TAMPA, Fla. — Tom Brady has agreed to a contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that provides the Super Bowl champions with salary cap relief and will help the seven-time NFL champion reach a goal of playing until he’s at least 45.
Brady posted a picture of himself on Twitter, signing the extension Friday with the message: “In pursuit of 8 ... LFG@ Buccaneers we’re keeping the band together.”
The extension confirmed by the team frees about $19 million in salary cap space, a move that improves Tampa Bay’s chances of returning as much of its championship roster as possible for 2021.
Seven starters from the Super Bowl were among two dozen Buccaneers eligible to become free agents next week.
“When we acquired Tom a year ago, we were extremely excited about the leadership, poise and winning track record that he would bring to our locker room. Since that time, he has proven himself to be the ultimate competitor and delivered in every way we had imagined, helping us capture the Lombardi Trophy,” general manager Jason Licht said. “Year after year, Tom proves that he remains one of the elite quarterbacks in this game and we couldn’t be happier to keep him in Tampa Bay as we continue to pursue our goals together.”
Brady’s extension adds an extra season on the two-year, $50 million contract he signed in free agency last March following a 20-year run with the New England Patriots.
The five-time Super Bowl MVP capped his first season with the Bucs by leading Tampa Bay to its first championship in 18 years.
Tampa Bay was estimated to be more than $7 million over the salary cap before Brady extended his contract. The Bucs can now turn their attention to trying to reach a deal with linebacker Shaquil Barrett, the 2019 NFL sack leader.
who earned $15.8 million last season while playing under the franchise tag.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski, wide receiver Antonio Brown, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, running back Leonard Fournette and kicker Ryan Succop among the other free agents Licht and coach Bruce Arians hope to retain.
Brady’s former team, the New England Patriots, is completing an agreement to resign free-agent quarterback Cam Newton, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The one-year deal is worth close to $14 million, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because new signings can’t be announced until the league year begins Wednesday. The deal was first reported by The Boston Globe.
With the new pact, the Patriots bring back the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player after an up-and-down 2020 season. He missed time after contracting COVID-19 and struggled to lead the offense as he tried to fill the void Brady’s departure created.
The Patriots finished 7-9, missing the postseason for the first time since 2008 when Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener.