After spending the first 20 years of his NFL career in New England, Tom Brady took the plunge and signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2020 offseason. After spending two years with the Buccaneers, Brady briefly retired before returning. He then signed a new one-year deal for the 2022 season. Let’s examine Brady’s current contract and salary cap implications for the 2022 campaign.
Tom Brady has signed a new one-year contract in Tampa Bay
In March of 2020, Brady and the Buccaneers agreed to a two-year, $50 million contract. The contract was virtually fully guaranteed at signing, with a further $9 million available in incentives. Interestingly, there was no signing bonus in the contract, as the Buccaneers did things a bit differently. Brady then signed a further one-year extension ahead of the 2021 season.
After returning from retirement, Brady had one year left on his deal. However, the Buccaneers and Brady agreed to a new deal ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft to significantly reduce his cap number. Brady’s new deal is worth a fully guaranteed $15 million for one year with a veteran minimum base salary and a $13.8 million signing bonus.
What is the impact of Brady’s contract on the Buccaneers’ salary cap?
While this new deal may be just a one-year contract worth $15 million, it is more complex than that. Brady still had significant prorated money remaining from his previous contract. Additionally, Brady’s contract contains four void years, ensuring those numbers do not all hit in 2022.
In total, there is $47 million in salary cap numbers remaining on Brady’s deal. If the Buccaneers cut Brady before June 1, that total would represent his dead money charge for the Buccaneers. However, things look very different in reality. Of that $47 million, $10.8 million per year is prorated between 2022 and 2025. There is a further $2.8 million in prorated money in 2026.
Accordingly, Brady’s cap charge for the 2022 season is just $11.9 million. That is made up of the $10.8 million in prorated signing bonus and the veteran minimum salary of $1.12 million.
However, while that seems like a great deal, the Buccaneers will potentially pay the price in 2022. If Brady’s contract voids as planned after the 2022 season, he will leave behind $35.1 million dead money in 2023. That will count against the Buccaneers’ salary cap unless they can agree to a new contract ahead of the deal voiding.