So if you don’t understand the way that the salary cap works, don’t feel left out. This stuff makes no sense to half the GMs in the NFL (I purposefully said “half” because there’s no way that Jerry Jones, John Idzik, his predecessor with the Jets, Mike Tannenbaum, or a bunch of other guys understand it), and I honestly think that no one understands it as well as Bill Belichick does.
Tom Brady allowed the Patriots to change the designation in his contract from “guaranteed for skill and injury” to just “guarantee for injury,” meaning that the Patriots no longer have to set aside the money that would be guaranteed for skill in an escrow account. That means that they have now opened up $24 million in cash flow.
Now, it’s important to note that changing Brady’s contract does NOT change cap space, unless Brady were to be cut. Even if the unthinkable were to happen there, Brady is protected by the simple fact that he would make a billion dollars on the open market.
But this opens up space for the Pats to do something weird with a signing bonus for Darrelle Revis, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley (probably not, as he’ll likely move on from the Pats), or Devin McCourty. The target there is probably Revis, as it would shock no one if he and BB did a crazy type of deal that only top level accountants could really think of, just like they did last year because they’re two of the best businessmen in football.
So Brady is a beast and we already knew that. He just opened up more signing bonus money for the Pats going forward.