Big bucks for Brady

Two people with knowledge of the contract said Thursday night that Tom Brady has agreed to a four-year extension that would make him the NFL’s highest paid player.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Two people with knowledge of the contract said Thursday night that Tom Brady has agreed to a four-year extension that would make him the NFL’s highest paid player.

The extension for the New England Patriots quarterback begins in 2011 at an average of US$18 million per year with a total of $48.5 million guaranteed, one of those persons said. Both persons spoke on condition of anonymity because the paperwork had not yet been filed with the NFL.

Brady is making $6.5 million this season in the final year of a six-year deal.

The extension was first reported by Peter King of Sports Illustrated during halftime of NBC’s telecast of the Minnesota-New Orleans game.

The average value of Brady’s deal surpasses that of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who agreed this year to a six-year, $97.5 million ($16.25 million average) extension starting next year. He’s making $9.4 million this season. Peyton Manning is in the final year of a seven-year, $98 million deal ($14 million average) and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said he intends to make his quarterback the NFL’s highest paid player. Brady’s contract differs from those two deals in that it pays him a higher average salary over a shorter period of time. He has said he would like to play 10 more seasons. He is currently playing under a four-year extension with an average value of $12 million that he signed with two years left on his previous deal.

Brady’s agreement came on a day in which he was involved in a two-car collision near his home in Boston’s Back Bay. Brady was unhurt and wasn’t hospitalized.