The National Football League has been around for quite a while and in that time, a lot of players have made their mark in the sport, displaying exceptional athleticism, discipline, and talent. But over the course of its history and by national consensus, New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady holds the reading as the greatest player ever. Despite this status, he is not the highest-paid player in the NFL.
This fact has raised a lot of questions among fans of the player and the sport as a whole who are curious to know why other quarterbacks who do not share his profile as the greatest earn a lot more than he does. We answer those questions along with other details regarding Tom Brady’s finances below.
How Much Does He Make?
With a personal record of leading his team to six Super Bowl rings and various other personal achievements that include winning the NFL Most Valuable Player thrice, it could go without saying that Tom would be the highest-paid player in the league. However, that isn’t true but still, the San Mateo, California player has done quite well for himself.
To begin, let’s take a look at how much Tom Brady makes as a player for the New England Patriots. He has been with the team since he was drafted into the league in 2000 and in that period, he has amassed over $220 million in career earnings.
In 2019, he signed a two-year contract extension of $70 million which saw his base salary grow from $15 million to $23 million per year, and with additional bonuses, he earns as much as $35 million per year. Prior to signing the extension, he was on a two-year contract worth $30 million, which saw him earn just $4 million in base salary and $10 million in bonuses.
His earnings over the course of his NFL career has helped him amass a personal net worth estimated at $180 million, which places him very well in the top five richest NFL players of all time ahead of other notable names like Brett Favre, Carson Palmer, and Eli Manning.
Where Does He Stand Among NFL Players?
When it comes to determining highest-paid NFL players, the complex nature of NFL contracts makes it a challenging game, which makes it difficult to define who are the highest-paid players in the league.
A closer look at NFL contracts shows that there are at least six different ways to determine the highest-paid players in the NFL and they can be broken down into the various categories: players with the largest base salaries, players with the largest salary cap hits, players with the largest average annual salaries, players with the highest guaranteed money and players with the highest cumulative play.
As analyzed by the team at Business Insider, each category presents a different list, but Tom Brady does not appear among the highest-paid players in the league.
Why is Tom Brady Not One of the Highest-Paid Players in the League?
Simply put, Tom Brady, despite his status as arguably the best player in the league does not rank among the highest paid players in the league because he doesn’t want to. According to reports, he has chosen to earn less than he deserves or could demand to free salary space for his team to attract and pay talented players better salaries. He has chosen to keep his team competitive by signing less lucrative contracts and regularly restructuring his contracts to fit his team’s needs.
An analysis of what he could have earned vs what he has actually earned suggests that he has given up between $60 to $100 million since he became a superstar in order to keep the New England Patriots a winning team, a move that has paid dividends and made him the NFL player with the highest number of Super Bowl rings in history.
It is believed that had Tom Brady chosen otherwise and earned as much as the highest quarterback in the league during his contract extension years, the superstar quarterback could have made over $320 million in career earnings as compared to the just over $220 million he currently has.
However, not being the highest paid player in the league hasn’t been much of a disappointment for him as he has a net worth of $180 million and is married to Gisele Bundchen, the Brazilian supermodel who has a personal net worth of over $400 million.