Big news today came out of New England as the Patriots agreed to terms with Tom Brady on a three year contract extension. The deal added three years to his current deal, but involved re-working that deal to clear up much-needed cap space. The Patriots were running out of room, but this deal allowed them to clear $15 million in cap space over the next two seasons.
The deal will keep Brady with the Patriots through 2017, which means he will be 40 at the end of this deal, and could very well be finished as a pro (if not before). What is particularly notable however is that the three year extension was for $27 million.
The entire deal is guaranteed, but even still, that is a rather low number for one of the best quarterbacks in the game. However, as a guy who is looking to get back to the promise land for the first time since 2004, this shows a commitment to winning. Obviously he wanted to win before, but this is putting his money where his mouth is and clearing up significant cap space for the Patriots right away.
Where this gets interesting is in future quarterback contracts. The most pressing contract negotiation is between Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens. There is a lot of talk about making Flacco a $100 million quarterback. Both sides know that Brady took a hometown discount with his deal, but the question now is if this impacts the way Flacco approaches the negotiation. The Ravens can't get away with saying, "we won't pay you more than Brady" because of the nature of the deal. But will Flacco be willing to bend a little knowing that it provides cap space for other deals?
And of course, eventually the 49ers will hopefully be looking to extend QB Colin Kaepernick. The team cannot sign Kaepernick to an extension this year because of the rules of the CBA requiring another year of service. However, if Kaepernick is able to effectively build on his strong 2012 campaign, his value will only continue to rise. With a wide variance in contracts, it creates all sorts of questions about what kind of deal Kap could be looking at a year or two from now.