Ex-Patriots executive shares great story about Tom Brady contract negotiation
Tom Brady agreed to a contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week that lowered his salary cap hit and will pay him much less than some of his peers. To those who have followed Brady’s Hall of Fame career, that was the expected outcome. Former New England Patriots executive Scott Pioli certainly was not surprised.
Pioli, who worked in player personnel with the Patriots from 2000-2008, was one of the people who negotiated Brady’s first ever NFL contract extension. He shared a great story about that process on CBS this week.
According to Pioli, Brady at one point stepped in between his agent Don Yee and Pioli when the two were negotiating Brady’s deal. Pioli says Brady asked, “When is enough, enough?”
"He stepped between [his agent] Don Yee and myself and said 'When is enough, enough?'"
"He was never a pig when it came to the table."pic.twitter.com/9jxcSbAVN5
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 14, 2021
“Does he like to get paid like everybody else? Sure he does,” Pioli said. “But he doesn’t worry about being a pig. Winning championships is just as important as getting paid. … He told Bill (Belichick) and myself, ‘Listen guys, I will take less as long as you promise to take that extra money and continue to build a good team around me.'”
Brady took less than market value on his contracts throughout his entire two-decade tenure with the Patriots. It is a common misconception that he did that to help the team. Brady has always cared more about his legacy than being the highest-paid player in the NFL, and taking less money allowed New England to stay out of salary cap jail. The arrangement benefitted both sides.
Even when Brady chose to leave New England last year, it wasn’t about the money. He wanted a better supporting case, and the tweet he sent after signing his Bucs extension was a reminder of that.