There have been plenty of critics reacting to the $375 million that Fox will reportedly pay Tom Brady when he retires from football, but the legendary quarterback has at least one giant supporter in Shaquille O’Neal.
“When it comes to greatness of this kind, if you lend any anger, you’re a hater,” O’Neal said of Brady on this week’s episode of The Big Podcast with Shaq.
Maybe O’Neal views Brady’s unprecedented deal with Fox as setting a standard that can help analysts negotiate future sportscasting contracts, such as his own with Turner Sports. Nope. O’Neal has the self-awareness to realize Brady’s deal is on another level and contains a dollar amount that other analysts aren’t going to see anytime soon.
Shaq won't tolerate critics of Tom Brady's $375 million contract with Fox pic.twitter.com/MfNxEpWiXy
— Brandon Contes (@BrandonContes) May 12, 2022
“He’s not paving the way because everybody can’t and ain’t gonna get this money,” O’Neal admitted. “Seven Super Bowls, clean cut, good looking, speaks well, he deserves all the money. Whoever says he doesn’t deserve the money, shut your face. Shut your damn face! I’m happy for him.”
$375 million for an NFL analyst is a hard to fathom figure. Brady is also expected to be a sort of brand ambassador for Fox, with a focus on “client and promotional initiatives,” but the crux of the partnership is to get him in the broadcast booth on Sundays. Of course, Fox Sports has disputed the reported details of the 10-year $375 million contract for Brady (first reported by Andrew Marchand of The New York Post), but the network hasn’t stated which part of Marchand’s reporting is inaccurate.
“In sports, in the game, certain people when they get certain money you can’t say nothing,” O’Neal continued. “LeBron and all these guys when they get their money, OK. But when you start to question it is all the bums, how much money they get and then they talk about, ‘my back hurts, I need to have back surgery.’ That’s when you start to question people’s money, but you can’t ever question the great Tom Brady.”
Sure, O’Neal’s right in terms of not questioning Brady’s salary on the football field. Granted, he’s only slated to earn $15 million from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season. But Brady’s experience as a broadcaster is limited to hosting a weekly podcast with Jim Gray. Brady is a $375 million name, but we have no idea if he’s a $375 million broadcaster. Questioning the contract isn’t being a “hater,” it’s using common sense.