Is Tom Brady really worth $30 million to the Patriots now?

Patriots QB Tom Brady holds up a finger, superimposed on a gray background with blue and white lightning strikes

Tom Brady is set to be a free agent for the first time in his job.

Or would the Patriots be overpaying for continuity and past product?

Tom Brady is set to smacked the open market for the first time in a 20 -year career. After years of ratifying bargain contracts for hometown discounts, the six-time Super Bowl champion could recapture his status as one of the league’s highest-paid musicians.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported New England is willing to give the passer responsible for all six of the franchise’s NFL championships a $ 30 million+ stipend to keep him with the only crew he’s ever seen. This would be a big turnaround for a participate who’s indicated below-market agreements recently in order to pad out his roster around him.

It would also leave major questions for the Patriots to face this offseason, even with their veteran quarterback in tow. Namely: How much is a 43 -year-old Brady worth?

Brady( ultimately) backslid in 2019

Paying Brady a top-six salary in 2020 based on his 2019 carry-on would be a leap of faith from the Patriots, who commonly have been steely when it comes to retaining aging talent. A contract with an average value of $30+ million would stand as one of the 10 richest in the NFL — more than Jimmy Garoppolo, Matthew Stafford, or Derek Carr averaged in previous record-setting treats. It would still trail, even with inflation, the mega-extensions signed by fellow veterans Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger, though both are only in their late-3 0s instead of their early-4 0s.

There’s no doubt Brady was worthy of a top stipend the whole way up until 2018, but this past leaves chamber for concern. Here’s where he graded statistically as a passer in his age-4 2 season.

Passing grounds: 7th( 4,057) Completion frequency: 27 th( 60.8) Touchdown rate: 26 th( 3.9) Yards/pass: 29 th( 6.6) Adjusted grounds/ pass: 21 st( 6.8) Passer rating: 19 th (8 8.0) QBR: 19 th( 52.5)

That doesn’t tell the whole story of his 2019. He was the driving offensive army behind a 12 -4 squad that won the AFC East for the 11 th straight-from-the-shoulder season. But much of that strong came from a defense that ranked best in the NFL in both grounds and moments gave. When that unit needed an extra counterpunch to beat good crews, Brady struggled to provide it.

His Patriots became just 3-4 against playoff squads, and the two teams they did beat — the Bills and Eagles — failed to advance out of the Wild Card Round. Brady hurled for 637 yards in those competitions and recorded really 5.4 grounds per struggle.

Here were his numerals in the seven starts he had against squads that boosted to the postseason, including the Patriots’ loss to the Titans 😛 TAGEND

Not good! Jay Cutler, for comparison’s sake, had a 75.1 passer rating and a 9:7 touchdown: interception ratio in his lone comeback season with the Dolphins in 2017.

This wasn’t all on Brady

One major caveat in Brady’s sudden downturn can be traced to his lack of playmaking support. Rob Gronkowski retired and was replaced by Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo, and a 38 -year-old Ben Watson. Together, they mixed for 36 catches, 418 gardens, and two touchdowns.

An overtaxed receiving regiments couldn’t pick up that slack. Julian Edelman remains a matter of reliable target( 11 plummets aside ), but his supporting cast couldn’t keep pace. First-round rookie N’Keal Harry missed the first half of the season due to injury and didn’t make much of a difference upon his return. Josh Gordon was mostly a non-factor before getting hurt and then released; he’s currently on the league’s exempt list after miscarrying another organization drug experiment.

Antonio Brown ratified a $10 million contract with the Pats and lasted one tournament before his off-field baggage led to his secrete. Mohamed Sanu, acquired before the busines deadline at the drench cost of a second-round pick, had little affect upon his arrival, disabled his ankle soon after, and had 15 catches in his final seven games. Despite all these opportunities, Phillip Dorsett was mostly an ignored spirit on the degree chart.

This leant all the more pressure on New England’s offensive word and running game, which didn’t step up. Center David Andrews missed the part season due to blood clots in his lungs. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn was out half the season with a lower leg hurt, forcing the team to turn to September free agent Marshall Newhouse to protect Brady’s blindside for its first eight competitions. That went … poorly.

