FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady reportedly has agreed to a two-year contract extension with the New England Patriots.

The deal will significantly lessen Brady’s salary cap hit for 2016, which would have been about $15 million. He was due to make $9 million next season, plus a $6 million bonus, and $10 million in salary in 2017.

Brady, 38, has often redone his contract to help the Patriots’ cap situation. The four-time Super Bowl champion has said he plans to play well into his 40s. The extension would allow him to do so in New England.

The agreement was first reported by ESPN.

Brady also renegotiated his contract in 2013 to help reduce cap hits. New England was $13.6 million under the 2016 cap of $155.27 million before extending Brady.

Brady, of course, is an all-time great who could wind up the NFL’s leader in many career passing categories. He’s been to six Super Bowls and 10 AFC title games, including the last five.

Some would say he is underpaid for the position given the championship pedigree and his two league MVP awards to go with three Super Bowl MVPs. In 2015, his cap hit of $14 million ranked 14th in the league, behind the likes of Colin Kaepernick and Jay Cutler. He might not rank even that high in 2016.

FRANCHISE TAG: If Washington decides to place the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins, it will cost them $19.95 million for 2016 under the values agreed upon by the NFL and the players’ union.

Cousins is one of the more high-profile players whose contracts have expired, and quarterbacks carry the biggest tag numbers.

The franchise designation is worth the average of the top five salaries at a player’s position or 120 percent of the value of his 2015 salary, whichever is higher. Teams secure the rights to continue negotiations with that player even as the league’s free agency period begins, which this year is March 9.

Teams have until Tuesday to use the franchise or transition tag on a scheduled free agent. The salary cap for next season is $155.27 million, an increase of about $12 million per team from 2015.

The next most expensive position for a franchise tag is defensive end at $15.7 million, according to numbers made official Monday. Wide receivers would cost just under $14.6 million, followed by linebackers ($14.1 million), cornerbacks (just under $14 million) and offensive linemen ($13.7 million).

PANTHERS: Carolina has a $14 million decision to make.

The Panthers have until the NFL-imposed 4 p.m. Tuesday deadline to decide on whether to use the franchise tag on All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman.

The team began negotiations with Norman’s agents last week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in hopes of reaching a long-term contract. While talks are ongoing, the Panthers could use the franchise tag, essentially taking Norman off the free agent market.

BEARS: Chicago placed the franchise tag on top receiver Alshon Jeffery, leaving him until July 15 to reach a multi-year deal or play next season for $14.6 million.

DOLPHINS: Former Canadian Football League defensive lineman Cleyon Laing has signed a free-agent contract with Miami.

TEXANS: Police say Houston wide receiver Jaelen Strong has been arrested for marijuana possession in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale.