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LATEST PATRIOTS SALARY CAP INFO:
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Miguel’s Patriots Salary Cap FAQ page

The newer or updated questions and answers will be at the top

Q:Besides your excellent FAQ pages, do you recommend any other resources for cap-novices like myself?
Q:http://in2theleague.wordpress.com/category/nfl-cba-series/, The NFLPA’s public salary cap report, http://overthecap.com/ and http://russellstreetreport.com/cap-faqs/

Q:Where do you get your information from?
A:From looking at various media reports and researching the NFLplayers.com site. On Twitter I follow @Corryjoel, @MikeReiss, @FieldYates, @Jason_OTC, @TomPelissero, @brian_mcintyre and @adbrandt.

Q:Thinking generally, what are the most important trends that you’ve noticed in terms of the structure of NFL contracts that have emerged with the new CBA?
A:More teams are adopting a pay as you go approach. More 46-man active roster bonuses in the past. More salary guarantees.

Q:it seems like the Patriots do “real” deals that don’t have funny-money years (contrast between Browner or Arrington’s deal and Talib’s deal with Denver). Why do teams use these inflated deals?
A:The Revis’ deal is not a real deal. It contains a funny-money year. You and I have as much chance playing for the Patriots in 2015 with a $25 million cap figure as does Revis. Doing funny-money deals does not hurt teams in the long-term. Probably helps them in the short-term build relationships with the player and the player’s agent while giving the team and the player more time to reach a real long-term deal.

Q:I’m just this offseason learning about incentives, NLTBE/LBTE and the various cap implications of each. My understanding is that LTBE incentives count against the current year’s cap, and NLTBE incentives, if achieved, count against next year’s cap. What happens if a LTBE incentive is actually not earned? Is there a credit to roll forward to next year’s cap, or does that cap money disappear? What criteria determines whether or not an incentive is likely to be earned? When calculating NLTBE and LTBE, is it a black and white line based on the immediately preceding year’s stats? Or is there something else that goes into it? Also, is there a limit to the amount of money that one team can spend in any given year on NLTBE clauses?
A:The LTBE/NTLBE delimiter is usually based on last year’s stats. There are some incentives like Vince’s weight bonus that are always considered LTBE because they are in complete control by the player. There is no limit to the amount of incentives that a team could have. For more about incentives please see this blog post.

Q: Do you get paid for this?
A: While I have some Google Ads on my pages, what I make from them in a year (between $100 and $150) does not come close to compensating me for my time. I do ask that if you have found my salary cap pages useful that if you are able to do so, please make a donation to the Bread of Life soup kitchen/food pantry. Their address is
Attn: Mea Quinn Mustone
Bread of Life
54 Eastern Avenue, Rear
Malden, MA 02148
Please mention this website with your donation.

Q:Regarding Logan Mankins – if his play does not decline in 2014, does it make sense to cut him? And can you briefly describe how his contract “works” after the signing bonus amortization finishes?
A:After Mankins’ amortization ends in 2014, cutting him in 2015 would mean no dead money on the Patriots cap

Q:Does the Patriots way of structuring deals make your life (as the capologist) more or less difficult?
Q:The Patriots have been rather easy to cover for me. Unlike other teams, the Patriots do not include voidable years in their deals. So, their deals are rather easy to figure out the cap numbers as long as the media reports the details correctly. Please note that I do not have access to the NFLPA’s numbers

Q:Has the team (anyone) ever reached out to you to either correct information or to complain or, well anything?
A:No. I know that my cap pages are read by Patriots players. While I know that some writers use my cap pages a great deal, no Patriots bear writer has ever directly asked me for help.

Q:Why do the Patriots favor NLTBE bonuses and has this approach had negative cap consequences?
A:A reached NLTBE incentive adversely impacts a team’s cap in two ways. Lowers the team’s adjusted cap number the following year while also increasing the player’s cap number for the following year. Let’s use Vollmer as an example. Let’s presume that he plays in 95% of the offensive snaps in 2014. For simplicity sake, let’s also pretend that no other Patriot had incentives in their contract. By playing in over 90% of the offensive snaps, that would mean that he reached his 2 million NTLBE playing time incentive. Let’s assume that the 2015 cap is announced to be $140 million. The Patriots adjusted cap number would be decreased by the $2 million making it $138 million. Because he reached the incentive in 2014, the 90% playing time would be considered LTBE for 2015 increasing Vollmer’s cap number from $4.5 million to $6.5 million. That reached NLTBE incentive just lowered the Patriots 2015 cap space by $4 million. For more about incentives please see this blog post.

Q:It seems to me like there is a trend toward contracts including less fully guaranteed or effectively fully guaranteed money, especially in the form of up front signing bonus or very early option bonuses, such that the vast majority of players become realistically cuttable after 2-3 years at the most. But the Mayo, Wilfork, and Mankins contracts stick out to me as different. It would have been hard to cut any of those guys for at least four years of their deals due to big signing or early option bonuses. Were the Patriots behind the curve, making mistakes with those deals? Or do you think those deals reflected a different organizational philosophy that is likely to continue?
A:I do not consider the Patriots to have behind the curve with the Mayo, Wilfork, and Mankins contracts. They were typical of the contracts given out during the 2006 CBA era. Patriots contracts have changed since then.

Q:What got you interested in devoting time & effort in maintaining a cap page, even when virtually no one else was doing so? Is there a specific story or background that got you interested in this stuff?
A:Why did I start my cap pages? Because in 2000/2001 I was always reading in the papers, Patriots Usenet newsgroups, Internet forums different cap numbers for the same player. That did not make sense to me. So I thought that if I created a web page it would help clarify the salary cap for my fellow Patriots fans.

Q:Do you have a background that lends itself to this kind of work, or did you educate yourself for the most part and learn it on the fly? Maybe a mixture of both?
A:I was always good at math. Majored in Economics. While I am an intuitive thinker, I am a very detailed person. For the most part, I taught myself about the salary cap.

Q:Why do you spend so much time and effort on the site? (not that I’m complaining – your site is the go-to resource on Pats contracts)
A:

  1. to help my fellow Patriots fans understand the salary cap better. Let’s just say that when I started my cap pages I thought that the Patriots beat writers could have done a better job of explaining the salary cap to their audience.
  2. to raise money for my chosen charity.
  3. personal satisfaction

Q:Has any team ever contacted you for help on cap calculations/simulations?
A:I have never been asked by a team for help.

Q:Ever had any agents contact you to correct or dispute your information?
A:Since I know that my cap page is read by a good number of Patriot player, I am proud to say that no agent has ever contacted me to correct information.

Q:Can you explain the rollover provision in the CBA and why the Patriots “don’t spend to the cap”?
A:In 2013 the Patriots spent in cash more than the $123 cap limit so I do not understand or accept the notion that the Patriots do not spend to the cap

Q:The Pats have a young roster, Will they be able to keep all their young stars like Solder, Chandler Jones, and McCourty?
A:Simple answer – no. Why? They have a lot of good young talent that will be hitting free agency at the same time. Hightower, Chandler Jones, the entire 2013 draft class and the 2013 UDFAs, will become UFAs in the same offseason (2017). If the cap continues to rise at a large rate, see no reason why those players would agree to commit themselves to the Patriots long-term with uncertainty at the quarterback position.

Q:no offense meant) – your site is an amazing resource, but have you ever considered making it a little more user-friendly and visually appealing?
A:Ian and I do plan to make the site more user-friendly and visually appealing. It has been difficult for us to coordinate our schedules. He and I live in different states. I started the page when I used dial-up so I wanted to make the pages easy to download.

Q:What have you seen in the last several years that has been different in Pats approach to cap management? Do you see a vastly different style in say, when pre-, during, and post-Pioli periods?
A:Yes, I have seen the Patriots take a different approach to their contracts over the years. Since the new CBA in 2011 they have used more 46-game active roster bonuses than they have had in the past. They have also increased their use of incentives.

Q: What have been the salary cap limits?

