Tom Brady’s pay cut is a message to all professional athletes

Selflessness, loyalty and humility.

These words capture  Tom Brady’s actions yesterday. As reported by Sport’s Illustrated’s Peter King, Tom Brady agreed to a three-year extension of $27 million over those three years, sending a message to all professional athletes.

Less is more.

Less is more because Tom Brady can get any deal he would like. He could have choke out the New England Patriots into giving him a contract in the range of a Drew Brees or Peyton Manning because you can argue he deserves to be paid $100 million in five years like Brees.

But he didn’t.

Brady chose to not constrict the Patriots in contract talk because he is looking at the bigger picture. He sees as each year passes, it is getting more difficult for him to get to the Super Bowl and win. For the past nine seasons, the Patriots have not won a Super Bowl and in those nine seasons, Tom Brady never lost a step. He has remained the most feared quarterback in the NFL today and if it were not for a season-ending injury in 2008, who knows what else Brady may have accomplished by today?

Brady sees in this big picture another trip to the Super Bowl because by taking a pay cut, he has allowed the Patriots to get free agents that will help them over the next three years that Brady is there. It allows the Patriots to re-sign Aqib Talib and Wes Welker and look into this year’s free agency pool for other additions and in the three years to come.


If it were not for the Patriots drafting him, the world would have never known about him. He never expressed grievance, never was unhappy with the team, and never asked for a trade. When it came for the Patriots to re-sign him, they gave him the money he deserved, $72 million over four years, which made him the highest paid player in the NFL, until Brees blew him out last season. Did Brady ask for more money during this extension talk? No, he took less then Brees because he wants to stay a Patriot and is loyal to the New England fan base.

The Message

Taking less is a message that should resonate with every athlete in professional sports today. It is not about the money. It is about your love for the sport and the loyalty to your team. That’s what makes sports the world’s culture. Us as a society gravitate to a team we like and stay loyal to the team by following their practices, cheering when they win and crying when they lose. As you see with franchise players that left their team, cough, LeBron James, cough, they take more in the hopes of receiving more. James finally got a ring, but he needed Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and Miami in order to so. Tom Brady didn’t need anyone but Bill Belichick and the New England fans. He was, is, and will be the heart and soul of the New England Patriots.

We saw last year given all the controversy surrounding the New Orleans Saints, Brees kept pushing for a large contract, and when the Saints caved in, Brees became the richest player in the NFL. What did he do? He lost 4 out of the first 5 games, ended the season 7-9 and did not make the playoffs. Brady made less and made it to the AFC championship game. Need I say more?

Money doesn’t make you a better professional athlete. It’s a number. It’s your performance, attitude, and personality that make up your image. Brady’s performance speaks for itself, he’s never been in trouble and always is respectful, and whether you love him or hate him, he stays true to his word and loyal to his team.

Let this be a lesson for current and future athletes.


6 thoughts on “Tom Brady’s pay cut is a message to all professional athletes

  1. With that being said it seems somewhat unfair to blame Brees’ contract talks for why the Saints went downhill in such a hurry. The Saints found themselves in the unprecedented situation of being suddenly short their middle linebacker, General manager, their interim coach, and their actual head coach (one of the NFL’s great offensive minds, Sean Payton) Brees himself played like Drew Brees breaking 5000 Yards passing for the second year in a row and tossing 43 touchdowns his play merited a large contract. The problem lay in the missing mastermind of Sean Payton and a defense that was hitting the New Orleans area with the wonderful twofer of being both an aging defense and an ineffective defense. Brees’ contract didn’t stop the team from building the defense back up through the draft (as it should be but wasn’t) and the Saints are rarely big spenders in free agency. Other than that complete agreement in the article though I think it is worth noting (and no major media outlet is doing so just yet) that Brady will still be receiving endorsement money from the various corporations that pay him so Brady is far from impoverished. Keep up the good work man!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Julian. I agree with what you said about Brees. I was not blaming Brees for the Saints downfall this year because as we all aware of, the Saints had more issues than Brees’ contract to worry about. My use of Brees’ contract was to use an example of athletes that create a pendulum effect, being that athletes really suffocate teams in order to be paid top dollar and are sort of swinging back and forth before they get what they want. With that said, Brady did not do that with the Patriots, which is why it is a class act because he knows the franchise as a whole is good with him, but better with other players supporting him, whether on offense or defense. If I were the Patriots, I would look for a defensive leader because when the Patriots were on a Super Bowl tear, they had Bruschi and Harrison leading the charge.
      Also, to add to your point of endorsement, it is those endorsements that has allowed Brady to make this decision and I feel it is something worth commemorating because as we see in history, more money equals more problems, but it does not seem to be the case in this instance.
      I look forward to more comments from you, Julian! Spread the word and stay scholarly.
      -The Sports Scholar

  2. Don’t you think a big reason why Brady took less was his wife’s enormous salary. Giselle is the bigger bread winner in the relationshop. I would argue that Brady would have sought out “elite” money had he not been married to a very wealthy model. Therefore, how much can you actually laud Brady.

    1. Thanks for the comment, B. I don’t think his wife’s salary had anything to do with this decision. This is Tom Brady we are talking about, arguably the best quarterback in the game right now and deserving to receive top dollar. For someone as elite as Brady, being married to an elite women does not constitute for not vying for “elite” money because this isn’t the first ELITE couple in sports we have seen by far. Also, keep in mind, Giselle is the bigger bread winner because NFL players, out of every professional sport, are paid the least amount of money. Brady also has endorsement deals just like Julian pointed out earlier so it isn’t at all about his personal compensations. Give the man some credit, he is doing something NO ATHLETE would do, better yet, any wealthy individual would do, and that is take a pay cut for the success of who he works for. It should be an example to many. I hope to hear more comments from you, B! Spread the word and stay scholarly!
      -The Sports Scholar

  3. It is arguable that the Patriots wouldn’t have won any Super Bowls if the cheating tactics involving video taping the other teams had been discovered earlier. That scandal tainted their championships, and the fact that they have not won since, coupled with numerous questionable play calls made by Belicheck since having been found out, puts those championships into question. In fact, if you look at those three championships, it’s an anomaly in the couple of decades, as no team has won so many Super Bowls in such a short period of time. Not to say it takes away from what Brady did, and he should be lauded if he did accept a lower contract for the good of the team, but considering their head coach, who has been known for devious behavior, who’s to say there isn’t something shady going on in the background that is making Brady stay for less? Yes, I know, conspiracy theory, but I wouldn’t put it past him.

    1. Thanks for the comment, James. You bring up an interesting point. Spygate hasn’t been talked about as much in recent years and given the amount of attention given to Bountygate and Catfishgate (Manti Te’o), I am certain not many remember that scandal. While the scandal did affect people’s outlook on Bill Belichick, I don’t believe it taints the Super Bowl victories and Tom Brady’s career. Keep in mind this, Drew Brees had nothing to do with Bountygate, it was all the coaching staff including Sean Payton. Brees wasn’t seen as guilty by association and neither was Brady with Spygate. Your argument is valid, but it doesn’t affect Brady’s career, more so Belichick. I believe the reason they haven’t won a Super Bowl in the past nine seasons because the NFL is full of competitive quarterbacks and if last season’s rookie class is any indication of more competition to come, I will not be surprised if Brady doesn’t win a Super Bowl before he retires; however I will say this, no matter what, Brady and the Patriots are always include when you mention the term “Super Bowl” and it isn’t because of their three Super Bowl titles, but because they are just that good.
      I hope to see more comment from you, James! Spread the word and stay scholarly!
      -The Sports Scholar

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