Not that there was ever any doubt about who the Patriots’ quarterback would be for the foreseeable future, but New England officially extended Tom Brady’s contract two more years to 2019.
Brady was set to make $9 million in 2016 and $10 million in 2017, but the extension to 2019 will likely lower this cap hit. This is a crucial strategy to create cap space because key defensive contributors Malcolm Butler, Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower and Chandler Jones are all set to hit free agency after the 2016 season.
At 38 years old this past season, Brady showed no signs of slowing down while throwing for 4,770 yards and a league-high 36 touchdowns. He has never hidden his desire to play into his 40s, and this contract extension guarantees him the opportunity to do just that.
Despite playing such prolific football this year though, Brady would be the first to call the season a disappointment. New England lost in the AFC Championship Game to the Denver Broncos and ultimately fell short of their goal to win back-to-back Lombardi Trophies. New England was hurt by a rash of injuries this past season, but they should enter 2016 fully healthy.
The Patriots are listed as Super Bowl 51 favorites in most sportsbooks, and with Brady’s new extension, that trend likely won’t change before 2019.