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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady's biggest contribution to the NFL ... well, other than all the winning, might be his willingness to put his team in a better place every offseason. Brady did that again Friday, restructuring his contract.
The move gave the Buccaneers an extra $9 million in cap space for the 2022 NFL season, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers restructured his 2022 contract today, creating over $9 million of added salary cap space for Tampa Bay as it gets ready to head into next week’s draft, league sources tell ESPN. Brady still is scheduled to be a free agent after this season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 22, 2022
This is nothing new for Brady. He started restructuring his contract as a member of the New England Patriots. Every offseason, Brady would re-work his deal to give the Patriots — and now the Buccaneers — more cap room. The team would then use that cap space to give Brady a better supporting cast.
Brady will make the same amount of money after the restructure. He's not taking a pay cut. Instead, the team shifted how Brady's contract gets paid out. In Brady's case, that might include reducing his 2022 salary to the league minimum, but shifting the money he was supposed to make to his bonus.
I don’t know the fine print yet, but to save $9 million they are not only reducing salary to a minimum and shifting rest into bonus but also tweaking incentives to make them not count as likely to be earned. https://t.co/8j2UV5y6Bc
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) April 22, 2022
That enables the team to still pay Brady the same amount, but improve its short-term cap situation.
The Buccaneers will likely use some of their new cap space to sign the players they select in the 2022 NFL draft. The team should still have cap space left after making those moves.
Other quarterbacks follow Tom Brady's lead
Brady may be credited with popularizing the restructuring trend, but many others have picked up on the practice. Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees kept restructuring his deal to save the team cap space. Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes made the same move last offseason to put the Chiefs in a better spot financially.
While Brady was willing to adjust his deal with the Buccaneers, he did not add any more time to his contract. Brady will be a free agent following the 2022 NFL season. He could either retire — again — or find a new franchise to lead to a Super Bowl win.