On Friday afternoon, MMQB’s Albert Breer reported the details of Tom Brady’s new $5 million incentive supplement for 2018.
Source: Patriots QB Tom Brady’s revised deal has five $1M triggers for '18 ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 10, 2018
* Top 5 in QB rating
* Top 5 in completion %
* Top 5 in yds/att
* Top 5 in TD passes
* Top 5 pass yds
Each incentive becomes $2M if Pats win SB LIII; capped at $5M. (Min: 224 att's, 70% play time)
Tom Brady was a top-5 player in each of those quarterbacking categories in 2017, meaning that the full $5 million will be classified as “likely to be earned” and count against the team’s 2018 cap figure. If any of the $5 million goes unearned, the Patriots will receive a credit on their 2019 adjusted team cap.
There is some confusion with the escalator and whether or not the team’s lack of a Super Bowl victory in 2017 would allow these $5 million in incentives to be classified as “not likely to be earned”. After an examination of the CBA, it appears that any money earned as a result of a Super Bowl victory will be subtracted from the team’s 2019 adjusted cap figure.
Tom finishes top-five in three of the quarterbacking categories, but the team does not win the Super Bowl.
Tom would earn an extra $3 million in 2018 cash, and the Patriots would receive a $2 million credit on their 2019 adjusted team cap.
Tom finishes top-five in two of the quarterbacking categories, and the team wins the Super Bowl.
In this scenario, Tom would receive $4 million in 2018 cash, and the Patriots would receive a $1 million credit on their 2019 adjusted team cap.
Tom finishes top-five in all five of the quarterbacking categories, and the team wins the Super Bowl.
With the incentive’s capped at $5 million, the Patriots would not receive any credit on their 2019 adjusted team cap.
Basically, the package gives Tom multiple ways to earn the $5 million. He can have another spectacular individual season, or a strong season with the team accomplishing it’s ultimate goal.
A question that now remains is this: why would Tom Brady argue for such a meager raise and have it based on individual performance? One could argue that it’s another team-friendly move on his part, knowing that if he doesn’t earn the money, the team will earn the credit on next year’s cap. But with only around $2.4 million in 2018 cap space — far less than what will be needed for in-season expenditures — it certainly makes you wonder what corresponding cap moves are on the horizon for the Patriots.