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Tom Brady To Sign 3-Year, $27 Million Extension With The Patriots (UPDATE)

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It’s easy to hate on Tom Brady. He’s too perfect; he usually wins’ he reportedly had a hair transplant; and, of course he’s married to Gisele Bundchen. But today he did something praise-worthy and that few athletes do these days: he signed a cheap contract to keep his team competitive. From Peter King at SI.com:

Tom Brady took a huge step today to ensure he’ll retire a Patriot, agreeing to a three-year contract extension that will keep him under center for New England through the 2017 season, when he will be 40 years old. For the second time in his illustrious career, Brady is doing something players in this day and age simply do not do: As he did in 2005, Brady, a league source told SI.com, is signing a contract with New England that will pay him significantly less money than the market will bear, in large part to help the Patriots stay competitive for the next five seasons. Amazingly, according to the source, the deal is for an eye-poppingly conservative $27 million, which is less than half his worth by any measure. The extension will pay Brady a $3 milion signing bonus immediately, in addition to salaries of $7 million in 2015, $8 million in 2016 and $9 million in 2017. Brady told Sports Illustrated five years ago he wanted to play until he was 40, at least, and this will accomplish that. He turns 40 on Aug. 3, 2017. The upshot of the deal is to give the Patriots massive cap relief in a flat-cap era. He was due to count on the New England salary cap $43.6 million in 2013 and 2014. Now, his cap numbers will add up to $28.6 million in the next two years, a savings of $15 million in cap dollars at a time the Patriots have free agents they want to sign to help keep the team atop the AFC East, which they have dominated since Brady took over at quarterback in 2001. This year, clearly, he is doing exactly the same thing — in fact, giving the team even more of a hometown discount — with one goal in mind: to keep the Patriots competitive for the rest of his career… He’s putting his money where his mouth is. He knows it’s easy for him to make millions in endorsements. One teammate once said about Brady he would be such a sore loser he’d do whatever it takes to never lose. At a time when the growing market for quarterbacks pegs the average per year at about $20 million — Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are there, and it’s likely Super Bowl champ Joe Flacco will be there soon — Brady’s average over the next six years will be consistently about 30 percent lower.

UPDATE: Here’s what the Patriots are opening up in terms of cap space.