A:
2014 $133,000,000
2013 $123,000,000
2012 $120,600,000
2011 $120,375,000
2010 uncapped
2009 $127,997,000 – An adjustment was made to the 2009 salary cap to raise it from $123 million to $127.997 million because spending on players in 2008 fell below 59.5 percent of the NFL’s total revenue
2008 $116,739,000
2007 $109,134,000
2006 $102,000,000
2005 $85,500,000
2004 $80,582,000
2003 $75,007,000
2002 $71,100,000
2001 $67,400,000
2000 $62,172,000
1999 $58,353,000
1998 $52,388,000
1997 $41,450,000
1996 $40,777,000
1995 $37,100,000
1994 $34,600,000

Q:Is there a date where the Pats can still use its available cap space for this year and have it count against this year’s cap?
A: There are a couple of deadlines here.

  1. the Monday of the 10th week of the season – any salary increase for that season after that date is treated as a signing bonus for salary cap purposes and will be prorated over the new length of the contract. Example – Raise Mankins’ salary by 2 million dollars in Week 6. That salary increase hits only the 2014 cap. Raise Mankins’ 2014 salary in Week 13. That salary increase is prorated over 2 years (the life of the contract.
  2. the end of the regular season. Any deal done after then will not affect the 2014 cap year.Q: What are the differences between a credited season and an accrued season?
    A: A credited season determines the minimum salary of a player with X numbers of credited seasons. An accrued season determines when a player reaches free agency. If a player at the end of his contract has 3 accrued seasons, he will become a RFA. If he has 4 or more accrued seasons to his credit, he will become an UFA. A player need 6 games to get credit for an accrued season; 3 games to get credit for a credited season. Games on IR count in the accrued season calculation but do NOT count in the credited season calculation.

Q:How does the salary cap system work??
A:The In2theLeague’s website does an excellent job of explaining how the salary cap system – IMO, their salary cap explanation pages are A MUST READ for all those who want to expand their knowledge of the NFL salary cap.

Q: How much will it cost to sign the Patriots’ 2014 draft class??
A:http://www.patscap.com/2014draftclass0418.png shows my latest estimate

Q:What is the rookie pool?
A:Adamjt13′s blog provides the best explanation I have ever seen. Quick summary – The rookie pool is, essentially, a cap within a salary cap. It represents the maximum in aggregate salary cap value that a team is permitted to invest in its draft choices and also the undrafted free agents it signs. It is included in, not exclusive of, the team’s overall cap spending limit. Because of the “rule of 51″ clubs will not have to carve out the entire difference between their available cap space and rookie pool allocation.

Q: What is the Patriots’ cap picture look like for the future?
A:See for my 2015 Patriots salary cap page. You can see my 2015 Patriots salary cap preview by following this link.
See for my 2016 Patriots salary cap page.
See
for my 2017 Patriots salary cap page.
See
for my 2018 Patriots salary cap page.
See
for my 2019 Patriots salary cap page.

Q:If and when the Patriots will get any cap credit for Aaron Hernandez?
Q:I wrote about Aaron Hernandez’s salary cap implications here.

Q:Do I believe that the Patriots adopted a win-now mentality during the 2014 offseason.
Q:Quick answer – no. See why I think so here.

Q: Can you explain how compensatory picks are determined??
A: Adamjt13 did an excellent job of explaining how compensatory picks are determined on his blog

Q: Can you explain how restructures/extensions work??
A:The Ickster provides the best explanation. You can see his explanation by following this link – Ickster’s restructure explanation

Q:Can you provide some information on practice squads??
A: After noon EST on September 3rd, each club may establish a Practice Squad of no more than eight (8) players who are free agents and who did not dress for more than eight (8) regular season games during their only accrued (i.e., on the 53 man roster for at least 6 games) season. The minimum salary for a Practice Squad player is $4,700 per week (a higher salary can be negotiated), including playoff weeks. In addition, a player under contract to a club as a Practice Squad player is completely free to sign a contract with another NFL club during the season in order to be on the second club’s Active/Inactive (i.e., 53 man) list. If another club signs a Practice Squad player to its 53 man roster it does not have to provide any sort of compensation to the player’s former club but it generally must keep the player on the 53 man roster for at least 3 weeks, thereby mandating that he earns in 2008 the minimum first year salary for said 3 week period ($295,000 prorated weekly). Also note that a team can add and release players from the practice squad as often as it desires and the eight (8) man limit does not have to be maintained. A player may be on the practice squad for two seasons; three weeks on the practice squad count as a season.

Q:What is PUP?
A: My answer is based on a Ron Del Duca’s Agent Column on ProfootballTalk.Com and an Michael Felger article regarding Rosevelt Colvin. A player who fails his club’s pre-season physical at the start of training camp may be placed on the club’s Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. A player on PUP is eligible to receive his salary, but is ineligible for games and practices; he is, however, allowed to attend team meetings. For a three (3) week period beginning with the day after the club’s 6th regular season game and ending on the day after the 9th regular season game, a player on PUP may practice with his club and/or be restored to the club’s 53 man roster (provided it is done before the day after the 9th regular season game). Note that there are two different types of PUP. Players that land on reserve-PUP are ineligible to play or practice for the first six weeks of the regular season. Players on active-PUP can be taken off the list at any point during training camp. Once a player is taken off active-PUP and returns to practice, he cannot be placed on reserve-PUP later. Please note that a player on PUP will count against the cap. I think but do not know for sure that players on active-PUP count against the 80-man roster limit and players on reserve-PUP do not.

Q: How does the waiver system work??
A: The following explanation was found in the 2005 NFL Record & Fact Book. As far as I can tell, it is still appropriate. “The waiver system is a procedure by which player contracts or NFL rights to players are made available by a club to other clubs in the league. During the procedure, the 30 other clubs either file claims to obtain the players or waive the opportunity to do so – thus the term “waiver.” Claiming clubs are assigned players on a priority based on the inverse of won-and-lost standing. The claiming period is three business days from the beginning of the League Year through April 30, 10 days from May 1 through the last business day before July 4, and 24 hours after July 4 through the conclusion of the regular season. If a player passes through waivers unclaimed, he becomes a free agent. All waivers are no recall and no withdrawal. Under the CBA, from the beginning of the waiver system each year through the trading deadline, any veteran who has acquired four years of pension credit is not subject to the waiver system if the club desires to release him. After the trading deadline, such players are subject to the waiver system.”

Q:What are the roster limits dates that all NFL teams must make cuts by?
A:Rosters must be cut to 75 by 4PM EST on August 29th and to 53 by 6PM EST on September 2nd. Players who are on the active PUP List must be moved from the list by the Patriots by either moving him to either the reserve PUP, moving him to the 53-man roster, waiving him, releasing him or by trading him. On noon September 3rd the Patriots can place players on the 8-man practice squad.

Q: How much do players get paid during training camp?
A: Rookies make $925 a week. Veterans make $1,700 a week.

Q: When is the trading deadline??
A: 4PM EDT, October 18th.

The following questions were asked on an Internet message board and Adamjt13 answered them. Adamjt13 deserves all of the credit for his answers.

Q: A player signs a 3-year deal for base salaries of $1 mil. Year 1, $1.5 mil. in Year 2, and $2 mil. in Year 3. The base salaries for all three years are guaranteed. There is no signing bonus. Does the guaranteeing of the base salaries affect the salary cap distribution of the player’s salaries?
A:
Not unless the salaries are also paid in advance. Any guarantees paid in advance are prorated. If they’re simply guaranteed, then they count as any other base salaries would.

Q:This question is extremely trivial. A player is signed to a three-year contract and receives a signing bonus of $1,000,000. Is the signing bonus pro-ration $333,333 for all three years? Then there’d be $1 unaccounted for. Is that correct or would there be a $333,334 pro-ration thrown in there?
A:The third-year proration would be $333,334.

Q:A player signs a 5-year deal with a $5 mil. signing bonus. The deal will void after three years if the player has hit certain incentives and if he’s still on the roster on the last day of the Year 3 league year. So three seasons pass and the player has hit those incentives. After the deal voids, the remaining $2 million in pro-rated signing bonus will count against the team’s Year 4 cap. How will the cap hit of this $2 million be distributed if the team signs the player to a multi-year deal before the start of the Year 3 League Year? How will it be distributed if the team signs the player to a multi-year deal after Feb. 28?
A:If the contract is extended before it voids, the prorated amounts do not accelerate. His original proration of $1 million per year for the next two years remains in effect. Any new signing bonus prorations from the extension are added to it.

