Brady signed a one-year, $23 million contract extension with the Patriots in August, which allowed his contract to void at the start of the new league year in 2020 – March 18. But the extension didn’t come without some drama, according to NBC Sports Boston.
The six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback “seriously” considered leaving training camp before New England agreed to give him a raise and take the franchise tag off the table, NBC Sports Boston reported. The reworked deal set the stage for Brady’s eventual departure.
According to Spotrac, the contract was worth about $1.7 million in base salary and about $20 million in a signing bonus. Money appeared to be the underlying issue between the two sides.
“Bill Belichick couldn’t get his brain around paying a player born in 1977 as if he were born in 1997,” the report said.
“Brady couldn’t get over the fact that after all the years he’d spent showing his DOB didn’t matter, his bosses just wouldn’t believe it.”
Brady made the announcement earlier Tuesday that his football journey “will take place elsewhere.”
“To all my teammates, coaches, executives and staff, Coach Belichick, RKK, and the Kraft family and the entire organization. I want to say thank you for the past twenty years of my life and the daily commitment to winning and creating a winning culture built on great values. I am grateful for all that you have taught me – I have learned from everyone. You all have allowed me to maximize my potential and that is all a player can hope for. Everything we have accomplished brings me great joy and the lessons I have learned will carry on with me forever. I couldn’t be the man I am today without the relationships you have allowed me to build with you. I have benefited from all you have given me. I cherished every opportunity I had to be a part of our team, and I love you all for that. Our team has always set a great standard in pro sports and I know it will continue to do just that.
“Although my football journey will take play elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments. I have been privileged to have the opportunity to know each and everyone of you, and to have the memories we’ve created together.”
Belichick praised Brady in a statement.
“Examples of Tom’s greatness are limitless, going back even before he was drafted,” the statement said in part. “We witnessed how he prepared when he wasn’t playing, how he performed when he got his opportunity, what he did to continuously improve, his leadership, his mindset, the example he set, and, of course, the person he is. I am extremely grateful for what he did for our team and for me personally.
“Sometimes in life, it takes some time to pass before truly appreciating something or someone but that has not been the case with Tom. He is a special person and the greatest quarterback of all-time.”
It’s unclear which team Brady will play for in 2020. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Chargers appear to be the most likely landing spots.