Marshall Newhouse … BlDmY9 7HWO

— Tucker Boynton (@ Tucker_TnL) November 17, 2019

Fullback James Develin went on injured substitute after precisely two tournaments. His replacement, Jakob Johnson, established it four games before territory on IR. Linebacker Elandon Roberts had to move to the backfield in their steads.

This all contributed to a massive sophomore slump from Sony Michel. The former first-round pick was electric in New England’s run to Super Bowl 53, rushing for six touchdowns in three postseason plays. But in 2019, his gardens per carry drooped from 4.5 to 3.7 — even as his grounds after contact( 2.4 to 2.4) and violated undertake charge( 11.0 to 10. 9 percentage) remained the same.

That’s a lot of moving divisions that became amis, and it would be foolish to believe Brady was insulated by the swirling tide of awfulness that surrounded him. At no one point was this more evident than in the team’s home loss to the Titans in the playoffs.

And despite all this, New England still graded 11 th in the tournament in offensive effectivenes, per Football Outsiders. There’s room to build from there.

That leaves this team with plenty of openings to plug in order to make one or two( or three ?) seasons of mid-4 0s Brady worthwhile at a high price. So how would they get there?

Brady could rebound with a better supporting cast … but where will that coin comes here?

As it currently stands, the Patriots are slated to have a little more than $ 50 million in detonator space pate into the 2020 offseason , not counting Brady’s voided $6.7 million thumped. Brady’s deal would eat up somewhere between $20 and $30 million in space for next season, which would immediately handcuff the squad when it comes to signing veteran help. The volume of whatever’s left over would likely go toward pending free agent like Devin McCourty, Kyle Van Noy, Danny Shelton, or Jamie Collins, all of whom were vital to the Pats’ league-best defense last season.

Not all of those people will be back, but the ones who re-sign will leave cherished little payment ceiling seat around them. While actors like A.J. Green, Emmanuel Sanders, and Eric Ebron will be published with free authority, New England were not able to be able to glean the cream of that underwhelming pasture. The Pats could be stuck trying to turn other teams’ unpolished goods into pearls, either through that busines or via low-key trade.

That works out great when those guys turn out to be Wes Welker, LeGarrette Blount, or Randy Moss. It’s been much less of a boon when those buy-low bargains have brought in players like Eric Decker, Jordan Matthews, or Scott Chandler.

The draft is another viable avenue to add talent, but not an specially reliable one. Bill Belichick’s track record with receiver promises isn’t extremely successful, and the jury’s still out on last year’s top pick Harry. The Patriots are also without their second-round pick thanks to the aforementioned Sanu trade.

This applies the them in a bit of a catch-2 2. Brady needs better targets, but if he’s going to re-sign in New England for $30 million, the team won’t be able to afford countless upgrades. That leaves a thin line for Belichick to walk when it comes to balancing his listing over the final however-many years of his wizard quarterback’s career.

The Patriots’ willingness to deplete shows Brady will stay, but that’s no guarantee

There’s a chance Brady finishes his occupation outside New England. The Raiders are reportedly interested in making him the crown jewel of their entry season in Las Vegas. Or the two-time regular season MVP could make a return to his home state now that no one’s genuinely quite sure what the future holds for the Chargers and free agent quarterback Philip Rivers. Several other squads could use him as a gigantic bridge between their existing and future at quarterback.

It’s easy to see why he’d be a wanted mortal outside Foxborough. Brady has spent the back half of his vocation crushing expectations for aging quarterbacks. He’s the oldest musician to ever earn MVP reputations and the oldest starting QB to triumph a Super Bowl. Projecting his deterioration is a abortive exercise.

His 2019, however, was not a season worthy of a $30 million transaction , no matter what his legacy says. Paying out the nose for Brady would ensure a New England tale stays in city, but it would also handicap his team’s ability to fill the holes that led to its worst playoff achievement in a decade. There’s no way both Brady and Belichick don’t know that.

So the question now is whether they hurtle forward toward mutually assured destroyer, or whether they’ll return to the careful roster building that’s cured see the Patriots the most achieved team of the millennium.

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