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  • Writer's pictureJared Jackson

Legacy over Loot - What we can learn from Tom Brady

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Consider Tom Brady when looking for your next career opportunity

By Jared Jackson, Principal Consultant at MVP Recruitment, LLC

Many consider Tom Brady to be the best Quarterback of all time, some will even say the best NFL Player overall. However, he was never #1 in terms of earnings. While playing for the Patriots during Brady’s “16 money making years” (after his rookie deal, between 2004-2019) he earned $241 million, about $15 million per year. Now certainly that is a lot of money but when compared to other top tier starting quarterbacks, it was significantly less.

For Brady, winning was the priority over money. He was ok making a little less in salary so that he could be surrounded by others who gave him a better chance to succeed. He looked at the entire package he had in New England (coaching, ownership, culture) and determined that it offered him the best opportunity to win at an elevated level over an extended period of time.

A star player who is up for a new contract is not particularly different from an experienced employee looking for a new job opportunity. Likely there will be more than one option with many factors to consider. The allure of money can sometimes be overpowering when comparing multiple positions. Job seekers, like athletes, can be convinced to go for the big money over the best opportunity for success. Often when this happens the rush of making more in your weekly paycheck eventually wears off and the reality of your new situation sets in. The team around you might fall short of what you need to win at an elevated level, the leadership of the organization might change frequently causing shifts in strategy, the overall culture is not clear, people just seem to be going through the daily motions...

These days companies are desperate to hire talent that will make them a contender. They might even be willing to extend themselves beyond what they should to make offers that cannot be turned down. This is the Pay more than everyone else so they come, pay more than everyone else so they stay approach. We like to call this “The Golden Handcuffs”. A situation where a candidate is paid much more than the market and even though they are not happy or fulfilled in their job, they are not in a position to leave for less. With so much being paid to one or a handful of people, adjustments are typically made to make up for it elsewhere. Adding to the burden and responsibility of the highly paid to overcompensate for the lack of talent and resources around them, reducing the likelihood of success for both the organization and the individual.

Had Tom Brady cared more about making money than winning he would have left the Patriots earlier in his career as there would have been plenty of teams, desperate to be contenders, willing to make him the highest paid player. While he would of likely had a great career anywhere, if it were with poorly managed organization, chances are it would not have been “the best ever.” In the end choosing a winning culture over money is what helped the legend of Tom Brady become what it is.

So, the next time you are exploring new job opportunities do not just take the highest offer. Consider the talent you will be surrounded by, the culture, the support, the quality of life. Ideally you can land a position that not only pays you top dollar but offers you the ability to achieve success over a lengthy period of time like Tom Brady.

Contributing Author: Fabian Coronado, Customer Success Manager at MVP Recruitment, LLC

MVP Recruitment, LLC specializes in providing recruitment and talent management solutions to the healthcare industry. To learn more about our services and how we help organization obtain the best talent available for their critical needs please visit our website at

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