Reporting Mike Fisher
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IRVING (105.3 THE FAN) – On the surface, Tom Brady’s new contract extension with the New England Patriots appears to be a “hometown discount’’ and would also seem to serve as leverage in the Dallas Cowboys’ talks with Tony Romo about his coming extension.
There is enough truth to that to have Jerry Jones grinning at the news out of New England – but not enough truth to think that Romo is about to take “half his market value,’’ as has been somewhat inaccurately reported of Brady.
Sports Illustrated broke the news of Brady’s new deal on Monday, and there are surface facts about it that make it look like Tom did his team a marvelous cap-room favor: New signing bonus of $3 million. Salaries for three years of $7, $8 and $9 million. Hey, that’s just three years and $27 million! A fraction of what Brady is truly worth and all beneficial to the Patriots as they are able to use the space on Brady’s 52 teammates!
But what the initial report neglected to calculate is how Brady’s previous contract (a four-year, $72-million contract extension with $48 million guaranteed) is being absorbed into the new deal. By the time the new three-year deal is expired, Brady will be 40 years old – and this contract will guarantee him not just the “new’’ $3 million bonus that is a part of this deal, but, as part of the shifting of funds, $54 million more changed from “potential salary’’ to “guaranteed’’ going forward.
So Brady’s cap figure is lowered, and that does help his team. And he could’ve demanded more money, so that helps, too. But Brady is getting a whopper of a guarantee — $57 million guaranteed — as his reward for doing so.
How does this impact Dallas and Romo?
It absolutely opens up to discussion the concepts of lowered salary, “hometown discounts,’’ Romo being a good “partner’’ to his employer and the like. But more, it demonstrates a method of creativity that Dallas — $20 million over the cap and desirous of a Romo extension in order to make room – so values.
Brady’s deal doesn’t automatically mean Romo ends up signing for less money than he otherwise would have. But it “expands the strike zone’’ of negotiations, if you will. It offers a blueprint of creativity. Oh, and it can make Romo’s eventual deal appear to be a sacrifice on his part, which would be a stroke of PR genius on his part.
All those factors, coming in the wake of the Brady deal, are reasons for Jerry to be grinning as he prepares to sit across the negotiating table from “partner’’ Tony Romo.
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