Are there any other teams out there that do what the Patriots do in terms of payroll, meaning essentially refusing to make anyone the highest paid anything (generally speaking) with an eye toward spreading that money around the entire roster? Of late, I've been thinking about teams whose QBs in particular make over $20 million per season, whereas Tom Brady, I believe, makes about $10 million. The Pats constantly churn most of their roster when guys look like they're going to want top dollar at their respective position, and in negotiating with free agents, it has been reported that the Patriots essentially say, "Do you want to win the Super Bowl or not?" in an effort to encourage guys to sign below-market deals. Brady has plenty of money from other sources, so he's not on food stamps by not being the highest paid QB in the league. Nevertheless, his willingness in particular to forego what he could rightly demand has certainly been integral to the Patriots' ability to pay other guys on the roster and get more better players. Antonio Brown is a tremendous talent and is now one that has tied up $17 million per season for the Steelers. If he was willing to play for $10 million, for example, the Steelers would have $7 million to spend on one (or maybe two) other guys at other positions.
The approaches of different teams are very interesting.