New England quarterback Tom Brady just signed a contract extension that will keep him with the Patriots for the next five seasons. Writers from around the Tribune Co. will discuss how many times the three-time Super Bowl champ will lead his team back to the big game. Feel free to join the conversation with a comment of your own.
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
Tom Brady’s decision to do a bargain-basement extension with the Patriots is remarkable in a business where getting as much as you can is everyone’s end game. But his three-year, $27-million deal figures to pay off for New England in a big way, giving the Patriots a truckload of salary-cap relief that will allow them to remain among the NFL’s elite.
As long as Brady stays healthy, it’s entirely conceivable that he could lead the club to two more Super Bowls. The rest of the AFC East is in flux, and although there are other threats in the conference -- Baltimore, Denver, Houston and Pittsburgh among them -- the Patriots have the roster and coaching continuity to be knocking on the door every season.
In the NFL, it's about the quarterback. For Brady, it was clearly about the team.
Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant
In 12 seasons as a starting quarterback, Tom Brady has appeared in five Super Bowls. So it's reasonable to expect Brady to lead the Patriots to at least one more Super Bowl over the next five seasons.
By accepting a salary-cap-friendly, hometown discount, Brady is setting up New England's front office to surround him with enough talent to put his team in Super Bowl contention virtually every season. The Patriots were facing some cap issues, and it was difficult to envision them importing a difference-maker.
Thanks to Brady, though, Bill Belichick's team will be in a position to add veteran help on both sides of the ball. So if Brady continues to play at a high level, there's no reason to think New England can't be in the Super Bowl hunt in each of the next five seasons.
We expect to see Brady and the Patriots in three Super Bowls before the future Hall of Famer fades into retirement.
[Updated at 12:32 p.m.:
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
Something tells me we have not seen the last of Tom Brady holding a Lombardi Trophy. It’s been awhile, nine years to be exact, since Brady’s Patriots have won it all. But they made it to the Super Bowl twice in the last six years and lost. They also lost twice in the AFC Championship game since winning their last Super Bowl, and never won fewer than 10 games during that time span.
The point is the Patriots always are in the hunt. And they will remain in the hunt as long as Brady keeps playing the way he’s played and Bill Belichick keeps coaching the way he’s coached. At 35, Brady remains on top of his game. He will start to deteriorate over the next few years. But even an aging Brady can take his team far.]