This week, football fans were captivated by the news of Aaron Rodgers’ contract restructuring, which surprised many with its significant monetary sacrifice. The star quarterback for the New York Jets opted to reduce his salary by a staggering $35 million over the next two seasons. This bold move is aimed at providing his new team with a better chance of constructing a highly competitive roster. While Rodgers’ new deal garnered attention for its size and potential implications on his illustrious career, contract restructuring has become a common practice among star quarterbacks and their teams in recent years.
One quarterback who has successfully managed his team’s salary cap situation time and again is Tom Brady. Brady, who made a name for himself with the New England Patriots before joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, renegotiated his contract multiple times during his career. According to Spotrac, Brady had almost as many contract restructures as Super Bowl victories since 2012. His willingness to negotiate on active contracts freed up millions in cap space, proving vital for his teams’ success over the years.
Drew Brees, renowned for his consummate professionalism during his 20-year NFL career, spent 15 of those years with the New Orleans Saints. As he approached retirement, Brees exemplified his reputation by agreeing to a contract restructuring that saved the Saints nearly $24 million in cap space ahead of the 2021 offseason. His selfless act served as a valuable parting gift to the team, particularly considering their challenging cap situation at the time of the deal.
Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs’ star quarterback, has consistently demonstrated his willingness to sacrifice extra cash on his contract to enable the team to build a stronger roster around him. In 2021, Mahomes underwent a restructuring that freed up an impressive $17.3 million in cap space, ultimately contributing to the Chiefs’ foundation for their successful Super Bowl run in 2022. Furthermore, ahead of the 2023 season, Mahomes again restructured his deal, saving Kansas City an additional $9.6 million in cap space.
Dak Prescott: Aiding the Dallas Cowboys’ Championship Pursuit
The Dallas Cowboys have long sought to secure a championship victory with the help of quarterback Dak Prescott’s exceptional skills. Off the field, Prescott has played a crucial role in this pursuit by restructuring his contract three times over the past three years. Collectively, these restructures have provided the Cowboys with approximately $41 million in cap space. Notably, his most recent restructuring in March 2023 cleared an impressive $22 million, offering Dallas a significant financial edge.
Though Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns holds the largest amount of guaranteed money in the NFL, he and the team reached an agreement over the offseason to restructure his colossal contract. This substantial move aimed to better position the Browns for crucial free agency opportunities. Despite a challenging season and Watson’s return from suspension, which failed to rejuvenate the team, the new deal saved the Browns over $35 million in cap space. These savings will contribute to the Browns’ efforts to build a retooled squad for the 2023 season.
As Josh Allen’s rise to stardom coincides with the Buffalo Bills’ transformation into perennial contenders, the team has yet to secure a Super Bowl appearance with their talented quarterback. However, a recent contract restructuring provided the Bills with $21 million in cap space, supporting them as they aim to break through and win the AFC championship in 2023. Allen’s willingness to adjust his contract demonstrates his commitment to team success and his belief in the franchise’s potential.
The trend of quarterbacks restructuring their contracts for the betterment of their teams has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. Through selfless acts and financial sacrifices, these star players have paved the way for their respective franchises to strengthen their rosters and compete for championships. As the NFL continues to evolve, contract restructuring will likely remain a significant aspect of team-building strategies, showcasing the importance of teamwork and synergy in achieving success in the league.