Is there an example of a player actually doing this, ever, in any sport? Brady took a contract, like many of those he took in New England, with lower overall hit than market and higher guarantees. He ranked 16th or 17th in AAV; the only non-rookie-contract starters with lower AAV were Alex Smith, Teddy Bridgewater, and Cam. He was never going to play for a million. He's part of a union. Jeez.I don't fault BB for not giving Brady the kind of contract he got from TB - I think that was the right decision.
I don't fault TB (too much) for going to TB and getting a market value contract*
* The only thing I do "fault" him for (at little bit), is putting any priority on getting a market value contract. Tom Brady, to a degree unlike any other football player ever, really doesn't need money. He could have played for Cam Newton money (just to take the absurd example) and it would not have made any material difference in his life.
There are a couple caveats to all this:
1) I don't know how Brady felt about playing for BB. If it really was a miserable experience for him, then I completely agree with his decision to leave.
2) Coming into the season, I would have thought that if Brady had signed on for "Cam Newton money" (again, just to take the extreme example), they would have had the salary cap flexibility to put a really good team around him. Obviously, they signed Cam Newton for "Cam Newton money" and the team around him stunk. So, that part is a bit of a mystery to me. So, Brady may have accurately predicted that no matter what he signed for with NE, they were not going to put a team around him as good as the team in TB. So, if the equation came down to 1) The best team I can have around me is in Tampa Bay, and 2) the team that is willing to pay me the most happens to be TB as well - it's a no brainer.