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Howe: Patriots and Brady have “mutual interest in a new contract”

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Although nothing appears to be “imminent.”

The New England Patriots and QB Tom Brady have “expressed mutual interest in a new contract” per the Herald’s Jeff Howe. Howe adds that nothing is “imminent,” but that Brady is set to receive just $1 million in cash earnings for 2017 and both sides want to reward the Super Bowl MVP.

Brady signed a 2-year extension, $41 million extension prior to the 2016 season, while also restructuring his 2016 cash flow to reduce the impact of the DeflateGate suspension. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brady’s 2017 salary of $1 million was constructed with a potential drawn out appeals process in mind. Brady’s 2017 salary becomes fully guaranteed on March 11th.

The Patriots quarterback is also under contract through the year 2019. There is no rush to come to an extension, but perhaps the Patriots want to capitalize on the team’s cap space in 2017 by converting some of Brady’s future base salaries in a signing bonus and possibly adding an extra year on to the deal.

Brady is effectively operating on a 4-year, $72 million contract spanning from 2016-19 (base salary + pro rated bonuses). That $18 million per season is tied with Texans QB Brock Osweiler, Bills QB Tyrod Taylor, and Cowboys QB Tony Romo for the 16th highest quarterback average annual salary in the NFL.

I wouldn’t expect Brady to be concerned with his average annual contract value, so much as he wants actual cash flow in 2017. Don’t be surprised if the two sides reach a deal that gives Brady cash up front, lowers future cap hits, and possibly bumps Brady’s projected annual contract value to the $20 million range.