Although Brady will earn only $1 million in base salary next season and in 2017, the bonuses will increase his cap hit to $14 million in each of those seasons. His base salary for 2018 and 2019 would be $14 million, with cap hits of $22 million each, although Brady, 38, is likely to redo those deals, too, if he is still playing.
Brady, who says he wants to play well into his 40s, has reworked his contract several times during his career, in which New England has won four Super Bowls and he has two NFL MVP awards.
The main reason to reduce Brady's salaries is to decrease how much he will cost New England against the salary cap. But Brady also could face a reinstatement of his four-game suspension in the deflated footballs saga from the 2014 AFC title game. If that happens, he would lose less than $250,000 in salary.
With the extension, Brady now ranks 14th among quarterbacks in guaranteed money.
Two people familiar with the decisions told the Associated Press that the New York Jets agreed in principle to sign free-agent running backs Matt Forte and Khiry Robinson, and re-sign running back Bilal Powell.
The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the Jets had not announced the signings.
The team did announce that it re-signed backup tight end Zach Sudfeld.
After spending his first eight NFL seasons in Chicago, Forte comes to the Jets on a three-year deal and will probably replace the departed Chris Ivory as the starter.
The Atlanta Falcons reached terms with former Cincinnati receiver Mohamed Sanu on a five-year contract. Sanu will compete with Justin Hardy for the No. 2 receiver role behind All-Pro Julio Jones.
A day after making former Cleveland center Alex Mack the NFL's highest-paid player at his position, the Falcons beefed up their receiving corps with Sanu. Atlanta also turned its attention Thursday to defense, re-signing end Adrian Clayborn to a two-year contract and bringing former Miami end Derrick Shelby aboard with a four-year deal.
After long being an afterthought in free agency, the Oakland Raiders have become a prime destination.
The Raiders used their ample salary cap room and core of promising young players to attract three coveted free agents in the opening days of the new league year.
Oakland signed cornerback Sean Smith to a four-year, $40-million contract Thursday, adding him to a free-agent group that already included top offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele and linebacker Bruce Irvin. Smith followed Osemele, who signed a five-year deal worth up to $60 million and Irvin, who got a reported $39 million for four seasons.
Marvin Jones signs with Detroit
Marvin Jones finalized a $40-million, five-year contract with the Detroit Lions, but the former Cincinnati receiver said, "I'm not coming here trying to replace Calvin Johnson. Nobody can replace Calvin Johnson."
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed former San Diego tight end Ladarius Green to a four-year deal. The 25-year-old Green is coming off a career year with the Chargers in 2015 in which he set personal bests in receptions (37), yards receiving (429) and touchdown receptions (four) while splitting time with Antonio Gates. The deal is worth $20 million. ... Free-agent running back C.J. Anderson signed an $18-million, four-year offer sheet with Miami. Anderson rushed for 720 yards last season for the NFL champion Denver Broncos, who have five days to match the offer. They're considered unlikely to do so. The Dolphins signed tackle Jermon Bushrod, a nine-year veteran who started four games last season for the Bears. ... The Tampa Bay Buccaneers addressed a need created by Logan Mankins' retirement by signing former Seattle Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy to a five-year deal. ...
The Seahawks continued to focus on retaining their own free agents by agreeing to terms with wide receiver Jermaine Kearse on a three-year deal. Kearse became the third player Seattle has brought back this week after previously agreeing to deals with defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin and cornerback Jeremy Lane. NFL.com reported Kearse's deal is worth $13.5 million. ... The Dallas Cowboys added their first free agent Thursday, signing former Philadelphia defensive lineman Cedric Thornton on a four-year contract worth up to $18 million. ... Five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Tamba Hali signed a three-year deal to stay with Kansas City. The Chiefs also announced the signing of former Cleveland offensive tackle Mitch Schwartz to a five-year deal, defensive tackle Jaye Howard to a two-year contract and the re-signing of linebacker Frank Zombo.