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Why the Buccaneers Restructured Tom Brady’s Contract

Last Updated: September 16, 2022
Tom Brady is no stranger to restructured contracts. Here’s a look at his latest, updated deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

To read Boardroom’s full breakdown of Tom Brady’s contract details with the Bucs, click here.

Today, the talk is all about Tom Brady‘s eventual future with FOX Sports as lead football analyst, beginning whenever he decides to retire. But as Brady admits, he still has plenty left in the tank.

That’s why TB12 came out of his short-lived retirement this winter to return to Tampa Bay on a one-year, $15,000,000 contract.

In most cases, such a deal is pretty straight-forward, but with Brady, nothing is ever quite as simple as it seems.

As he has done on other occasions throughout his career, Brady and his team have decided to restructure his contract. In doing so, the GOAT will still get every penny he’s owed, but the Bucs will give it to him in a way that is more beneficial to the organization (read: in a way that will minimize their cap hit).

How, exactly, does such a maneuver work? Boardroom is here with a brief guide to how and why restructuring a contract helps every party get what it wants, using Brady as an example.

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Brady’s Current Contract

Here are the details of Brady’s latest contract. All info via Spotrac:

  • Contract: 1 year, $15,000,000
  • Previous Contract: 1 year, $25,000,000
  • 2022-23 Salary: $1,120,000
  • Cap Space Created: $9,000,000
  • Dead Cap Hit: $47,000,000

How Does Restructuring Affect the Player?

This question is answered by the money in the dead cap. The restructuring of Brady’s deal means that rather than receiving his entire salary this season, it will be spread out over a number of years. It is similar to the NBA’s amnesty clause, except Brady is still with the team that changed his deal. Brady’s dead cap is $47 million. About a quarter of that will hit next season and the rest will be spread out between now and 2026. So Brady doesn’t lose any money by restructuring his deal; it is simply put on delay.

How Does Restructuring Affect The Team/Cap?

The most obvious and immediate effect of restructuring a player’s contract is cap relief for that season. This allows teams — especially one like Tampa Bay who believe themselves to be Super Bowl contenders — to have more cap flexibility to add quality depth to their roster. Whether that depth comes with paying to keep a key player or to add more players at a higher value, restructured contracts assist the franchise to save money in the right now.

Brady’s new deal opens up $9 million for Tampa — a sizable amount by one player — and that cleared the way for the Bucs to have the ability to retain free agents like running back Leonard Fournette and cornerback Carlton Davis. Of course there are other moves that can be made to facilitate cap space, such as the trading and waiving players. But the restructuring of contracts helps illuminate the notion that the player cares about the team while still being compensated well for his individually great play.

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