Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Will Tom Brady Do the Right Thing?

It is official, the Patriots have placed the Franchise tag on Matt Cassel, which puts them on the hook for $29 million for two quarterbacks this season. No telling at this point whether the Pats will trade Cassel or keep him as an insurance policy if Tom Brady's rehab is delayed.

The large salary cap hit has led to speculation that they will trade Cassel. And of course, there always a chance that they will trade Brady, but I don't see that as likely. As Cassel said recently, "This is Tom's team." And if they trade either player, than this post is moot.

However, what if Brady's rehab isn't going well? What if they want to keep Cassel just in case Brady isn't ready until November. That would force them to carry Cassel and his salary for the entire 2009 season, and the $29 million against the cap would restrict the free agents that the Patriots could afford to sign. Knowing that the team would be limited in the free agent market, as well as in re-signing their best players, this begs one important question:

Will Tom Brady do the right thing and re-negotiate *his* contract?

In the past, Brady has praised teammates who took less money or re-negotiated their contracts so that the team could keep more good players. But what will Touchdown Tommy do when it's *his* turn to take less?

There is a strong case for a contract re-negotiation with Brady. He missed almost the entire 2008 season. He insisted on having his own doctore (rather than one recommended by the Patriots) perform his knee surgery. And if there is a delay in his rehab, it is likely due to a staph infection the he got by using that other surgeon.

Brady could do a contract extension to ease the 2009 salary cap hit. Or he could re-negotiate and take less money, as his teammates have done in the past. But either way, it seems like Tom might have a little dilemma on his hands.

We all know public image is imporatnt to him, and how he handles this situation will have long-term implications in that realm. Refuse to re-negotiate, and he'll look selfish. Refuse to take a pay cut and look like a hypocrite to his teammates. Time to do the right thing, Tom, and *volunteer* to redo your contract. It's the least you can do, given that your fellow players have done the same for you over the years.

Should be interesting.

- Scott

1 comment:

  1. Some people say character is what you do when people aren't looking. I'd beg to differ, sometimes life offers you opportunities to express your character when people are looking. This is one of those times for Tom Brady. Millions of people would feel damn guilty getting paid their full measly 'normal guy' salary for an entire year's worth of work while they were sick/disabled. Wouldn't you think if you made 25 MILLION a year you'd feel proportionately more guilty? Let's see where the rubber meets the road on this one.