Brady will now be a Patriot until he’s at least 40. (FILE:USPresswire)

Tom Brady has always said he plans on being around in New England until he’s 40.

According to SI.com’s Peter King the Patriots have given their signal-caller a 3-year contract extension that will keep Brady in Foxboro through 2017, the same year where Brady will exit his 30’s.

The interesting part of King’s report is the fact Brady will make just $27-million over those 3-years, although NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports that Brady will be guaranteed at least $41 million that “won’t be ripped up” at a later date.  That’s obviously half of his market value, although Brady has said in the past that the most important thing to him was winning football games.  This move allows the Patriots some additional flexibility cap-wise over the next few seasons to ensure they can keep plenty of talent around him.

Albert Breer of NFL.com reports that Brady’s contract will have an immediate effect over the next two years, including freeing up $20-million in cap space for 2013 alone.  That should give them quite a lot of money to spend to be players in the free agent market, as well as potentially lock up a few of their own for the foreseeable future.

One key thing to keep an eye on now will be how this plays into keeping Wes Welker in New England.  Welker and Brady have been close throughout the receiver’s tenure and it will be interesting to see whether or not the move allows them to be creative enough financially to potentially get a deal done.

For now they’ve at least got Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez locked up over the next four seasons.  Now we’ll have to see what other building blocks they put into place to hopefully make them as memorable as possible as the future Hall of Fame quarterback closes out what has been an incredible career here in New England.