By the Numbers
---- — Bill Belichick has “krafted” a nice little ruse when it comes to Tom Brady’s contract that has everybody overlooking what’s really going on.
Since when do Bob Kraft and his son Jonathan determine what the Patriot’s roster is going to look like?
Here are some of the problems with the whole Brady contract scenario as portrayed by Kraft. Belichick, and only Belichick, makes football personnel decisions in New England. He buys the groceries, cooks the dinner and serves the meal.
Kraft made the mistake with Parcells of intervening on personnel decisions, and looked like a buffoon hanging out with Pete Carroll at Syracuse’s Pro Day and commenting about Tebucky Jones being a “press corner.” He certainly isn’t going to repeat it with his resident savior “In Bill We Trust”.
Next, Kraft doesn’t make these types of blunders anymore. When it comes to player personnel and contracts his comments are limited to: “We think the world of (insert names of Drew Bledsoe, Lawyer Milloy, Ty Law, Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel, Wes Welker) and consider him a Patriot for life, but it takes two sides to make an agreement work and we certainly hope this works out for all parties involved.”
One can be assured that if Kraft told Belichick that he had a deal in place to ensure that Brady was his quarterback for the next four years and couldn’t be traded or released, that Belichick would likely leave a note on a napkin for Mr. Kraft much like he did the Jets saying that BB is no longer HC of NEP and he’d take his genius somewhere else.
Finally, the idea that by Brady reworking his contract to make “cap friendly” salaries of $7 million, $8 million and $9 million in his last three years respectively, guarantees he’ll finish his career as a Patriot, truthfully does the exact opposite. It makes Brady more trade-able. Teams would line up at the door to take a chance on a 39/40 year-old Brady only counting $8/9 million dollars against the cap for a two-year window to win a Super Bowl. In comparison, the Vikings paid a 40-year old Brett Favre $25 million over two years.
Here is a far more likely scenario on how Brady’s contract negotiation played out. If you study Belichick, you know that he works in two year windows.
Heading into the 2013 season, at a minimum, he knows this much about his quarterback position:
1. Is Ryan Mallet the heir apparent to Brady? If Mallet isn’t traded this summer, then you can bet he’s the Patriot’s version of Aaron Rodgers and, if so, he’s got two more years left on his contract.
2. Belichick went to Brady and said you can keep your salary as is and we play with what we’ve got the next two years with some draft help and then I trade you for a boat load of picks, or you rework your deal and we get a bunch of free agents around and we give this two more tries. After two years, you either retire or we’ll trade you to a preferred destination of your choice and we’ll still get a bunch load of draft picks.
So what would Belichick get by creating this smoke screen? The perfect cover to go about his business as usual, which is cold and calculating. He’ll save the tears for when Brady is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Peter Delani is a high school vice principal, long-time area high school baseball coach, former general manager of North Shore Nagivators and author (A Walk With Daimon).