Tom Brady signed his long-awaited contract extension Friday, just in time to put it behind him before the Patriots embark on their 2010 regular season.
Brady became the highest-paid player in the NFL, agreeing to a four-year contract extension that will pay him $72 million beginning in 2011, with $48.5 million of that sum guaranteed. The extension locks up Brady through the 2014 season, when he will be 37 years old.
This season, Brady will earn $6.5 million in the final season of a six-year deal.
Brady's new deal sets the bar for the other two elite quarterbacks in the league, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, both of whom enter the final year of their contracts.
Since becoming the Patriots' starting quarterback in Week Three of 2001, when he replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe, Brady, a sixth-round draft choice in 2000, has directed his team to three Super Bowls.
Also on Friday, Brady was elected a team captain, along with RB Kevin Faulk, NT Vince Wilfork and LB Jerod Mayo.
With Brady locked up for the long term, the biggest unresolved contract issue in New England is that of OG Logan Mankins, who continues to hold out with no resolution in sight.
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