This year the Patriots and Tom Brady agreed to a revised contract that was designed to pay him more like the elite quarterback he has been throughout his NFL career. The deal would give Brady a bonus of $1 million each for finishing in the top five in passing yards, passing touchdowns, passer rating, completion percentage and yards per attempt.
Brady finished in the Top 5 in all five of those statistical categories last year, so when he signed that contract this year, he surely expected to earn the full $5 million. Instead he’s set to earn zero.
Although there’s still one game left for Brady to improve his stats, he’s so far out of the Top 5 in all five of those categories that there’s no realistic way he could reach any of those $1 million incentives. He certainly won’t reach all of them.
Here’s where Brady stands in each of those five stats, with one game to go:
Passing yards: This is the incentive Brady has the best chance of reaching, but it’s still a long shot. Brady is currently No. 9 in the NFL in passing yards, but he’s 311 yards out of the Top 5. And all five of the passers in the Top 5 — Ben Roethlisberger, Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, Jared Goff and Aaron Rodgers — are expected to play the whole game on Sunday. So even if Brady gains more than 311 yards on Sunday, he’s unlikely to be in the Top 5 when Sunday is over.
Passing touchdowns: Brady is currently 12th in the NFL in passing touchdowns, with 25. To get into the Top 5, he would need eight more passing touchdowns than Ryan and Roethlisberger on Sunday. Seeing as the NFL record is seven passing touchdowns in a game, this one isn’t happening.
Passer rating: Brady is currently 17th in the NFL in passer rating. Even if he has a great game and some of the quarterbacks ahead of him have bad games, there’s no hope of getting all the way to No. 5, which is currently occupied by Philip Rivers with a rating of 107.7.
Completion percentage: Brady is currently 19th in the NFL at 65.4 percent. Even if Brady were to complete 30-of-30 passes on Sunday, that would boost his completion percentage up to 67.2 percent, which wouldn’t even crack the Top 10, let alone the Top 5.
Yards per attempt: Brady is 14th at 7.6 yards per attempt. Even if he throws for 400 yards while attempting only 20 passes on Sunday, he’ll still be only at 8.1, which isn’t in the Top 5.
Brady’s numbers declined this year in a season when quarterback stats across the board improved. Those incentives, which seemed perfectly reasonable at the time he signed the contract, are now impossible for him to reach.