Patriots owner Robert Kraft says Tom Brady extension inspired by Favre, Manning

Elsa

Robert Kraft didn't want his franchise quarterback making a late-career move to another team, so he added a few more years to Tom Brady's contract.

The New England Patriots recently agreed to a three-year, $27 million contract extension with Tom Brady, locking up their franchise quarterback through the 2017 season. As owner Robert Kraft tells it, he wanted to make sure the Patriots didn't go through another fiasco with an iconic player departing for another team late in his career, a situation we've seen twice in recent years.

Kraft said he had been thinking about a contract extension for Brady for three or four years, as he told Sports Illustrated's Peter King.

I was probably wearing my fan hat as much as anything else. I just didn't want to ever see this become like Joe Montana leaving San Francisco, Emmitt Smith leaving Dallas, Brett Favre leaving Green Bay, Peyton Manning leaving Indianapolis. If Tom Brady played out this current contract and left us, there was no doubt in my mind that someone out there would pay him top dollar, and they should, for his ability, his leadership and his unselfishness.

Favre and Manning both endured separations with their longtime franchises and ended up finding new teams to play with late in their careers. Favre was a constant media spectacle, ultimately playing three more years after leaving Green Bay. We witnessed Manning's breakup with Indianapolis last offseason, a scenario Kraft wanted to avoid altogether.

Brady's contract may look like a team-friendly move at first, but he will receive $30 million over the next two years, along with $3 million added immediately. His contract will only be worth $7 million in salary in 2015, but the Patriots are giving him plenty of cash right away. Don't expect Brady to retire anywhere else. Kraft made sure his quarterback is sticking around until the end.

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