Tom Brady is arguably the most powerful player in football – a six-time Super Bowl champion whose value on the field led to winning a power struggle with the mighty Bill Belichick.
The New England Patriots quarterback does not leverage that power when it comes to contract negotiations with the team.
Tom Brady’s history of discounts
Brady has consistently taken team-friendly deals that have allowed the Patriots to spend elsewhere, a significant advantage in a salary-capped sport where quarterback contracts often hamstring teams from being competitive.
For example, he restructured his deal in 2007 to allow New England to sign Randy Moss.
Brady’s latest two-year extension comes with a $22 million cap hit in 2018 and a $27 million hit in 2019. Again, it’s by no means a pittance. But when Kirk Cousins is signing for three years and $84 million guaranteed, the discount he’s providing is clear.
Dak Prescott not taking Tom Brady route
It’s a blueprint for winning, and it’s one Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott wants nothing to do with.
And that’s fine. We’re not here to begrudge an athlete – or anybody for that matter – for going out and getting paid as much money as they can.
“Nobody’s wife makes as much money as his wife does either,” Prescott told USA Today, referring to Gisele Bundchen. “When Tom Brady isn’t the breadwinner in the home, then that’s a great problem to have. So in that case, he can do that. He can do his contract however you want to do it.”
So, yeah, there’s nothing resembling financial strife in the Bundchen-Brady household. And that certainly makes it easy for a guy like Brady to value taking a discount that can lead to more rings while leaving a few million on the table here and there.
Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady through the years
Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady through the years
NEW YORK CITY, NY - MARCH 11: Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady attend ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA Store Opening Cocktail Party For The Robin Hood Foundation at Ermenegildo Zegna Store 5th Ave on March 11, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by DAVID X PRUTTING/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND - JUNE 14: Model Gisele Bundchen and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sit courtside for Game Four of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the San Antonio Spurs at the Quicken Loans Arena on June 14, 2007 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 05: Actress/model Gisele Bundchen and athlete Tom Brady attend the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala 'Superheroes: Fashion And Fantasy' at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
BOSTON - MAY 22: Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Gisele Bundchen watch as the Detroit Pistons play against the Boston Celtics during Game Two of the 2008 NBA Eastern Conference finals at the TD Banknorth Garden on May 22, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NO MIDDLE EAST/INDIA/RUSSIA Photos ï¿½ 2008 Freddy Baez/The Grosby Group - New York Sept 24, 2008 GISELE BUNDCHEN and TOM BRADY out and about in West Village after doing some shopping. PGfrb6 (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
ï¿½2009 RAMEY PHOTO NO SPAIN , NO ITALY, NO MIDDLE EAST, NO RUSSIA Brasil, March 15, 2009 GISELE BUNDCHEN and husband TOM BRADY leave the small town of Horizontina in the south of Brasil, after spending the weekend. Gisele took Tom there to introduce him to her family in the town where she was born. The couple took a small private plane that will take them to the large city Sao Paulo where they will continue with their honeymoon. PGpg68 (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 04: NFL player Tom Brady and model Gisele Bundchen attends 'The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
ï¿½2010 RAMEY PHOTO EXCLUSIVE! NO SPAIN/ NO ITALY/ NO RUSSIA Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 29, 2010 GISELE BUNDCHEN and TOM BRADY take their baby Benjamin, for lunch at Cafe La Musique in Sao Paulo. The Brady family traveled to Brazil for Gisele's sister wedding. PGrbs68 (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
ï¿½2010 RAMEY PHOTO Gisele Bundchen, Tom Brady and their baby ride on a boat in Paris. 040910 DLM/TM (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
Tom Brady and model Gisele Bï¿½ndchen attends the Costume Institute Gala Benefit to celebrate the opening of the 'American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity' exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 3, 2010 AFP PHOTO /TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Model Gisele Bundchen (L) and NFL player Tom Brady (R) attends the 'Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty' Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/FilmMagic)
BOSTON - APRIL 20: Tom Brady and Gisselle Bundchen kiss in a roof box stand during the seventh inning stretch as the Boston Red Sox face the New York Yankees on the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Tom Brady and Gilele Bundchen attend the 'Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage)
Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady attends the Costume Institute Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art May 6, 2013, celebrating the opening of Punk: Chaos to Couture. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 27: Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen are seen on March 27, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Stickman/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen attend the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images)
Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen (R) gestures alongside US American football player Tom Brady during a closing ceremony ahead of the final football match between Germany and Argentina for the FIFA World Cup at The Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 13, 2014. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 11: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was met after practice on August 11, 2014 by his wife Gisele Bundchen and their son and daughter. The Patriots held an afternoon practice session on the fields outside of Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots kisses his wife Gisele Bundchen after defeating the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 30: Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen are seen riding bicycles on August 30, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Stickman/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Robert Kraft, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman attend the Gisele Bundchen Spring Fling book launch on April 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Goat Communications)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Professional Football player Tom Brady and wife, model Gisele Bundchen attend National Geographic's 'Years Of Living Dangerously' new season world premiere at the American Museum of Natural History on September 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Feb 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) hugs his wife Gisele Bundchen after beating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Tom Brady (L) and Gisele Bundchen attend the 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com)
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You can only spend so much, right?
For Prescott to assume that’s why Brady takes a discount is presumptuous, of course. Whether sharing $580 million or sitting on a $180 million fortune of his own, at some point there’s only so much money one can spend. If leaving a few million behind can lead to more Super Bowl rings, then it might not matter at all to Brady how much his wife makes.
And then there’s the part about Prescott putting himself in the conversation with Brady to begin with. He and the Cowboys have a completely different set of concerns than Brady and the Patriots when it comes to football.
When it comes to contracts, Prescott’s next concern is pressing. He’s coming up on the end of his rookie deal, which will have paid him around $3 million total over four years at the end of the 2019 season.
Prescott due an extension soon
If the Cowboys plan to make him the quarterback of the future, which is expected, he’ll be due a significant raise. That seemed far from a sure thing in the middle of the 2018 season, when Prescott had largely put up mediocre numbers in his short stint as the Dallas starter. But a second playoff appearance in three years bodes well for Prescott’s future, regardless of how much credit he actually deserves.
When he does sign an extension, there’s a chance that he could end up with a higher annual salary than Brady. It’s just how the NFL works. Until he finds his own super model wife, don’t expect him to demand any less than the market bears.