Two-time MVP quarterback Tom Brady agreed to a three-year contract extension worth about $27 million with the Patriots on Monday, reports said, a deal that pays him far less than market value but frees up nearly $15 million in salary cap room for the team, which has several younger players it needs to re-sign or negotiate new deals with.
The extension, through 2017, will pay Brady, 35, a $3 million signing bonus and salaries of $7 million in 2015, $8 million in 2016 and $9 million in 2017, said Sports Illustrated, which first reported the extension. Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are the NFL's highest-paid quarterbacks, averaging $20 million and $18 million a year, respectively.
By taking less money in the extension and redoing his current four-year, $72 million deal, Brady, a three-time Super Bowl champion, hopes New England can surround him with the parts to win more titles. Among its free agents are receiver Wes Welker and his backup, Julian Edelman; right tackle Sebastian Vollmer; cornerback Aqib Talib; and running back Danny Woodhead.
Brady was due to count $43.6 million on the cap in 2013 and 2014, Sports Illustrated said. Now his cap numbers will add up to $28.6 million in the next two years, a savings of $15 million.
The cap is expected to be about $121 million the next two years.
More Patriots: Tight end Rob Gronkowski had surgery last week for an infection in his left forearm, the one he broke multiple times last season, espn.com reported. He is expected to be ready for training camp.
Eagles: Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, who started every game the past two seasons, was released. Jenkins, 32, signed a five-year, $30 million contract in 2011. He was due to make $5.5 million this season.
Combine notes: Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was clocked at 4.82 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Indianapolis. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock had said 4.7 or lower would be "phenomenal," 4.8 or over a "concern." Te'o participated in five of seven drills, opting out of the bench press and 60-yard shuttle. He did not rank among the top five at his position in any drill. … Ex-LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu did four reps on the 225-pound bench press, tied with Appalachian State's Demetrius McCray for lowest among defensive backs.