Buccaneers restructure QB Tom Brady’s contract to create $9M in cap space

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers restructured Tom Brady’s contract to clear cap space ahead of next week’s draft.

The Bucs turned Brady’s base salary into a signing bonus and added voidable years on the back end, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday, per a source informed of the situation. The move created $9 million in cap space.

Before the move, the Bucs had less than $4 million in cap space. Reworking Brady’s deal frees up space to eventually sign rookies and potentially add veterans after the draft — someone like Ndamukong Suh, for example.

The accounting maneuver did nothing to change Brady’s status as a free agent next season, where he could choose his next team if he decides to continue playing at the age of 46.

TB12 was slated to have a base salary of $8.9 million in 2022 and $3.3 million in bonuses with a $20.2 million cap figure before the restructure. Considering his worth to the franchise, Brady is comically underpaid on his current deal with Tampa Bay by seemingly any metric. The $10.3 million in cash spent on the QB in ’22 is 19th among QBs, per Over The Cap. The $25 million per year average on his extension signed last year places Brady 15th among signal-callers.

It’s interesting that Brady’s restructure didn’t come with a completely new deal that pays him closer to his worth. But at this point, it appears that Brady values the ability to be a free agent next season more than any money he’d make now. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the Bucs can use the cash saved to make roster upgrades to help Brady chase his eighth Super Bowl ring.

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