Typically when a team in the National Football League restructures a contract of one its’ players that doesn’t mean the player takes a pay cut. What it does is free up cap space for the current year or two and then push salary cap issues further back. In a sense, it’s the old theory of two steps forward and one step back to put it in layman’s terms.
Over the last 36 hours, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots signed a three-year extension lowering his cap number. This will therefore allow the Patriots to have more available money to sign free agents like their own Wes Welker and Sebastian Vollmer. Brady has been lauded by top NFL writers like Peter King of Sports Illustrated as being the ‘ultimate team player.’
Give me a freaking break.
Yes, Tom Brady will make “less” over the next three years under the new contract but in the first two years, he’ll earn $33 million which is about $3 million more than under the old deal. The final year of his deal puts him at age forty by the way. So while the national and Boston area press make Brady the next Pope, the deal really isn’t as awe-inspiring as they’ll make it.
Of course earlier today in Pittsburgh, it was announced that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would be re-structuring his deal for the third consecutive year in an effort to create more cap room for the cap-strapped Steelers. And certainly the national media would sing Roethlisberger’s praises as a ‘team player’ for once again helping the team financially right? Ya sure and I’ve got some ocean front property in Youngstown to sell you too.
Within hours the haters were out in full force claiming that Roethlisberger would of course re-structure simply because that meant more money up front for him. It would mean his cap number would still be a problem in the future too.
These are the same ‘cap experts’ that would sit there in front of their computers in their mother’s basements and scream at Roethlisberger for ‘not being a team player’ had he chosen not to re-structure. For Roethlisberger it’s nothing new. Doesn’t seem to matter what the guy does he is damned for it either way.
What I find even more amazing in this ‘what have you done for me lately’ society is that people forget that Tom Brady is right around the .500 mark in the playoffs since 2005 and has no Super Bowl Titles over that time. Ben Roethlisberger has been to three Super Bowls and has won two of those in that same time span.
Doesn’t matter though because Roethlisberger isn’t married to a supermodel and any of his off-field issues aren’t forgiven the way Brady’s have been. It’s nothing new if you’re a fan of the Steelers and more specifically of Roethlisberger. The lack of respect is nothing unique and it isn’t going to change regardless of what Ben does over the next few seasons. You know it and I know it. In fact I wouldn’t begrudge him one bit if he’d said ‘no’ to a re-structure after doing it for two straight years.
Roethlisberger can’t win and he knows it and you know it regardless of how unfair and uncalled for the criticism is.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.