Q:A player is in the last year of his contract. The team signs him to a three-year extension. When is the deadline that the team can sign him to this extension and have the signing bonus pro-rated over four years rather than three?
A:Anytime before the last game of the season, as long as his salary for that season doesn’t increase. If it’s after the Monday of the 10th week of the season, any salary increase for that season is treated as a signing bonus for salary cap purposes and is prorated over the new length of the contract (he gets the money that season, though).

Q:A player signs a 3-year deal with a $3 million signing bonus. He has four or more credited seasons. In the middle of Year 2, after the trading deadline, the player is waived by the team. He is immediately claimed on waivers by another team. How is the pro-rated $1 mil. amount for Year 3 then distributed? Does it count on the Year 2 cap or the Year 3 cap?
A:The June 2 rule doesn’t apply for players who are claimed on waivers. It counts on Year 2.

Q:A player signs a 3-year deal with a $3 million. signing bonus and $1 million in base salary each year. After two years, the player is suspended for a season for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. After that season, he returns to the team to finish the final year of his contract. What are the player’s cap hits for Year 3 (year player is suspended) and Year 4? Is it $1 mil. for each year (Year 3 – signing bonus pro-ration but no base salary, Year 4 – base salary but no signing bonus pro-ration)?
A:When a player is suspended, his prorated signing bonuses still count, but his base salary does not. It’s $1 million for Year 3 and $1 million for the added Year 4.
quote:

Q:A team finishes Year 1 with $3 mil. remaining in cap space. All the LTBE incentives in Year 1 were achieved. There were also $3 million in NLTBE incentives that were achieved in Year 1. Will the leftover $3 million in Year 1 cap space account for this $3 million in NTLBE incentives or are the $3 mil. in incentives automatically applied to the Year 2 cap?

A:All NLTBE incentives are applied to that season. Any overruns are applied to the following year’s cap. (So, if there had been $4 million in NLTBE’s, then the $3 million left over would be used up, and the other $1 million would count against the Year 2 cap.)

Q:A player with four or more credited seasons is on Team A’s opening day roster. He is scheduled to earn $680,000 in base salary ($40,000/week). This base salary is guaranteed since he was on the opening day roster. He is waived by the team after Week 10. He has earned $400,000 of the $680,000 in base salary. Team A’s cap hit will be $680,000 if he isn’t signed by another team the rest of the season, but what if Team B claims the player on waivers and keeps him for the rest of the year? What is the cap hit for each team then? What if the player clears waivers and then is signed by Team B for the rest of the year at the same salary? What if the player clears waivers and then is signed by Team B for the rest of the year at a lower salary?
A:If the player is claimed on waivers, Team A is freed from the players base salary. If he’s not claimed, they could be obligated to pay the rest of his salary as Termination Pay. That doesn’t change even if he’s later signed by another team. Team A is still charged for the full salary. The thing is, the player must request Termination Pay, and he can do it only once during his career. So if he has done it before or decides not to, Team A might not be on the hook for the rest of his salary.

Q:A player with four or more credited seasons is on a team’s opening day roster and is cut during the season in Year 1. He doesn’t sign with another team and collects his entire scheduled base salary as termination pay. What happens if the same thing happens in Year 2? I don’t think he can collect his entire scheduled base salary as termination pay again, can he? Does the team in Year 2 only receive a cap hit for the weeks on which the player was on the roster or do they take a hit for his entire scheduled base salary?
A:You’re correct. He can get Termination Pay only once. So if the team in Year 2 cuts him, they get charged only what they paid him.
quote:

Q:What is the amount usually paid by a team for each individual injury settlement at end of preseason?
A:Injury settlements typically pay players for as long as they would have been out with the injury. For example, if a player has a sprained ankle that would have kept him out for two games, he’ll usually accept two weeks’ salary as an injury settlement. But he doesn’t have to accept an injury settlement at all. Then the team can decide either to release him outright and see if he files a grievance (in which case half of his salary would count against the cap) or to put him on injured reserve.
quote:

Q:What effect does spending the entire season on the non-football injury list have on a player’s contract and salary cap number for that season? Is his situation similar to that of a suspended player?
A:I wrote an answer, then realized that it was almost as long and not quite as succinct as the part of the CBA that applies. So here that is –
“Section 3. Non-Football Injury: A player who is placed on a Non-Football Injury or Illness list (“N-F/I”) will not be entitled to any compensation under his contract while on such list but, except as provided below, his contract will continue to run while in such status. A player on N-F/I who is in the final year of his contract (including an option year) will have his contract tolled. However, if the player is physically able to perform his football services on or before the sixth regular season game, the club must pay the player his negotiated salary (pro rata) for the balance of the season in order to toll such player’s contract. If such player is taken off N-F/I during the period when such action is allowed by League rules, his contract will not be tolled.”

Comparing the Patriots positional cap spending to the rest of the NFL

In order to have an oranges to oranges comparison, I am including Chris White, Matt Slater, and Nate Ebner at their regular positions. I got my inspiration to do this from columns from Rob Demovsky and Adam Teicher. The Patriots numbers are mine. The league average numbers come from today’s columns by Adam. I got some of the league-wide numbers from the NFLPA’s public cap report. Note that the Patriots adjusted cap number is $139,109,051 while the league’s average adjusted cap number is $137,476,089. I like to thank a Twitter follower – DeeepThreat – for helping me in gathering some early numbers.

Defensive ends
Number: 4
Salary-cap commitments: $6,297,489
Percent of Patriots’ adjusted salary cap number: 4.53%
NFL average: $12,840,629
Analysis: The Patriots are spending less than half of the league average on defensive ends

Defensive tackles
Number:7
Salary-cap commitments: $10,618,333
Percent of Patriots’ salary cap: 7.63%
NFL average: $8,979,256
Analysis: Even after redoing the deals of Tommie Kelly and Vince Wilfork the Patriots are about 18% higher than the league average here

Linebackers
Number:6
Salary-cap commitments:$11,400,717
Percent of Patriots’ salary cap: 8.2%
NFL average: $15,526,469
Analysis: The Patriots are devoting less than three quarters of their adjusted cap number to the linebacker position than the average NFL team. Mayo, with a cap number of $7,287,500 accounts for over 64% of the linebacker spending.

Cornerbacks
Number:6
Salary-cap commitments:$14,815,275
Percent of Patriots’ salary cap: 10.65%
NFL average: $12,840,629
Analysis: Thanks to the Revis, Browner, and the Arrington deals the Patriots are about 22% higher than the league average here

Safeties
Number:6
Salary-cap commitments:$9,028,385
Percent of Patriots’ salary cap: 6.49%
NFL average: $8,333,907
Analysis: Even after releasing Steve Gregory and Adrian Wilson the Patriots are about 8% higher than the league average. A McCourty extension that lowers his 2014 cap number will probably bring the Patriots closer to the league average.

The Patriots are allocating $52,160,199, or 37.5% of their cap to the defense while the average team is allocating $57,830,388.

Placekicker
Number:1
Salary-cap commitments:$3,800,000
Percent of Patriots’ salary cap: 2.73%
NFL average:$1,864,515
Analysis: Because Steve Gostkowski is in the final year of current deal and has the 3rd highest cap number of any kicker, here’s another position that could bring the Patriots closer to the league average by reaching a cap-numbering lowering extension.

Punters
Number:1
Salary-cap commitments:$495,500
Percent of Patriots’ salary cap: 0.36%
NFL average: $1,706,906
Analysis: Because Ryan Allen is in the 2nd year of his rookie deal, the Patriots are spending just over 29% of the league average on the punter position

Long Snapper
Number:2
Salary-cap commitments:$725,000
Percent of Patriots’ salary cap: 0.52%
NFL average: $838,863
Analysis: The Patriots are really close to the league average. If Charley Hughlett beats out Danny Aiken for the long snapper position, the Patriots will be well below the league average.

