Pondering the Brady Contract Reports

Ian Logue
September 07, 2010 at 04:26pm ET

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It's been an interesting day since it was reported that a deal between Tom Brady and the Patriots was "imminent".   Instead it's turned into a "who's right", and "who's not" media battle as we await for the official word on when he signs and what the dollar amounts will be.

It looks like the Patriots and Brady are finally close to a contract. (PHOTO: Icon/SMI)
The initial report from the Boston Herald, citing sources close to the negotiations, reported that the Patriots offered Brady a three-year, $58 million contract that would kick in after this season.  ESPN's Adam Schefter (also a reliable source) reports that a contract is not yet in place and the two sides have yet to fully agree on the deal.  Schefter also says that the two sides have generated significant momentum, but both sides still need to agree and that Brady's still hasn't just yet.

The interesting part of this is likely the fact that it's only a three year deal, and I would have to believe that the apparent "inaccuracy" regarding the contract reports may have to do with the annual figures.  According to the Herald's report Brady's salary works out to be $19.6 million annually - which may not actually be the case.  The odds are probably pretty good that considering that it's such a short term deal (which again, is in addition to his current one) it may have been done in part to give Brady more guaranteed money up front, while leaving them with flexibility in years 2-3 to potentially give him one more contract that will allow him to finish his career here.

I've heard from a few people today that were concerned about the length of the contract, but the number of years when it comes to NFL contracts really isn't what's important (at least not entirely) - especially considering that NFL contracts aren't guaranteed. What is important is how much guaranteed money they receive up front, so the discrepancy may have to do with that figure - which to this point hasn't been reported.  So we'll likely find that when the numbers come out, Brady's deal probably contains a significant amount of it.

Head coach Bill Belichick didn't comment on Brady's situation today (hold your shock and surprise), but when asked about it Nick Caserio did talk a little bit about how important it is for a player to be focused on football heading into a new season, which could be a good sign that things are headed in the right direction.

"From a player's perspective, the most important thing going into the opening game of the season is that the players focus on the game and on the opponent," Caserio told reporters on Tuesday. "So, that's where I think the players' focus is. That's where the coaches' focus is and collectively, as an organization, that's what we're focused on – starting the season, getting off on the right foot against a good team and start to move in the right direction. I think that's where we are right now."

Either way all reports appear that things are definitely looking like a contract is close to being consumated.  Whether or not the deal is "imminent" really isn't important, as long as the two sides are on the same page and it gets done. 

At this point thankfully it appears that they're getting close. The good news for Patriots fans is that for now it looks like any "disconnect" there may have been, is now a thing of the past.