Joe Burrow

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Dak Prescott

Is Tom Brady REALLY the GOAT, or was he just really good at Math?

Published 2-17-2022

Look, I know that this is a ridiculous argument at this point because pretty much no one cares, but there’s no great secret why Tom Brady won so many SBs and it’s definitely not because he’s any more special of a QB than anyone else.

He simply took home town discounts so that other more talented teammates could get paid. This isn’t a conspiracy theory or even a stretch for those who know and understand it, but he’s never taken more than 13.6% of his team total salary cap, and most years it’s FAR lower, when most good-to-great QBs are in the 16%-20%. That seems like a small margin, but he’s proven it’s not.

And if you’d like a comparison or two, let’s look at Patrick Mahomes here (click on this link). He was getting paid rat pellets in the first two years after signing his “big” contract, with what you could call a “prestructured” contract, which paid him only 2.4% of the team’s overall salary cap in 2020, and only 4.0% just last year in 2021. BUT, this year (2022), he’s grabbing a MUCH LARGER chunk at 17.1%, and it’s even far worse with one of the biggest chunks of the salary cap ever in NFL history at 20.8% in 2022, then 17.3% for 2023. So, while fans love to see magic fairy dust where it doesn’t actually exist in reality with regards to the salary cap, there’s no hiding the FACT that the Chiefs are going to have to make some very tough decisions with their other players over the next few years, and clearly it IS going to hurt the team.

If you’re not a Brady fan and you’re wondering why, maybe, your team and your great quarterback once made it to the Super Bowl, but for some mysterious reason hasn’t made it back, then you need look no further than this reason alone. The only problem with making any comparison to any QB other than Brady over the last, let’s say 10 years, is that Brady has been in almost every Super Bowl in that time, sans Peyton Manning, and can we really respectfully compare Brady to Cam Newton, Joe Flacco, or even Jimmy Garoppolo, who, by the way, was beaten by the Chiefs while Mahomes was still in his rookie contract.

And while Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been extremely greedy in his contracts, which has allowed the Packers to stay competitive (though in an admittedly crappy division), they still have not gotten back to the Super Bowl in that time, let alone win another one, AND, in any case, he was STILL taking a much higher percentage of his team’s salary cap than Brady did!

Lastly, I’m a Seahawk fan and I know our fans often grumble over Russell’s big contracts since we won the Super Bowl, and suggest that’s the reason why we haven’t been back since his rookie contract. To be honest, in looking at this salary cap hit data, they’re starting to look pretty dang smart at this point, with history itself as the only proof anyone needs.


RW3 hasn’t been extremely greedy with his previous salary cap hits (my opinion, of course), but as of this last year (2021) and over the next two, he’s in the 17+% cap hit range, so unless he’s serious about restructuring, well, it might not look so good in terms of returning to a Super Bowl again for us over the next couple of years. These are the kinds of QB salary cap hits that get teams to the playoffs (if the QB actually backs up his play on the field, which clearly Russ does), but they just can’t seem to garner the marginal talent that gets them into the Super Bowl, and then on to winning it.

CLEARLY overall TEAM talent matters when it comes to getting to, and winning, Super Bowls.

So, as we put all this together, while the whole original purpose for the salary cap was to help to establish team parity in the league overall, aside from Tom Brady as the great outlier, for the most part, it’s worked like gangbusters!

You can say what you want about Tom Brady but one thing he’s not is greedy….unless it’s being greedy about winning, and he’s definitely that. Bottom line is that Brady has simply figured out how to hack the NFL salary cap to help him win Super Bowls, and, honestly, good for him, no joke.

Gotta respect him for that at least, I guess *shrugging*.

But the essential hit-home point here is that this is also why measuring a QB’s greatness like this, based only on SBs alone, in a team sport worth billions, is really kind of ridiculous.

But let’s let the kids have their fun 🙂

Salary Cap Source: OverTheTop.com

(Use this link to see Brady’s Cap Hits specifically: https://overthecap.com/player/tom-brady/1250/)