The Patriots are allocating $5,020,500 or 3.61% of their cap to the 3 special teams positions. The league average is 3.21%.

Offensive Line
Number: 11
Salary-cap commitments: $23,419,731
Percent of Patriots’ adjusted salary cap number: 16.84%
NFL average: $21,449,958
Analysis:Because of the Mankins and Connolly deals the Patriots are spending 9% more than the league average on big uglies who protect Tom Brady.

Quarterbacks
Number:2
Salary-cap commitments: $15,737,945
Percent of Patriots’ salary cap: 11.31%
NFL average: $11,667,289
Analysis: Even though the Patriots are one of the few teams with just two quarterbacks and Brady’s APY is not among the top 10 at the QB position the Pats are spending more than a third more than the league average. Brady had the 5th highest cap number in 2013. He currently has the 11th highest cap number in 2014. So it appears that any cap advantage from his 2013 extension will come no sooner in 2015.

Running backs
Number:5
Salary-cap commitments:$3,185,607
Percent of Patriots’ salary cap: 2.29%
NFL average: $7,750,422
Analysis: Having no veteran running backs on their roster and having all of the running backs on their rookie deals allows the Patriots to spend about 60% less on the RB position than the average NFL team.

Wide Receivers
Number:10
Salary-cap commitments:$13,481,926
Percent of Patriots’ salary cap: 9.69%
NFL average: $13,535,504
Analysis: The Patriots are right around the league in wideout spending.

Tight ends
Number:3
Salary-cap commitments:$7,446,250
Percent of Patriots’ salary cap: 5.35%
NFL average: $6,137,131
Analysis: Having the league’s best tight end in Rob Gronkowski, when healthy, leads unsurprisingly to the Patriots spending more on tight ends than the average NFL team.

The Patriots are allocating $63,271,459, or 45.48%, of their cap to the offense. The league average is $60,540,304.

Some observations – the Patriots spending is more focused on the offense than the league. The average team has 69 players. The Pats have 64, the 7th smallest amount in the league. The average team has $10,843,157.78 in cap space. The Patriots have $7,932,369. The Patriots are right around the league average in dead money which does not support the argument that the large dead money hit for Aaron Hernandez prevented the Pats from conducting more transactions in free agency.

Here is a Screenshotgraphical snapshot of the above numbers

Below are my positional breakdowns for the New England Patriots.

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Offensive Line
Fullback
Running Backs
Dead Money
LineBackers
Defensive Tackles
Safeties
Cornerbacks
Defensive Ends
Special Teams

Previewing the New England Patriots 2015 Salary Cap

I had asked my Twitter followers what should be my next bog post. A couple of them asked for a 2015 salary cap preview. Please note that I have used parts of an Adamjt13 and ninercaphell posts as a template for this post.

These numbers were updated on April 18, 2014 to include the official amount it will take to pick up Nate Solder’s 2015 option.

Quick summary – The Patriots are going to have to make several difficult and most likely unpopular decisions in the next year to become active participants in 2015 free agency. For the purpose of this exercise, I will presume that the 2015 salary cap will be $140 million.

I will first list the pending free agents after 2014, then list the 47 players under contract

  • ERFA – James Develin, FB – Expect Develin to be tendered in 2015 if he plays in 2014 like he did in 2013
  • ERFA – Sealver Siliga, DT – Expect Siliga to be tendered in 2015 if he plays in 2014 like he did in the end of 2013
  • RFA – Brandon Bolden, RB – Brandon Bolden, Stevan Ridley, and Shane Vereen are probably in a battle to see who will be the Patriots starting running back in 2015 with the losers going elsewhere in free agency.
  • UFA – Danny Aiken, LS – If Aiken beats out Charley Hughlett for the long snapper spot in 2014, he may reach a long-term deal with the Patriots like Lonie Paxton did in 2003.
  • UFA – Marcus Cannon, G – Marcus Cannon and Dan Connolly are probably in a battle to see who will be the Patriots starting right guard in 2015 with the loser going elsewhere in free agency.
  • UFA – Dan Connolly, G – Marcus Cannon and Dan Connolly are probably in a battle to see who will be the Patriots starting right guard in 2015 with the loser going elsewhere in free agency.
  • UFA – Stephen Gostkowski, K – Expect the Ghost to be extended before the start of the 2015 League Year.
  • UFA – Tommie Kelly, DT – I can see Kelly on the Patriots in 2015 with a similar deal that he signed in March – heavily incentivized.
  • UFA – Ryan Mallett, QB – Only if Mallett likes being a backup or if Brady suffers a career-ending injury in 2015 do I see Mallett on the Patriots roster in 2015.
  • UFA – Devin McCourty, S – As he gets closer to free agency, the cost to extend him increases. McCourty is the one Patriot free agent who could be franchised in 2015. I talk about his comparables in my safeties overview post.
  • UFA – Stevan Ridley, RB – Brandon Bolden, Stevan Ridley, and Shane Vereen are probably in a battle to see who will be the Patriots starting running back in 2015 with the losers going elsewhere in free agency.
  • UFA – Matthew Slater, WR/Special Teams Ace – Expect Slater to be extended before the start of the 2015 League Year.
  • UFA – Shane Vereen, RB – Brandon Bolden, Stevan Ridley, and Shane Vereen are probably in a battle to see who will be the Patriots starting running back in 2015 with the losers going elsewhere in free agency.
  • UFA – D.J. Williams, TE – May not make the 2014 roster.

Now let us take a look at the players under contract in descending order by current 2015 cap number.

