In the Starting Line-Up
Wrong. They could have extended him the past offseason and lowered his 2020 cap hit very easily. They entered 2021 with the most cap space in football, said cap space could have been used in 2020 to strengthen the roster. They had ample margin to maneuver the cap and remained competitive while spending cash up front until Brady retired. That Bill CHOSE to use 2020 as a reset year is a function of him not vieweing Brady at that point as a guy that it would be worth going all in for another 3 seasons. But it absolutely was a choice. Had Bill wanted Brady back, they could have put a much better roster together in 2020 while using reiterated restructures to leave the brunt of cap hits for 2022-23. They didn't want to do that, which was understandable, but this narrative that they were just in cap hell and their hands were tied is utterly false.Brady was demanding $25m per year, there was already money deferred from previous restructures, and he was 42. Eventually that cap bill comes due, and paying him $25m inhibits you from building up the rest of the roster. It was a blessing that Tom chose to leave when he did, allowing BB to blow it up the following season, then draft Mac and have some cap space.
The only way this could have been different is if we had drafted better from 2017-19. We didn't, but we're drafting better recently.