As the football world eagerly awaits Tom Brady’s decision about his plans for next season, the Buccaneers are left to prepare for various salary cap scenarios as a result of the quarterback’s nuanced contract.
If Brady chooses to leave Tampa Bay—either by signing with a different team or retiring—he’ll still figure on the franchise’s 2023 payroll. That’s because of his intricately composed contract that features deferred compensation, with the actual amount Brady is owed by the team going forward dependent on whether or not he’s retired or under contract to another club.
As Fox Sports’s Greg Auman details, Brady will count a whopping $35 million against the Bucs’ 2023 cap figure if he signs with another team. But if he retires, that amount will be spread out over the next two seasons: $11 million for ’23 and $24 million for ’24.
The nitty-gritty details are complicated, but the end result is notable given that there is a growing belief among at least a portion of Brady’s Bucs teammates that he will not be returning for a fourth season in Tampa Bay. The team won the NFC South with an 8–9 record, while Brady led the league in completions (490) and pass attempts (733) while throwing for 4,694 yards, 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions.