AP Photo/Matt Patterson, File
Fox Sports announced Tuesday that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will become its lead NFL analyst following his on-field retirement, and he’ll reportedly receive a record-breaking contract whenever that day arrives.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York PostBrady and Fox Sports have agreed to a 10-year, $375 million contract that will go into effect after the quarterback’s retirement.
Earlier on Tuesday, Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports had reported Brady was expected to earn around $200 million on a long-term contract with an annual salary between $20 million and $25 million, surpassing the $18 million mark of CBS’ Tony Romo and ESPN’s Troy Aikman. Now, per Marchand, Brady will reportedly have an AAV that will more than double both Romo and Aikman.
Brady retired in February, but his departure from the NFL only lasted six weeks before he confirmed his return for the 2022 season.
Tom Brady @Tom Brady
These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG pic.twitter.com/U0yhRKVKVm
Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reported the wheels were in motion behind the scenes for the legendary quarterback to join the Miami Dolphins front office, where he would have helped recruit longtime New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton to lead the staff.
After the Bucs found a new starting quarterback, he would have essentially helped work out a trade for himself and then returned as an active player to Miami.
The plan fell apart when former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL and its teams related to alleged racial discrimination in their hiring and firing practices.
Brady and Co. realized the optics of hiring a white executive and a white coach in wake of Flores’ lawsuit would have caused ample criticism, which led him to decide between either returning to Tampa Bay or staying retired, per Volin.
So the seven-time Super Bowl champion is back with the Buccaneers, but how long he’ll remain an active player remains a mystery.
Based on his performance, it’s possible the 44-year-old California native could play for quite a while.
Brady remained one of the NFL’s best players in 2021. He completed 67.5 percent of throws for league highs in yards (5.316) and touchdowns (43) and 12 interceptions while playing all 17 games for the Bucs. He finished second in MVP voting to the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers.
He’ll become a free agent after the 2022 campaign, so next offseason he’ll have a chance to decide whether to remain in Tampa, sign with a new team like Miami or head for the broadcast booth.
He’s going to make a boatload of money regardless of his final decision.