Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM optimistic about Tom Brady contract extension

By Matt Fitzgerald
Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) hoists the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

GOAT Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is fresh off leading his team to a Super Bowl LV victory, and general manager Jason Licht is considering a contract situation for the 43-year-old legend as a result.

In a recent interview, Licht discussed the possibility of re-upping Brady’s contract, which is currently slated to expire after the 2021 NFL season.

Read More: Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Chris Godwin likely to receive the franchise tag in 2021

Buccaneers GM: Tom Brady contract extension ‘a possibility’

Speaking with longtime NFL Media personality Rich Eisen, Licht explained how Tampa Bay is approaching Brady’s future and sounded hopeful an extension would ultimately get done:

“It’s a possibility — he certainly didn’t look like he slowed down any this year,” Licht said.

Licht also added that Brady and the organization have a mutual desire to keep their run together going for as long as possible, and that he speaks to TB12 often.

While he wanted to keep any talk of a contract extension “under wraps” and declined to get too specific about what he and Brady have discussed, Licht definitely left the door open for speculation.

“Usually when you have those two things going for each other, it’s a match made in heaven, so we’d like to keep this going.” Licht said.

Indeed, as he’s wont to do, Brady proved all his doubters wrong following an underwhelming final season with the New England Patriots. Anyone who thought the aging legend was finished had a whole other thing coming.

Despite picking up a new offense on the fly and acclimating to a new team and coach in Bruce Arians after two decades under Bill Belichick in New England, Brady wound up lifting his seventh Lombardi Trophy when all was said and done.

Brady guided the Bucs to a 31-9 victory over the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, throwing for 201 yards and three touchdowns with a 125.8 passer rating, earning MVP honors. He threw for over 4,600 yards during the regular season and tied for second in the NFL with 40 touchdown passes.

As it turns out, providing Brady with strong skill position talent is a great idea — and one the Patriots didn’t really buy into throughout his tenure.

Read More: Sports world reacts to Tom Brady partying it up at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl parade

What a Tom Brady contract extension might look like

What a Tom Brady contract extension might look like
Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) celebrate after beating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When he initially signed on with the Bucs, Brady inked a two-year, $50 million payday, and that full dollar amount was guaranteed at signing, per Spotrac.

Considering Brady has taken discounts and restructured his contract throughout his career to help the front office build a superior roster around him — which Belichick didn’t exactly always capitalize on — it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him make less than other elite quarterbacks.

Salaries should continue escalating once the NFL salary cap goes back to a normal level following 2021’s unique drop. With that in mind, look for Brady to sign on to another two-year contract, perhaps this time worth a little more at $55 million.

All that money should be fully guaranteed, because at this point, it looks like Brady will play at least three more years. Some could argue that final season won’t be at as high of a level. However, until he really shows signs of falling off a cliff productivity-wise or from a physical standpoint, there’s little reason to bet against Brady.

Read More: 5 moves to keep Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster strong in Super Bowl repeat bid

The reason Licht was probably reticent about getting too specific regarding Brady’s future is the fact that the Buccaneers have a ton of priority free agents this offseason. Between defensive cornerstones like Shaquil Barrett and Lavonte David, star receiver Chris Godwin and a slew of veterans Brady helped bring aboard during the 2020 campaign in Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette, Licht has plenty on his plate as it is.

Brady has a history of understanding and generosity when it comes to his contract. Nothing about his current situation suggests he’s suddenly going to command a higher salary, and the fact that Florida has no state income tax innately enhances the value of his prospective new deal whenever it arrives anyway.

It’s inevitable that Licht and Brady will work out a way to keep TB12 in Tampa.

Related: NFL QB rankings – Aaron Rodgers near the top despite contract issues