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Tom Brady’s reported four-year, $72 million contract extension with the Patriots makes him the highest-paid player in the league. Felger & Mazz weigh in on what the contract means for Brady’s career and the need for the Patriots to win more Super Bowls while Brady is still under center.
Felger: “I think it does two things. It more closely defines that window of opportunity, since he’s going to be a 38-year-old guy at the end of it. So here it is, five years left with Tom Brady- what are you going to do with it? Bill Belichick maybe has four years left, roughly the same window of opportunity – what are you going to do with it? That fourth Super Bowl is important, insofar as this really being an all-time team. I think they’re just a hair below it right now. That ‘Niners team [of the 1980s] is still the standard of our generation, and the Packers of our parents’ generation, and the Steelers [of the 1970s] in-between. I still think the Pats have a chance to land in that grouping and be that fourth team with a fourth Super Bowl…Do they feel the same way and treat the next five years with a little more urgency? The other is, it’s not a contract that ends his career as a Patriot. If he still wants to play to 40, there’s going to be one last opportunity for him to make a decision. That door is still ajar for him to end somewhere else.”
Mazz: “I love how the NFL operates. And I say that sarcastically. This thing’s been reported about, all of a sudden at halftime of the first national TV game, ‘Ooh by chance Peter King happens to have news of the deal. I mean, what a bag-job! Totally! Everybody was in cahoots about the whole thing. I found that amusing. The other thing that hit me almost instantly, I went ‘Oh, he only got 18 [million], he didn’t get 19?’ Then I thought about it and said, ‘What’s the difference?’ Once Brady eclipsed Eli [Manning]- and he eclipsed him by a good margin- Brady is being treated fairly here, the guaranteed money is very good, and everybody comes out of it happy. I don’t focus on the fourth Super Bowl as much as maximizing every minute with this guy…This run they’ve had is among the greatest of all time. I’m not worried about what everyone else has. I’m worried about the max they can get now. The fact that it looks like they at least have a deadline, is probably a good thing.”