at X number of dollars.’ What I was told happened was the Patriots told Tom Brady that all they can do is a one-year deal at less money than he made last year because of the $13.5 million that gets tacked onto the salary cap and basically, ‘What we’re going to be able to do here Tom, is a one-year deal, but it’s not going to be for as much money as you got last year.’”
As a result of the way Brady’s contract was put together last year, the Patriots will endure a dead salary cap hit of $13.5 million if he does sign with the team prior to March 18. That means even if he does opt to return, but does so after that date, the team takes the hit.
Should Brady opt to return to the Patriots before March 18, the hit would only be $6.75 million.
Based on everything Brady and his camp have said thus far, it appears extremely unlikely that he will re-sign with New England before that date.
To date, Brady has been linked to the Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers. Despite all the speculation, many have still maintained that the smart money is on him coming back to the Patriots.
Based on this most recent report, however, that theory no longer seems as sound as it did one week ago.
Could Brady still return to the Patriots? Of course. Is it a lock to happen, though? Absolutely not.