It’s hard to say whether the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ contract for Tom Brady is higher than was the New England Patriots would have paid.
That’s because Brady reportedly did not receive a contract offer from his previous team.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots never extended a contract offer to Brady during free agency. Instead, the Patriots waited on Brady to see if the quarterback wanted to return, only for Brady to walk away and ultimately hit free agency, per Rapoport.
As a result, only two of the NFL’s 32 teams wound up making a contract offer to the most decorated quarterback in the history of football — the Buccaneers and Los Angeles Chargers. According to Rapoport, the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders considered pursuing Brady, but wound up passing.
That left it as a two-team race for Brady, who wound up picking the Buccanneers earlier this week and officially putting pen to paper Friday morning.
Brady now heads to Tampa Bay on a two-year, $50 million deal that’s fully guaranteed. While the dollar value is relatively low (tying for 12th in the NFL per year), it represents a strong multi-year commitment from a Buccaneers.
The two-year, fully guaranteed deal appears to represents a stronger commitment than the Patriots have been willing to give in recent years.
Instead of playing things out on a year-to-year basis — which was a likely scenario if the 42-year-old had stayed in New England — Brady now gets an investment from a team that is on the record in believing he can play for an extended period of time.