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Patriots extend QB Brady's contract

Posted: Wednesday August 28, 2002 5:45 PM
Updated: Wednesday August 28, 2002 9:45 PM

 
SI's Don Banks
By finishing off a long-term contract extension Wednesday with quarterback and reigning Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, the New England Patriots wisely have cleared their decks of any possible distraction or hindrance to the defense of their first Super Bowl championship.

What did Brady get? While neither side will confirm the terms of the deal, it is believed to be a four-year extension, through the end of the 2006 season. What's it worth? Again, no one's talking, but the deal's average is believed to be in the range of $5 million to $5.5 million per season. Such a figure would put Brady squarely into the middle tier of NFL quarterback salaries. Maybe at the upper end.

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FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) -- The New England Patriots have extended the contract of quarterback Tom Brady, who led the team to a Super Bowl victory last season.

Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed. Brady's original contract was to expire after this season. The Patriots announced the signing Wednesday, but refused to release details.

Brady, as one of the league's lowest-paid starting quarterbacks, was set to make $375,000 this year. He made $298,000 last year.

Brady had said that if he did not finalize a new contract before the season began, he would take his chances as a restricted free agent next year.

Brady's agent, Don Yee, did not immediately return a call seeking comment and Patriots spokesman Stacey James would not confirm media reports that the extension is for four years.

Brady won the Patriots' starting job last fall after Drew Bledsoe was injured two weeks into the season. Brady, in his second year, was impressive and kept the starting job after Bledsoe returned.

When Brady injured his ankle during the AFC title game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bledsoe returned to lead the Patriots to the Super Bowl.

But for the big game, head coach Bill Belichick decided to go with Brady, who led the Patriots to a surprise victory over the St. Louis Rams, earning the game's MVP honors.

Bledsoe was traded to the Buffalo Bills in the offseason.

 
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