Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson just signed a four-year, $87.6 million contract with $60 million guaranteed. The $21.9 million average per year (APY) ranks behind only the Packers Aaron Rodgers and his $22.0 million APY.
Wilson is just another quarterback signing in an offseason full of new contracts. Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, and Ryan Tannehill all signed new deals, while Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer both restructured their contracts.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady also restructured his deal and now his contract is the cheapest of all the starting tier quarterbacks that are no longer on their rookie contracts.
In fact, Brady's contract yields $9 million APY (which is not the same as his cap hit) which ranks 20th for quarterbacks. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers ranks 19th with a $15.3 million APY contract which expires this season, so the gap between Brady and the rest of the league will continue to grow over the next couple of months.
In an interesting twist, former Brady-back-ups Brian Hoyer and Matt Cassel are tied for 21st with $5.25 million APY contracts.
Rivers and Eli Manning are set to receive new contracts before the end of this season, which will widen the gap between Brady and the veterans. Andrew Luck is set to receive a deal greater than his rookie contract and a potential Sam Bradford rebound in the final year of his rookie deal could drive Brady's contract down to 22nd overall.
As the cap continues to grow, Brady taking less money puts the Patriots are in an extremely strong position to pay their other promising talents. Additionally, if Brady continues to play at a high level through the end of his contract, the Patriots would have the cap space to extend Jimmy Garoppolo at a competitive market price if they truly want him to be the quarterback of the future.