Are players taking pay cuts to play for the Pats?

snowmanny

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I have a question. Someone on the main board noted that the Patriots are able to manage the salary cap effectively because they "have players willing to play for a fraction of what they could make on the open market." I hear this a lot on national radio, and I know there are some examples through the years, but it seems to be one of those oft-repeated statements that is held to be self-evident. So I'm wondering how true this is right now (this year)? Besides Tom Brady, what player, exactly, is everyone talking about? Gronkowski? Harris? Amendola? I'm willing to be, but am not currently, convinced on any of those. And how much of a cut are these players, including Brady, really taking? A "fraction"?

I'm guessing that if Hightower had signed the deal he signed without going to FA first he would have been labeled as exhibit A.
 

j44thor

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I have a question. Someone on the main board noted that the Patriots are able to manage the salary cap effectively because they "have players willing to play for a fraction of what they could make on the open market." I hear this a lot on national radio, and I know there are some examples through the years, but it seems to be one of those oft-repeated statements that is held to be self-evident. So I'm wondering how true this is right now (this year)? Besides Tom Brady, what player, exactly, is everyone talking about? Gronkowski? Harris? Amendola? I'm willing to be, but am not currently, convinced on any of those. And how much of a cut are these players, including Brady, really taking? A "fraction"?

I'm guessing that if Hightower had signed the deal he signed without going to FA first he would have been labeled as exhibit A.
So you want to omit the GOAT from the discussion??? If you can cover the most important position in all of sports at a significant discount for 10+yrs don't you think that gives you a pretty big advantage?
 

Saints Rest

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Well, sure, it's definitely an advantage, but that's not really the question in the thread title. Brady is sui generis, partially because of who he is, but also in some part because he has an extremely wealthy wife.

All teams have players who take pay cuts, that's the nature of the NFL CBA structure. But to take Amendola for an example, did he re-sign with the Pats because he had no other better offers? Same question for DHT.

The only real way to answer affirmatively is with guys like Gilmore or Harris or Burkhead (or countless others). Did they reject higher compensation contracts with other teams to sign with the Pats? Chris Long made it clear, at least after the fact, that he did indeed sign here for less. But who else?
 

snowmanny

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So you want to omit the GOAT from the discussion??? If you can cover the most important position in all of sports at a significant discount for 10+yrs don't you think that gives you a pretty big advantage?
No, that's reasonable, and Brady is really always Exhibit A, I concede. I'm wondering how much of a cut he is taking and whether there are actually lots of other players on the team like him.
 

koufax32

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No, that's reasonable, and Brady is really always Exhibit A, I concede. I'm wondering how much of a cut he is taking and whether there are actually lots of other players on the team like him.
Brady's unique life situation makes him an outlier in this discussion, in my opinion. Would he be doing the same thing if his wife wasn't making $30 million per year? I know it's just speculation but I can't see that happening.
 

soxfan121

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No, that's reasonable, and Brady is really always Exhibit A, I concede. I'm wondering how much of a cut he is taking and whether there are actually lots of other players on the team like him.
http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/quarterback/

He's the 14th highest paid QB on average in 2017. He was a bit higher in 2016, but lower in both 14 & 15.

It is that the way Brady and the team have structured his contracts thay has almost as much to do with how big a "cut" he's taking (not that much) and how that helps the team (a huge amount). Brady hasn't made top dollar, but he's been "fairly compensated" over the course of his career: he's taken a little less but helped the team plan their budget years into the future. His current deal had him "earning" 9M a season in 14, which allowed for Revis's ~20M to impact the 14 cap, leaving no little "dead money" into the future. And then his $9M in 15 helped them clean up any dead money. Brady's ~$20M average this season coincides with years of escalation in the cap overall, and the team having loads of cap space.

If you need a hard number, Brady "saves" the team between 7 and 20 million per season under the cap, depending on the year and other factors.
 

