Curran: Evil Tom Brady at it again

Curran: Evil Tom Brady at it again
March 1, 2013, 11:15 am

It took a while, but we’re on to the machinations of the diabolical Tom Brady now.
 
It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?
 
He rigged it at Michigan so he’d end up being the 199th overall pick. Because everyone loves the underdog, right?
 
Brady went as far as letting blue-chip recruit Drew Henson start a few games for the Wolverines. And what would Brady do? Come in and pull those games from the fire. Real white horse BS. Shows up to the Combine doughy. Runs slow. Gets himself drafted late. Master plan.
 
Bides his time for a season, lying in the weeds until Drew Bledsoe gets hurt, then - BAM! – he can start his little Horatio Alger rise in 2001.
 
Draws out the drama in the Snow Bowl before destroying Oakland in the fourth quarter, dramatic injury in the AFC Championship to get hearts in throats, then in the Super Bowl, waits until he can see the whites of the Rams eyes and directs a game-winning drive to complete the Cinderella Story.
 
Stinks to high heaven. All of it. Three Super Bowl wins by nine points? Taking less dough in 2002 and 2005, all the while knowing he’d marry money bigger than his own so he wouldn’t feel the pain.
 
Blow out the knee – how convenient – then come back two seasons later to be the league’s first unanimous MVP? And remember what happened on the eve of that MVP season in 2010? Right. Car accident that spurred an agreement on his contract extension just days before the opener.
 
All for the PR bump. He couldn’t leave it alone, though. He takes the contract extension this week, outwardly to free up $15 million in cap space for the team over the next two years. Wants to compete for championships. Says it’s all about wins. Sure. You know what happens when a guy converts projected salary to signing bonus, don’t you? Yeah, the money gets paid right away. So Brady made $3 million more this year. Cash. And he has a moat. Roll that around for a minute. A moat.
 
Brady didn’t stop at just manipulating fans and the media, though. His Union Brothers in the NFLPA weren’t spared this week.
 
Brady agreeing to a three-year, $27 million extension means every Patriot coming to the bargaining table is going to be reminded that the 35-year-old, three-time Super Bowl champion with two MVP trophies and well over $100 million in earned for playing football is taking less.
 
How’s an agent combat that? What’s he supposed to counter with? Aside from saying. “Nice try, Bill, but Brady took less so his teammates could be paid more.” Or “That’s Tom Brady at 35, you and I both know comparing my 26-year-old client to him is like comparing apples and garage door openers.”
 
Think that airtight logic stands a chance?
 
No one’s been spared from Tom Brady’s reign of good guy terror. See all the other restructured contracts around the NFL this week? Marques Colston, Ben Roethlisberger, DeMarcus Ware and a host of other Cowboys. The list goes on. The spin is they’re saving their teams cap room by converting non-guaranteed salary to signing bonus. But is it REALLY that noble. Or just a money grab?
 
We know the answer. Tom Brady’s done nothing in his career but look out for Tom Brady, isn’t that right? The people who know him best, his teammates, coaches and ownership, they’ll tell you, won’t they?
 
Won’t they?
 
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Little more business talk. How many times have you been told the salary cap is now flat? The growth is minimal. The pinch is on all over the league.
 
Sorry, but it really isn’t that simple. For instance, the Patriots 2013 salary cap is $129.5 million. That’s up from $121 million in 2012. The $123.9 cap number you’ve been hearing is just the starting point for every team. Then there’s rollover money from 2012 – the money a team was under the cap that they rolled over into this league year. Every team rolled money over. The Patriots rolled over $5.6 million. The Eagles rolled over $23 million. Their cap is $144.9 million. The Rams rolled forward $247,000. Their cap is $124.1 million. Some are feeling the pinch, some ain’t. Depends what you did last year.
 
The combined rollover dough from 2012 is $199.3 million. The average rollover is $6.2M.
 


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QUICK HITS

The deadline for gently applying the franchise tag to players – or slapping it, if the case dictates – is Monday at 4 p.m. The Patriots don’t seem likely to put it on their most high-profile candidates – Wes Welker, Aqib Talib or Sebastian Vollmer.

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Meanwhile, while the Patriots are planning to move ahead without Brandon Lloyd, that’s not a fait accompli until the team fails to pick up his $3M option for 2013. Could they ultimately decide that they are so thin at wideout they have to bring Lloyd back? Sure. But it’s not looking likely.  

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While the Brady restructure presumably clears the way for a new Wes Welker deal, news out of St. Louis that Danny Amendola will be allowed to test the free agent market. ( http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/02/28/report-rams-may-allow-da... ) I wouldn’t be stunned if the Patriots kicked the tires on Amendola before finalizing a Welker deal. If the Pats sign Amendola and let Welker go? That’d seem to me like a bait-and-switch pulled on Brady.