Tom Brady lost out on $5M in 2018 and he has only himself to blame

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady bet on himself and lost in 2018. The 41-year-old could have made an extra $5 million if he hit certain incentives throughout the season. He failed to reach all of them, and has no one to blame but himself for that.

Over the past few years, Brady has restructured his contract to give the Patriots more flexibility to spend on other players. In 2018, Brady and the Patriots agreed to a deal that would pay Brady $15 million, which is a bargain for a quarterback of his caliber. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, for example, made $22.5 million in 2018.

In order to get Brady closer to Cousins’ figure, the team agreed to put five incentives in his contract. Each one was worth an extra $1 million. Brady could claim that money if he finished in the top five in passing yards, completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdown passes and passing yards, according to Spotrac.

That didn’t happen. The closest Brady came to reaching any of those incentives was passing yards, where he finished seventh.

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Tom Brady reaches 1,000 rushing yards after 19 years
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady scrambles away from Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Dec 2, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs for a first down during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 2: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady runs for five yards for a first quarter first down that gave him 1000 career rushing yards. The Vikings Mackensie Alexander (20) pursues him in the backround. The New England Patriots hosted the Minnesota Vikings in a regular season NFL football game at Gillette Stadium in Boston on Dec. 02, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs for a first down against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Dec 2, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs for a first down as Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander (20) pursues during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 02: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates after rushing for five yards in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings to reach 1,000 career rushing yards at Gillette Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) signals first down after his run against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Dec 2, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after rushing for a first down during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
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It wasn’t a bad bet for Brady coming into the season. He finished in the top five in each of those stats in 2017, according to Boston.com.

The Patriots offense was still pretty good in 2018, finishing in the top 10 in some major offensive categories, but Brady’s numbers fell short compared to other top quarterbacks. He finished with 4,355 passing yards and 29 touchdowns.

The possibility of decline is always a question at Brady’s age, but missing those lofty benchmarks probably has more to do with teams relying more on quarterbacks in 2018. Brady actually led all passers with 4,577 passing yards and 581 pass attempts in 2017. Those figures would have finished sixth and seventh in 2018. Brady really wasn’t that much worse in 2018; other teams just got more aggressive.

Brady is once again expected to make $15 million next season. If he restructures that deal, he may want to set expectations lower if he wants to hit all his incentives.

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