Monday, March 4, 2013

Kraft says Brady's new contract isn't a 'fake' deal


Tom Brady was initially praised for his "team-first" intentions when extending and restructuring his contract last week to help ease the New England Patriots' salary cap situation.

But it didn't take long for the skeptics to chime in, questioning whether Brady would play it out in its current language or if there would be yet another re-do on the deal when he gets to the cheaper portion of it. (photo: Jeffrey Beall, Flickr)

Patriots owner Robert Kraft insists that the contract is a "real deal."

"Look at our track record. We don't do fake deals," Kraft recently told Peter King of Sports Illustrated. "The contract we have with Tom Brady is a real contract we will both live by."

Brady had two years left on his current contract before the extension, which added three more years to the deal in which he would make a base salary of $7 million in 2015, $8 million in 2016 and $9 million in 2017 -- much lower numbers than Brady's market value.

"I was just trying to stay ahead of the curve," Kraft said. "If we were going to have to pay him elite-quarterback money and have elite-quarterback cap numbers, I just didn't think we would be able to build a team. We don't want to have a team where we're paying 18 to 20 percent to a player on the cap.

"I wanted to do something elegant that would work for everybody. I had been talking to him off and on for maybe 18 months, about how I wanted him to finish his career here, and about how we both have to be smart about it. I just really want him to end his career a Patriot.''

Brady received a $3 million bonus up front for signing the deal, and according to King, the last three years (the extension) would be guaranteed if he made it through 2014 healthy.

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