The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set for a massive spike in revenue with Tom Brady as the new face of their franchise, but the superstar quarterback said Wednesday that he’s fine with not receiving a larger cut of the profits.
Brady discussed his two-year, $50 million contract during a rare candid interview on “The Howard Stern Show.” At one point, Stern was critical of the NFL’s salary cap structure, arguing that Brady “should be probably making $100 million and sharing in the profits of that team” given the surge in ticket sales, sponsorships and other revenue the Buccaneers are likely to receive.
“Would I love for it to be that way? Yeah, I would, but there’s a lot to that. There’s a lot of business arguments,” Brady said. “I’m all for the players, I’m all for the game, and I believe also, when you’re an owner of a business, you’re the one that assumes a lot of risk, too.”
Brady is among the top-earning players in NFL history, with more than $235 million in career salary and an off-field empire that includes his own online store, fitness brand and various endorsement deals. The Buccaneers saw an immediate surge in demand for season ticket packages when Brady announced he would leave his longtime home with the New England Patriots for Tampa Bay.
Despite his star power, Brady told Stern he is an “employee” like all other NFL players, subject to the league’s collective-bargaining agreement and salary restrictions. While top NFL quarterbacks earn more than $30 million per season, the NFL set its salary cap for each roster at $198.2 million for the 2020 season.
“I think the owners take a lot of risk in buying [teams] and the players take a lot of risk in playing, and because it’s a great business, there’s a lot of money to go around for everybody,” Brady said. “I want the players to be compensated fairly for what I believe we provide to the game. I think we try to negotiate those things, we do them in a collective way where it’s not Tom Brady negotiating, it’s our entire players' union negotiating. We just finished a big negotiation.”
The NFL and the NFL Players Association finalized a new collective-bargaining agreement last month. The deal included an increased share of revenue for players, who will receive 48 percent of all league income starting in 2020.
Brady’s contract with the Buccaneers is fully guaranteed and includes no-trade and no-tag clauses. He can earn an additional $9 million in performance-based incentives.
Brady signed with the Buccaneers after 20 seasons and six Super Bowl wins with the Patriots. The 42-year-old star described a tearful conversation with Patriots owner Robert Kraft when he informed his former boss that he planned to leave.
“It was just time,” Brady said. “I don’t know what to say other than that. I accomplished everything I could in two decades with an incredible organization, an incredible group of people, and that will never change. No one can ever take that away from me. No one can ever take that experience or Super Bowl championships away from us.”