Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, he of the seven Super Bowl wins, has blasted his fellow players for accepting a decreased salary cap for 2021 while the NFL’s team values have soared, despite the loss of attendance revenue last year, courtesy of the league’s new lucrative television broadcasts. He vented his displeasure on his Instagram account, as screenshotted by Tampa Bay sports reporter Rick Stroud:
Tom Brady says NFL players are “ignorant,” after seeing the franchise revenues and values rise while the salary cap fell 20 percent. pic.twitter.com/haeRUHv9Ch— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) August 5, 2021
The television broadcast contracts to which Brady referred are reported to be bringing some $113 billion dollars into the NFL’s coffers. Exactly how this jibes with the NFL seemingly doing everything imaginable to drive away viewers remains to be seen, or rather not seen as former fans turn off their televisions in unison. But I digress.
Brady’s ire was especially aroused by a recent Forbes article detailing how, despite the pandemic, the value of a NFL franchise rose on average 14% last year thanks in no small part to the aforementioned shiny new television contracts. The “poorest” franchise is the Buffalo Bills, valued at a paltry $2.27 billion. As a sidenote, the Bills are currently playing the threaten-to-move-game if the team does not get a 100% taxpayer-funded $1.4 billion dollar new stadium. Since the team isn’t located in California the tactic will probably work. Back to team values; the richest is (surprise) the Dallas Cowboys at $6.5 billion. My Rams are fourth at $4.8 billion, of which $110 came from me when I bought a Matthew Stafford jersey a few weeks ago.
Despite the rise in team value, the salary cap in 2021 is $182.5 million per team, a decrease from the $198.2 million 2020 cap. Reason given was the loss in revenue from ticket sales and the like in 2020. The salary cap was agreed upon between the NFL and the NFLPA (players association, i.e. union) on March tenth. The new television contracts were announced on March eighteenth. Great timing, NFLPA. Oh, but it’s okay; the 2022 salary cap will be $208.2 million. How the teams will be able to afford that additional $19.7 million I can’t imagine.
Anyway, given Brady’s demonstrated business savvy it should come as no surprise he has spoken about the 2021 salary cap agreement’s bias in favor of team owners. There are advantages to being the G.O.A.T., one of them being a voice to whom people will listen. Since Brady might actually be done playing when it comes time to negotiate the 2023 salary cap, any adjustment to same will not likely affect him personally. However, if you see a sharp rise in the salary cap, all players reaping the resulting reward better send Brady a thank-you card.