As satisfying as it was for Patriots fans to watch Tom Brady win his seventh championship this past weekend, it still had to sting knowing their former quarterback was able to do so the year after he left them at the altar in free agency.
However, when you consider the extent to which New England failed to repay him for taking countless contractual discounts throughout his tenure — look no further than the offensive talent (or lack thereof) he was working with last year — you’ll come to the realization that he was more than justified to seek greener pastures last offseason.
Why do we say that? Because Brady pocketed more money in his first season with the Buccaneers ($28.3 million) than he did in any of his years with the Patriots. He was initially slated to bank $25 million in salary and roster bonuses, but earned an extra $3.3 million after finishing top five in both passing yards and touchdowns, as well as making the playoffs and winning the Super Bowl.
Tom Brady made more money in 2020 than he did in any year with the Patriots.
We hate to come down on the Patriots, but they should be utterly embarrassed by this. And before you counter with the fact that Brady willingly took discounts to give the front office the necessary financial leeway to make more signings/trades, go take a look at the Buccaneers’ star-studded roster and how much they were able to pay him this season.
This could be a case of recency bias, but the 2020 Bucs, at least on paper, seemed just as talented as some (not all) of the Patriots’ best teams during their dynasty. If you don’t believe us, go print out a copy of their depth chart and run through how many impact players they had on both sides of the ball this year.
While the Patriots’ roster was almost always elite and one of the best in the league, that mostly had to do with their defense. Try to remember how many seasons in which Brady was working with average to above-average talent at running back and wide receiver. The list is enormous and it’s almost criminal to think he never made more than he did with Tampa in 2020.
Let’s take a quick dive into all of the contract extensions he signed with the Patriots over the last two decades.
- 2005: six years for $60 million
- 2010: four years for $72 million
- 2013: three years for $27 million
- 2016: two years for $41 million
- 2019: one year for $23 million
Last offseason, the Buccaneers — while already battling salary cap restrictions — signed Brady to a monster two-year, $50 million contract. Nothing more needs to be said, folks. It obviously takes two to tango, but the Patriots should really be investigated for getting away with paying Brady as little as they did throughout his tenure in Foxborough.