Super Nomario

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http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/quarterback/

He's the 14th highest paid QB on average in 2017. He was a bit higher in 2016, but lower in both 14 & 15.
It's worth noting two things. One, "14th-highest paid" sounds worse than it is. The #1 QB contract per that chart is Derek Carr at $25 MM; Brady's at a touch over $20.5 MM. QB salaries really flatten out towards the top. Brady could certainly get more if he was intent on maximizing every dollar, but not a lot more.

The other thing is that Brady's last two restructures have guaranteed a lot of money. He got a $28 MM signing bonus last year at the age of 38. His 2013 restructure (at the age of 35) guaranteed $57 MM. That's significant, both in terms of protecting his future and in terms of putting cash in hand. When Brady converts salary to signing bonus, that spreads the cap hit for the team into the future, but it gives Brady the money today, letting him fund his latest health food venture or buy a new mansion or a bouncing car or whatever. Brady's deals have been team-friendly, but it's not like he's getting nothing on his end - the amount of guaranteed / up-front money is highly unusual for a player of his age.

Brady's unique life situation makes him an outlier in this discussion, in my opinion. Would he be doing the same thing if his wife wasn't making $30 million per year? I know it's just speculation but I can't see that happening.
Maybe, if he was still neighbors with Kraft and Kraft was investing in Brady's side business and giving him who-knows-what kind of sweetheart rent at Patriot Place, etc.? That's the other, more nefarious factor that shouldn't be discounted - how much of Brady's extracurricular benefits are innocent and how much are nudge-nudge wink-wink circumvention of the salary cap.
 

pappymojo

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Correct me if I am wrong but I believe Brady's contracts include higher guarantees than normal. As I assume higher guarantees are in the player's favor and to the team's detriment, I have some hesitation saying that Brady's contract is very team friendly. Rather, I would suggest that Brady gave up some something (higher total compensation) to get something else (higher guaranteed compensation).
 

DJnVa

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Correct me if I am wrong but I believe Brady's contracts include higher guarantees than normal. As I assume higher guarantees are in the player's favor and to the team's detriment, I have some hesitation saying that Brady's contract is very team friendly. Rather, I would suggest that Brady gave up some something (higher total compensation) to get something else (higher guaranteed compensation).
If you're speaking "guaranteed at signing" then, no, Brady's isn't higher than normal.

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/contracts/quarterback/

Mitchell Trubinsky received more guaranteed cash at signing than Brady did for his current contract. 14 current QBs have more guaranteed money than Brady.
 

Dollar

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Other than Brady, Tedy Bruschi is the other big example of this phenomenon (by representing himself at the negotiating table and passing up bigger offers from other teams throughout his career). I don't think it's the Patriots so much as it is that any team that can contend for a championship will get players who are willing to take less money to win a championship (Michael Bennett in Seattle is the biggest example of this). It seems to happen a lot more in the NBA because it is a star-driven league and it's easy to see who the contenders will be early on and try to sign with those teams... it's a little more complicated in the NFL and players are more likely to go for a contract with guaranteed money.
 

Harry Hooper

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Wasn't Brady's most recent contract re-jiggered to prevent him from losing millions during his 4-game suspension?
 

axx

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Wasn't Brady's most recent contract re-jiggered to prevent him from losing millions during his 4-game suspension?
Yep. It is however rather conveniently constructed so that the Patriots cannot keep Jimmy G though.
 

pappymojo

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If you're speaking "guaranteed at signing" then, no, Brady's isn't higher than normal.

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/contracts/quarterback/

Mitchell Trubinsky received more guaranteed cash at signing than Brady did for his current contract. 14 current QBs have more guaranteed money than Brady.
Thank you. I often have a hard time identifying the relative value of NFL contracts.

From the following page, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Ben Rottenburger, and Aaron Rodgers are shown to be making more money than Brady, but they are just dividing the total salary by the number of years in the contract. All four of those players have a significantly smaller portions of their contracts guaranteed in comparison to Brady.

http://www.nfl.com/photoessays/0ap3000000478529

Now I have no idea how much any of this matters. I mean, is Roethlisburger not going to make the total $87 million in his contract? I don't see why he wouldnt, but Brady has $28 guaranteed over two years and Roethlisburger has $31 million guaranteed over four. Is it clear that Ben's contract is better than Brady's?