Report: Tom Brady Paid for Successful Plays in Tampa Bay

Ex-Buccaneers guard Ali Marpet claims extra yardage meant extra cash

Tom Brady throwing a pass for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tom Brady really, really wanted Tampa to have a strong screen game.
Kevin Sabitus/Getty

According to a former Buccaneer lineman, retired (for now) Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady implemented a pay-for-play system that incentivized the team’s offensive line to get screen plays to go for extra yardage.

During an appearance on the Wam Bam podcast, Alexander “Ali” Marpet said Brady became upset when meetings to repair the Tampa offense’s “absolutely abysmal” screen game did nothing to repair the issues. A big fan of throwing short screen passes to shifty wideouts and pass-catchers out of the backfield due to his time in Josh McDaniels’s offense in New England, Brady was impatient to get Tampa’s screen game up to snuff. And, according to Marpet, Brady was willing to pay for it.

“[Brady] took our starting offensive line to the side and he’s like, ‘Hey, if you guys can get a screen to go for more than 15 yards, I will give you $1,000 cash each,’” Marpet said. “‘That is for you guys; so every time that we get that, I will be happy to make that payment.”‘

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After Brady offered his linemen the off-the-books incentives, Tampa managed to spring “multiple” screens that went for more than 15 yards in the following weeks, according to Marpet. Brady, who also gave his Tampa teammates Christmas gifts like luxury watches from IWC, could certainly afford the $1,000 payouts as he earned more than $330 million in salary alone over the course of his 23-year NFL career.

Marpet, who made more than $37 million during his career and won the Super Bowl during Brady’s first season in Tampa, didn’t necessarily need the $1,000 bonuses, but maybe he’s glad he took them now that he’s retired. On the other hand, Marpet might not really care all that much as he retired at the age of 28 coming off a Pro Bowl season when he still had two years and $20 million remaining on his contract.

“The biggest reason for me was the physical toll: I didn’t want any more of that. There were some things I wanted to accomplish in my career that I had done,” Marpet told The Guardian in 2022. “I loved playing football. But one of my strongest values is health and if I’m really going to live out what’s important to me it doesn’t make sense to keep playing. There are also the unknowns of the head trauma of the NFL and how that plays out. Plus, your joints, the aches and pains that come with surgeries and all that stuff.”

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