Why Tom Brady's new contract makes him a free agent next year, per report


On paper, Tom Brady has agreed to a two-year, $70 million contract extension that will keep him with the New England Patriots through 2021.

In reality, he's essentially getting a one-year raise.

That's what our own Tom E. Curran laid out earlier Monday and what NFL Media's Ian Rapoport confirmed on Twitter, noting Brady's contract includes a provision that prevents the Patriots from using the franchise or transition tag on him next offseason.

As Rapoport notes, the final two years of Brady's contract -- 2020 and 2021 -- will actually void after this season, and because the Patriots can't place a $32.5 million franchise tag on him, he'll become a free agent.

That level of uncertainty may explain why the 42-year-old quarterback used phrases like "it is what it is" and "we'll see what happens" when asked Monday if his new contract gave him a sense of relief.

Brady and the Patriots obviously can renegotiate his 2020 and 2021 salaries once the season ends, and the veteran QB seems intent on playing until age 45.

But it appears there once again will be negotiation next offseason, rather than the peace of mind that comes with a typical multi-year extension.

Update: Monday, August 5, 4:40 p.m.
Sports Illustrated's national NFL reporter Albert Breer tweeted out some additional details of Brady's new deal. Breer reports that Brady's 2019 signing bonus will be $20.25 million, and his 2019 base salary will be $1.75 million. Additionally, there are $1 million in per-game roster bonuses, which brings the total of Brady's 2019 salary to $23 million. 

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