25 May 2005
Troy Brown took less money to return to New England instead of signing with New Orleans. "Hometown discount," right? Not really. While Brown gave up more playing time in New Orleans, he didn't give up more money, because a promotional deal he has with TD Banknorth pays him enough money to make up the difference in football salary. This is one of those economic variables we don't often think about when comparing contracts, but not the only one. Tedy Bruschi took less money from the Patriots last year, but remember that he negotiated the deal without an agent, so he may have ended up with more money himself than he would have made if an agent had shopped him to all 32 teams. At the same time, contracts with New England are worth less than contracts with Miami or Dallas, because Brown and Bruschi and Randy Moss and Eli Manning all have to pay state taxes, and Drew Bledsoe and Ricky Williams do not. Think of all the ganja Ricky can buy with the tax savings!
It's a year of huge cornerback contracts, with A.J. Bouye and Stephon Gilmore breaking the bank. But will these big-money contracts, and the big-time gambles associated with them, pay off?