  1. CB Darrelle Revis($25M cap charge) – If he plays well in 2014, Revis will have a lot of leverage in his negotiations with the Patriots when the two meet to lower his 2015 cap number.
  2. QB Tom Brady ($13,000,000 cap charge) – One of the league’s best quarterbacks at a bargain price. Could see the Patriots lowering his cap number even further by converting six million of his salary into a signing bonus. Such a move would save the Patriots $4 million in 2015.
  3. G Logan Mankins($11,000,000 cap charge) – 2015 is the last year that Mankins’ signing bonus will be prorated. Therefore, no matter what, he will count at least $4 million against the 2015 cap. The question is will Mankins show in 2014 that he will be worth $7 million in new money in 2015. If he does, I could see the Pats extending him a couple of years to lower his 2015 cap number.
  4. LB Jerod Mayo($10,287,500 cap charge) – Mayo must stay healthy and play well in 2015 in order to remain worthy of such a high cap charge.
  5. TE Rob Gronkowski ($8,650,000 cap charge) – Gronk must stay healthy and play well in 2015 in order to remain worthy of such a high cap charge. Otherwise, I could see the Pats releasing him before the start of the 2015 League Year so as to avoid guaranteeing his 2015 $4.75 million salary.
  6. DT Vince Wilfork ($8,058,333 cap charge) – Vince must stay healthy and play well in 2015 in order to remain worthy of such a high cap charge. Otherwise, I could see the Pats releasing him before the start of the 2015 League Year so as to avoid paying him his 2015 $4 million roster bonus that is due the first day of the 2015 League Year. Since Vince has a 46-man active roster bonus, he will increase his 2015 cap number by $31,250 a game for every game he plays in 2014 that is more than 4. Example, he plays in 16 games in 2014. His cap number will increase by $31,250 X 12 or $375,000
  7. WR Danny Amendola ($5,575,00 cap charge) – Yet another Patriot that must stay healthy and play well in 2015 in order to remain worthy of such a high cap charge.
  8. CB Brandon Browner($4.7M cap charge) – Browner must avoid getting suspended once again by the NFL. Otherwise, I could see the Pats releasing him before the start of the 2015 League Year so as to avoid paying him his 2015 $2 million roster bonus that is due the first day of the 2015 League Year.
  9. CB Kyle Arrington ($4.625M cap charge) – Would not be surprised if Arrington is approached by the Patriots to lower his 3 million salary, especially if Logan Ryan, Dennard or a 2014 draft pick surpasses him on the depth chart.
  10. OT Sebastian Vollmer ($4.5M cap charge) – Vollmer just signed an extension in 2013 so the Patriots obviously view SeaBass as the future at RT. The more he plays in 2014, the higher his 2015 cap number will be.
  11. WR Julian Edelman($4.25M cap charge) – Edelman just signed an extension in 2014 so it is very likely that he will be on the Patriot roster in 2015
  12. DE Rob Ninkovich($3.95M cap charge) – Ninkovich just signed an extension in 2013 and as of April 11th there is no replacement on the Patriots roster so we should expect Ninkovich on the Patriots 2015 roster.
  13. WR Brandon Lafell($3M cap charge) – Lafell must hold off Thompkins, Boyce, and Mark Harrison in 2014 in order to have a Patriots roster spot in 2015.
  14. DE Chandler Jones ($2,600,659 cap charge) – With his 2015 salary fully guaranteed Chandler Jones is ensured a roster spot in 2015
  15. LB Dont’a Hightower ($2,457,637 cap charge) – With his 2015 salary fully guaranteed Hightower is ensured a roster spot in 2015
  16. C Ryan Wendell ($1.625M cap charge) – Wendell must return to the level of play he demonstrated in 2012 to be on the roster in 2015. If he plays in 2014 like he did in 2013, I expect the Patriots to release him early in 2015.
  17. TE Michael Hoomanawanui ($1,361,250 cap charge) – An excellent price for what the Hooman brings to the table.
  18. CB Tavon Wilson ($1,347,057 cap charge) – Would not be surprised if Tavon does not make the 2014 roster which would mean that his 2015 cap number would drop to $376,891, the 2015 proration of his signing bonus.
  19. LB Jamie Collins ($1,025,728 cap charge) – Expected 2014 starter locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract.
  20. WR Aaron Dobson ($935,010 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor/starter locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract.
  21. DE Jake Bequette ($799,950 cap charge) – Would not be surprised if Jake does not make the 2014 roster which would mean that his 2015 cap number would drop to $134,950, the 2015 proration of his signing bonus
  22. CB Logan Ryan ($745,813 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  23. S Duron Harmon ($724,400 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor/starter locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  24. WR Josh Boyce ($704,250 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor/starter locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract.
  25. S Nate Ebner ($684,150 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price thanks to his rookie contract
  26. CB Alfonzo Dennard ($674,462 cap charge) – Because he played so much in 2012 and 2013 Dennard raised his 2015 salary to the projected low RFA tender of $1.503 million which will make his 2015 cap charge $1,517,462.
  27. DT Marcus Forston ($660,000 cap charge) – Doubtful that he makes the 2015 roster.
  28. DE Michael Buchanan ($598,403 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  29. LB Steve Beauharnais ($596,898 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  30. WR Kenbrell Thompkins ($585,834 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  31. P Ryan Allen ($585,500 cap charge) – Expected 2014 punter locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  32. OG Chris Barker ($585,000 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  33. S Kanorris Davis ($585,000 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  34. DT Chris Jones ($585,000 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  35. OG Josh Kline ($585,000 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  36. DT Joe Vellano ($585,000 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  37. DT Armond Armstead ($510,000 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  38. C Braxston Cave ($510,000 cap charge) – The Patriots would probably love to see Braxston (420K salary) beat out Dan Connolly ($3m salary) for a 2014 roster spot as that would free up over $2.5 million in cap space.
  39. LB Ja’Gared Davis ($510,000 cap charge) – Ja’Gared needs to take advantage of his opportunity – a thin depth chart at linebacker – in order to make the 2014 roster.
  40. OT Jordan Devey ($510,000 cap charge) – Do not expect Jordan to make the 2014 roster. Expect him to once again be on the Patriots practice squad. Expect that Devey will be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary.
  41. RB Reggie Dunn ($510,000 cap charge) – Do not expect Reggie to make the 2014 roster. Expect him to be on the 2015 Patriots practice squad. Expect that Reggie will be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary.
  42. LS Charley Hughlett ($510,000 cap charge) – If Charley beats out Danny Aiken for the long snapper spot, would not be surprised to see him sign a long-term deal with the Patriots that has a modest signing bonus.
  43. RB Jonas Gray ($510,000 cap charge) – Do not expect Jonas make the 2014 roster. Expect him to be on the 2015 Patriots practice squad. Expect that Jonas will be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary.
  44. CB Justin Green ($510,000 cap charge) – Justin who was paid more than minimum during his last stay on the Patriots practice squad in 2013 has a great chance to make the 2014 roster. If he does not, expect him to once again be on the Patriots practice squad.
  45. WR Mark Harrison ($510,000 cap charge)- Mark may need/want to switch to tight end as that would give him an excellent chance to make the 2014 roster
  46. OT R.J. Mattes ($510,000 cap charge) – Do not expect R.J. to make the 2014 roster. Expect him to be on the 2015 Patriots practice squad. Expect that R.J. will be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary
  47. WR Greg Orton ($510,000 cap charge) – Do not expect Greg. to make the 2014 roster. Expect him to be on the 2015 Patriots practice squad. Expect that Greg will be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary

Please note that I am using one of Adamjt13′s post as a template for this portion. I currently have the 2015 Patriots’ current cap number as $133,837,834 with 47 signed players. For simplicity sake, I will round this figure up to $133.8 million. The following factors will change that:

  • First round 5th year option – Nate Solder was the Patriots’ 1st round selection in 2011. Solder has a $7.438M cap charge as his 5th-year team option, as part of his rookie contract, signed in 2011. Once picked up, before May 3rd, 2014, his salary will be locked in at that rate. It seems safe to presume that the Patriots will pick up the option. Add $7.438m to $133.8m and we get $141.238m in 2015 cap commitments with 48 players signed or tendered.
  • Exclusive Rights Free agents – The Patriots are scheduled to have 2 players eligible for exclusive rights free agency in 2015. They are James Develin and Sealver Siliga. Their tender offers will be $660,000. Let’s add $1,320,000 to $141.238 million and we get $142.558 million in 2015 cap commitments with 50 players signed or tendered.
  • Rule of 51 – In the offseason, the only base salaries or tenders that count against the team salary cap are those of the players with the 51 highest cap numbers on the team. The Patriots already have 50 players on their 2015 roster. Let’s add 1 more player with the 2015 salary of $435,000 to the Patriots cap and that will give us $142.993 million in 2015 cap commitments with 51 players signed or tendered.
  • Voided years – I am projecting that no Patriot had voided years in their contracts. By rule, the prorated signing bonuses from the voided years would have accelerated into 2014, and, after using the remaining 2014 cap space, would have carried over into 2015.
  • Restricted free agents. The Patriots have one player eligible for restricted free agency – Brandon Bolden who was undrafted. Below are the possible projected tenders.
    • Level 1: $1,503,000 (Right of First Refusal)
    • Level 2: $1,503,000 or 110% of 2014 salary (Original Round Pick)
    • Level 3: $2,296,000 or 110% of 2014 salary (Second Round Pick)
    • Level 4: $3,269,000 or 110% of 2014 salary (First Round Pick)

    I believe that the Patriots will not tender Brandon Bolden at the Right of First Refusal level ($1,503,000) which will make Bolden an free agent in 2015.

  • Minimum salary increase – Any player whose base salary specified in his contract is lower than the minimum salary for a player of his experience level is automatically given a raise to the minimum salary. For 2015, this situation does NOT yet apply to a Patriots player. A player has to be on the 53-man roster for at least 3 games in 2014 for 2014 to count as a credited season.
  • Proven Performance Escalator – As part of the new CBA there is a proven performance escalator for draft picks chosen in Round 3 through 7. Jake Bequette, Nate Ebner, and Alfonzo Dennard are eligible for it in 2015. An eligible player will qualify for the Proven Performance Escalator in his fourth League Year if: (1) he participated in a minimum of 35% of his Club’s offensive or defensive plays in any two of his previous three regular seasons; or (2) he participated in a “cumulative average” of at least 35% of his Club’s offensive or defensive plays over his previous three regular seasons. Jake Bequette has played in 2.7% of the defensive snaps in 2012 and 1% of the defensive snaps in 2013. Nate Ebner played in 3.3% of the defensive snaps in 2012 and 0.4% of the defensive snaps in 2013. Alfonzo Dennard played in 53.3% of the defensive snaps in 2012 and 62.3% of the defensive snaps in 2013. Irregardless of what he does in 2014, Alfonzo Dennard has already reached the escalator so his 2015 cap number will increase from $674,462 to $1,517,462, an increase of $843,000.

    Adding $843,000 to $142.993 gives us $143.836 in 2015 cap commitments with 51 players signed or tendered.

  • Incentives adjustment – I think that more Patriots will reach their incentives than will not which will decrease the amount of cap space that the Pats can carry over into 2015.As of April 11 8PM the Patriots have about $5,351,250 in NLTBE incentives that I consider easily reachable by the player.
    • Mayo’s per-game roster bonus – $312,500 if Mayo plays all 16 games
    • Vollmer’s playing time incentive – $2 million if he plays in 90% of the offensive snaps, $1 million if he plays in 80% of the offensive snaps
    • Kelly’s per-game roster bonus – $550,000 if Kelly plays all 16 games
    • Kelly’s playing time incentive maxes at $645,000 if Kelly plays in 60% of the defensive snaps
    • Amendola’s per-game roster bonus – $125,000 if Amendola plays all 16 games
    • Hoomanawanui’s per-game roster bonus – $18,750 if Hoomanawanui plays all 16 games
    • Browner’s per-game roster bonus – $600,000 if Browner plays in 12 games
    • Wilfork’s per-game roster bonus – $1,050,000 if Wilfork plays all 16 games.
    • Chung’s per-game roster bonus – $60,000 if Chung plays all 16 games.

    A reached NLTBE incentive in 2014 can adversely impacts the Patriots 2015 cap in two ways. It will lower the team’s 2015 adjusted cap number while also increasing the player’s cap number for 2015. Let’s use Vollmer as an example. Let’s presume that he plays in 95% of the offensive snaps in 2014. For simplicity sake, let’s also pretend that no other Patriot had incentives in their contract. By playing in over 90% of the offensive snaps, that would mean that he reached his 2 million NTLBE playing time incentive. Let’s assume that the 2015 cap is announced to be $140 million. The Patriots adjusted cap number would be decreased by the $2 million making it $138 million. Because he reached the incentive in 2014, the 90% playing time would be considered LTBE for 2015 increasing Vollmer’s cap number from $4.5 million to $6.5 million. That reached NLTBE incentive just lowered the Patriots 2015 cap space by $4 million. As you can see by that example, it is possible that as players reach their NTLBE incentives in 2014 the Patriots 2015 cap space will shrink greatly.

To sum it up, I can easily see the Patriots being over the 2015 cap before the 2015 League Year begins and have to make moves in order to get under the 2015 cap.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the more interesting cap issues facing the Patriots in 2015 and beyond:

The big leaps: Four contracts will have huge salary-cap increases in 2015 — cornerback Darrelle Revis, left tackle Nate Solder, linebacker Jerod Mayo and tight end Rob Gronkowski. Revis’ cap cost will go from $7 million this year to $25 million next year. Solder’s cap cost will go from $2,717,429 to a projected $8,720,594 depending on the Patriots picking up Solder’s option for the 2015 season. If they do not, Solder will become an UFA after the 2014 season. Mayo’s cap cost will go from $7,287,500 in 2014 to $10,287,500 in 2015. Mayo’s 2015 cap number may go higher. If he makes the Pro Bowl in 2014, it would make his $300,000 Pro Bowl incentive LTBE for 2015 making it count against the 2015 cap. Right now, Mayo’s 46-man active roster bonuses count $187,500 against the 2014 cap. If Mayo were to play in 16 games in 2014, the 46-game active roster bonuses cost against the 2015 cap would increase from $187,500 to $500,000. Gronk’s cap cost will go from $5,400,000 in 2014 to $8,650,000 in 2015.

Smaller bounces: The other cap jumps in 2015 are more modest. Vince Wilfork, Danny Amendola, Kyle Arrington, Rob Ninkovich, Julian Edelman and Brandon Browner are all scheduled for increases between $1 million and $3 million. No one else on the roster is scheduled to go up by more than $500,000.

Big decisions coming right around the start of the 2015 League Year

  • Darrell Revis  – The Patriots have an option on Revis’ April 1, 2015 roster bonus. They must decide to pick up the option or not by the end of the 2014 League Year.
  • Brandon Browner – Brandon Brown earns a $2 million roster bonus if he is on the Patriots 90-man roster the first day of the 2015 League Year
  • Vince Wilfork – Vince Wilfork earns a $4 million roster bonus if he is on the Patriots roster the first day of the 2015 League Year
  • Rob Gronkowski – Gronk’s 2015 $4.75 million salary becomes fully guaranteed if he is on the Patriots roster the first day of the 2015 League Year. Also, if Gronk is on the Patriots roster the first day of the 2015 League Year there will be a $2 million proration of his 2016 million option bonus that will officially hit the Patriots 2015 cap.
  • Rob Ninkovich – 1 million of Ninkovich’s 2015 salary becomes fully guaranteed the 5th day of the Patriots league year.
  • Nate Solder – Solder’s 2015 $7.438 million salary becomes fully guaranteed if he is on the Patriots roster the first day of the 2015 League Year.

A look at the Patriots’ 2015 contracts shows that 14 players make up over eighty percent of the 2015 projected cap number. Those 14 players have a combined 2015 cap hit of $114,033,833, or 81 percent of the projected cap number of $140 million. Excluding Revis, the 13 players have a combined 2015 cap hit of $89,033,833, or 64 percent of the $140 million figure.

They are:

  1. $25,000,000 ……Darrelle Revis
  2. $13,000,000 ……Tom Brady
  3. $11,000,000 ……Logan Mankins
  4. $10,287,500 ……Jerod Mayo
  5. $8,650,000  ……Rob Gronkowski
  6. $8,058,333  ……Vince Wilfork
  7. $7,438,000 ……Nate Solder
  8. $5,575,000  ……Danny Amendola
  9. $4,700,000  ……Brandon Browner
  10. $4,625,000  ……Kyle Arrington
  11. $4,500,000  ……Sebastian Vollmer
  12. $4,250,000  ……Julian Edelman
  13. $3,950,000  ……Rob Ninkovich
  14. $3,000,000  ……Brandon Lafell

Safe to say that anybody on that list, other than Brady and Solder, could become a cap casualty after this upcoming season.

Any player the Patriots release or trade after June 1, 2014 season will give the Patriots dead money on the 2015 cap if the player had a signing bonus that was still being pro-rated over the 2015 season. To determine the amount of dead money add the remaining pro-rated amounts and any guaranteed salaries. The longer the player is still under contract and the larger his initial signing bonus, the higher that number will be.

How much dead oney in 2015 would the Patriots have after releasing some of their higher-priced players after June 1, 2014?

  • $5,000,000  …..Darrelle Revis * dead money increases to $17,000,000 the begining of the 2015 League Year
  • $4,000,000  …..Logan Mankins
  • $6,000,000  …..Jerod Mayo
  • $3,300,000  …..Rob Gronkowski * dead money increases to $10,050,000 the beginning of the 2015 League Year
  • $866,667   …..Vince Wilfork * dead money increases to $4,866,667 the begininng of the 2015 League Year
  • $0 …..Nate Solder * dead money increases to $7,438, 000 the beginning of the 2015 League Year
  • $3,600,000  …..Danny Amendola
  • $0    …..Brandon Browner * dead money increases to $2,000,000 the beginning of the 2015 League Year
  • $3,250,000  …..Kyle Arrington
  • $3,500,000  …..Sebastian Vollmer
  • $3,750,000  …..Julian Edelman
  • $2,500,000  …..Rob Ninkovich * dead money increases to $3,500,000 the 5th day of the 2015 League Year
  • $2,000,000  …..Brandon Lafell

Subtract dead money and $435,000 (salary of the player who will take released player’s spot in the Top 51 list) from the player’s 2015 cap number to get the potential cap savings. Example, Mankins has a 2015 cap number of $11,000,000. Subtract 4,000,000 from that and you get $7,000,000. Subtract $435,000 from $7,000,000 and you get $6,565,000 in cap savings. If the Patriots released with, say, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Logan Mankins, Jerod Mayo, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, and Vince Wilfork in February of 2015, they would have a net gain of $44,459,166 in cap space.

Of course, the Patriots could reach extensions with some Patriots to lower their 2015 cap numbers, most notably Revis and Solder.

I started off this post stating that the Patriots are going to have to make several difficult and most likely unpopular decisions in the next year to become active participants in 2015 free agency. I would like to end up this post with my predictions.

  • Pick up Revis’ option? No.
  • Extend Revis’ option? Only if the APY of the real money in the deal is $13 million or lower.
  • Pick up Browner’s option? If he plays well in 2014, Yes. Otherwise, no.
  • If Revis and Browner are part of the Patriots’ long term plans, Arrington will probably be released sometime in 2015
  • Release Gronk before the start of the 2015 League Year? Yes, if he continues to miss games in 2014.
  • Keep the running back duo of Ridley and Vereen? No. One will remain a Patriot. The other will attempt to find success elsewhere in the NFL.
  • Keep the trio of Lafell, Amendola and Edelman for the 2015 season? One maybe two will have to go to create cap space and roster space for the younger wideouts on the team.
  • Keep or extend Mankins? His play in 2014 will decide the answer. I am guessing the latter.
  • Keep Mayo? If Mayo has a repeat of the 2013 season and Jamie Collins steps up in 2014 Mayo may be too expensive to keep in 2015
  • Reach a deal with McCourty? Yes

For more information about the 2015 Patriots salary cap page see my 2015 Patriots salary cap page

Updating my Patriots salary cap picture after the first week in April.

Right now, I have the Patriots 2014 cap commitments as $131,176,682. The 2014 Patriots adjusted cap number is $139,109,051. The Patriots 2014 adjusted cap number of $139,109,051 minus cap commitment of $131,176,682 equals $7,932,369 in cap space with 64 signed players. This cap space number includes into the impact of the Patrick Chung signing and Adrian Wilson release.

As you can see, based on my numbers above, the Patriots are under their projected 2014 cap by $7.9 million if they do not cut any more veterans or renegotiate any more contracts. There are plenty of opportunities to do both, thereby opening up millions of dollars under the cap. Here are some possible ways that the Pats could free up cap space. Please note that I am NOT advocating that the Patriots do all of these salary-cap maneuvers. The bolded maneuvers are my current predictions.

1a.) Release Dan Connolly – net cap savings of $2.58 million
1b.) Extend Dan Connolly through the 2015 season converting $2 million of his $3 million salary into a signing bonus – cap savings of $1 million

2.) Convert $4.5 million of Mankins’s $6.5 million salary into a signing bonus – cap savings of $3 million while pushing out $1.5 million of signing bonus proration to the 2015 and 2016 seasons. For more ways to lower Mankins’s cap hit see this blog entry.

3.) Extend Gostkowski’s contract by 4 years while giving him a $5 million signing bonus and lowering his salary from $2.9 million to $900,000 – cap savings – $1,000,000

4.) Extend McCourty’s contract by 4 years while giving him a $10 million signing bonus while lowering his 2014 salary from $3.92 million to $1 million – cap savings – $1,000,000

5.) Release Tavon Wilson after June 1 – net cap savings of $278,444 while having a dead money hit of $376,891 in 2014 and $376,891 in 2015.
6.) Release Jake Bequette after June 1 – net cap savings of $75,000 while having a dead money hit of $134,950 in 2014 and $134,950 in 2015.

As you can see from above, the Pats could create more than $7.9 million in additional cap room if they chose to do so. The Pats could create $3 million in additional cap room WITHOUT releasing a single player. That is, the $7.9 million and the $3 million figures are in addition to the $7.9 million in cap space that I believe that the Pats have before accounting for the impact of the Adrian Wilson release and the Patrick Chung signing. I should note here that I believe any Revis extension will increase his cap number from $7 million, thereby taking up cap space.

When determining the cap savings from releasing players, keep in mind the Rule of 51. When a player from the top 51 is released or traded, the base salary of the player with the 52nd-highest cap number is added to the cap. For example, if Connolly was released, his cap number would be lowered by $3,000,000, although the actual team savings would be only $2,505,000 because another player’s $495,000 base salary would be added to the team cap.

The Rule of 51 also applies when free agents are signed. If the free agent’s cap number is among the 51-highest on the team, the base salary of the player whose cap number had been 51st-highest no longer counts against the cap. In most cases, then, the effect of signing a free agent will be $495,000 less than his cap number for 2014. To determine about how much can be spent on free agents, add $495,000 to the team’s cap room per free agent signed. So, if the Patriots enter the free-agency period $7,000,000 under the cap, they could sign one free agent for a 2014 cap number of $7,495,000, or two free agents for a combined cap number $7,990,000, or three for $8,485,000, or four for $8,980,000, and so on.

At the time of the draft, the Patriots figure to have far more than 51 players signed or tendered. They will not need any additional cap room in order to draft, since all of the draft choices’ automatic rookie tenders of $420,000 will be below the 51st-highest cap number on the team. The Patriots’ 2014 rookie pool figures to be approximately $5,000,000, although the exact number will not be determined until after the draft. Of the rookie pool amount, only about $2 million will count against the cap, due to the Rule of 51. Whenever you hear/read reports that the Pats will need 5 million to sign their 2014 draft class please first review OvertheCap.Com’s 2014 rookie pool estimates and Adamjt13′s blog post on the rookie pool which I consider the best explanation of how the rookie pool works within the salary cap.

Below are my current salary cap projections for the 2014 Patriots draft class2014draftclass0325. I am well aware of Patriots trading history so I doubt that the Patriots will end the draft with these exact picks. My point is to illustrate why the Patriots will need about $2 million, and NOT $5 million to sign their draft picks. You will have to click on the picture to see it fully.

Somewhere between $90,000 and $100,000 of that will be used immediately after the draft to sign undrafted Free Agents. The rest will not be needed until the draft choices are signed.

The Patriots would also need to reserve at least $1,696,800 in order to pay for a 8-man practice squad and to pay for players 52 and 53.

Over the past couple of years the Patriots have used about 2 million dollars for in-season replacements.

I consider the Patriots to have at maximum 5.3 million in easily reached NLTBE incentives. Do not know if the Patriots leave themselves a cushion for those. Wanted to mention them since any reached NLTBE incentives in 2014 will likely lower the Patriots 2015 adjusted cap number. I am trying to guess at how the Patriots will handle having $5.3 million in NTLBE incentives. If they do not leave a cushion for them, the Patriots could end up with an adjusted cap number that is lower than the actual cap number. This is the first time I have seen the Patriots with so much easily attainable NLTBE incentives. Do the Patriots leave a 100% cushion? 0% cushion? Decided to split the difference. I am presuming that the Patriots do leave themselves a 100% cushion or $2,706,250 for the 46-man active roster bonuses and maybe have a 50% cushion ($1.3 million) for the other NLTBE incentives. That is, I guesstimate that the Patriots would like to leave themselves a 4 million cushion at the start of the regular season just to cover reached NLTBE incentives.

  • Mayo’s per-game roster bonus – $312,500
  • Vollmer’s playing time incentive – $2 million
  • Kelly’s per-game roster bonus – $550,000
  • Kelly’s playing time incentive maxes at $645,000
  • Amendola’s per-game roster bonus – $125,000
  • Hoomanawanui’s per-game roster bonus – $18,750
  • Browner’s per-game roster bonus – $600,000.
  • Wilfork’s per-game roster bonus – $1,050,000 if Wilfork plays all 16 games.
  • Chung’s per-game roster bonus – $60,000 if Chung plays all 16 games.

To read more about LTBE/NLTBE incentives see this blog post.

Please note that as Jocelyn Robichaud once pointed out in an email: “The current cap status is calculated with the top 51 earners. On the other hand, not all of these players will make the team. Thus, as the team shrinks its roster to 53 players, it will create cap room unless it keeps all of its top earners. For example, let us say that Jake Bequette ($570,000 in salary) does not make the team and is replaced by Ja’Gared Davis ($420,000 in salary). This would free $150,000 in cap room for the Patriots. If Justin Green makes the team instead of Tavon Wilson, that would create $353,444 in cap space. If Armond Armstead makes the 53-man roster instead of Marcus Forston, that would create $150,000 in cap space. If Charley Hughlett makes the 53-man roster instead of Danny Aiken, that would create $225,000 in cap space With just 4 those roster decisions the Patriots could create over $870,000 in cap space when the rosters are cut down to 53 players. Figuring that the Robichaud roster effect will create about $2 million in cap space the Patriots would probably like to enter training camp under their adjusted cap by about 6 million dollars.

When Brandon Browner’s suspension takes effect, the Patriots will receive a cap credit of $235,294 — or 4/17ths of Browner’s base salary — making his cap number about $1.59 million.

Current cap space – 7,900,000
Offseason workout bonus money – $504,000
Draft picks = (-2,000,000) – to be signed between May and the start of training camp in July
Players 52, 53, and practice squad (-1,700,000) – early September
Robichaud roster effect – (2,000,000). May create more if the Patriots release more higher-paid salaried players that I am currently expecting. – Also early September
Cushion for replacing injured players during the season (-2,000,000) – Also early September
Cushion for reached NLTBE incentives (-2,200,000) – Also early September
Credit for Brandon Browner’s suspension (235,000) – 1st four weeks of regular season

shows that the Patriots will need to create cap space between now (April 5) and the end of the season to account for any future free agent signings.

My Positional Breakdowns

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Offensive Line
Fullback
Running Backs
Dead Money
LineBackers
Defensive Tackles
Safeties
Cornerbacks
Defensive Ends
Special Teams

Updating my salary cap breakdown for the New England Patriots safeties after the release of Adrian Wilson and the signing of Patrick Chung.

As of April 5th, the Patriots have five safeties (Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Tavon Wilson, Duron Harmon, and Kanorris Davis) signed for the 2014 season. Their respective cap numbers are $5,115,000, $1,150,335, $1,040,000, $594,150, and $495,000. I am considering Nate Ebner a special teams player. Ebner played in 330 snaps last year – 325 of which were on special teams. Ebner participated in 0.4% of defensive snaps and on 66.5% of special teams snaps. Their Top 51 cap numbers total $8,434,235 or 6.06% of the Patriots adjusted cap number.

When he signed his rookie deal Devin McCourty’s 2014 salary was scheduled to be $870,000 but with a possible $3.2 million escalator for the 2014 season. Devin has done enough to increase his 2014 salary by $3,050,000 to $3,920,000. It is time for the Patriots and Devin to reach an extension. Let’s look at some comparables. Jarius Byrd is 10 months older than McCourty and played under the franchise tag ($6.916 million) in 2013. Devin McCourty who will be 27 when the 2014 starts was on the All-Pro 2nd team. Earl Thomas was also drafted in 2010 and was first team All-Pro. Like McCourty Earl Thomas is signed through the 2014 season. It could be that the Patriots and Seahawks are waiting to see who signs their safety first. Earl Thomas is a year and 9 months younger than McCourty. Eric Weddle, a fellow member of the All Pro 2nd team, signed his current 5 year $40 million deal in 2011. Kam Chancellor, yet another member of the All Pro 2nd team, signed a four-year, $28 million extension in April, 2013. Antrell Rolle, one more member of the All-Pro 2nd team, signed a five year, $37 million deal with the Giants in 2010 when he was 27. Dashon Goldson signed his 5-year, $41.5 million deal in March, 2013. William Moore signed his 5-year, $30 million deal in March, 2013. Michael Griffin signed his 5-year, $35 million deal in June of 2012. This offseason five safeties got deals that averaged over 5 million a year. Mike Mitchell who will turn 27 in June received a 5-year $25 million deal. Reshad Jones who is 26 years old got a 5yr $29.3m deal from the Dolphins. Antoine Bethea got a 4yr, 22m deal from the 49ers. T.J. Ward got a four-year, $22.5 million contract from the Broncos. Donte Whitner signed a four year, $28 million contract with the Browns on March 11, 2014. Jairus Byrd’s six-year, $54 million contract with the New Orleans Saints raised the salary bar for safeties. It’s the richest deal in NFL history at the position. Byrd’s contract contains $26.3 million in guarantees, a record for a veteran safety deal. The franchise tag for safeties in 2014 was $8,433,000. It is likely that it will be in the 9 million range in 2015 when McCourty is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. Therefore, if franchised by the Pats in 2015 McCourty would receive over $14 million in cash in a two-year period. If franchised again in 2016, McCourty would receive close to $25 million over 3 years. Therefore, it seems reasonable to venture that a McCourty extension in the $7 to $8 million per year average range would be fair for both sides. A 7 million average per deal would tie Michael Griffin for the 8 highest APY for a safety. An extension could lower McCourty’s 2014 cap number by one to two million dollars. Here’s one such an example of how:

Extend McCourty through the 2018 season.
Give him a $10 million signing bonus which would be prorated over 5 years (2014/2015/2016/2017/2018)
Lower his salary to $730,000.
which would lower his cap number from $5,115,000 to $3,925,000 for a savings of $1,190,000.

Current cap number of $5,115,000 consists of:
$3,920,000 salary
$1,145,000 signing bonus proration
$50,000 offseason workout bonus money

Proposed 2014 cap number of $3,925,000 consists of:
$730,000 salary
$3,145,000 signing bonus proration
$50,000 offseason workout bonus money

Proposed 2015 cap number of $7,000,000 consists of:
$5,000,000 salary
$2,000,000 signing bonus proration

Proposed 2016 cap number of $7,000,000 consists of:
$5,000,000 salary
$2,000,000 signing bonus proration

Proposed 2017 cap number of $7,000,000 consists of:
$5,000,000 salary
$2,000,000 signing bonus proration

Proposed 2018 cap number of $7,000,000 consists of:
$5,000,000 salary
$2,000,000 signing bonus proration

Tavon Wilson, whose percentage of defensive snaps played went from 43% in 2012 to 1% in 2013, is in danger of losing his roster spot to a rookie or first-year player earning a $420,000 salary. If Tavon is waived after June 1, the Pats would create over $350,000 in cap space.

As part of the new CBA there is a proven performance escalator for draft picks chosen in Round 3 through 7. Duron Harmon is eligible for it in 2016 . An eligible player will qualify for the Proven Performance Escalator in his fourth League Year if: (1) he participated in a minimum of 35% of his Club’s offensive or defensive plays in any two of his previous three regular seasons; or (2) he participated in a “cumulative average” of at least 35% of his Club’s offensive or defensive plays over his previous three regular seasons. Harmon played in 37% of the defensive snaps in 2013.

Devin McCourty’s Salary Cap Page
Harmon
Ebner
Chung
Adrian Wilson
Tavon Wilson
Kanorris Davis

Examining if the Patriots have adopted a win-now approach this offseason

I had asked my Twitter followers what should be my next bog post. Ed Kenkle replied “I’d be interested to read if you think the contracts given this off-season suggest a “win now” attitude more than usual.”

For those of you have suffered ice-cream headaches reading my prior posts:) I will quickly sum up my position with an one-answer – No.

I will now provide the reasons for my conclusion.

1.) Only 1 of the free agents contracts – Revis – reached by the Patriots could be considered as suggesting a “win-now contract”. The contracts of Michael Hoomanawanui, Julian Edelman, Ryan Wendell, and Brandon Browner are typical of the contracts that the Patriots have been signing their players to ever since the new CBA was reached in 2011. That is, they contain 46-man roster bonuses and playing-time incentives. In the early part of the Belichick era I think that the only Patriot that signed a contract that contained 46-man active roster bonuses was Kevin Faulk in 2007. All other roster bonuses were earned as far as I can tell by being on a roster at a certain date, like the 10th day of the League Year. One could consider Revis a “win now” contract since his deal is very favorable to him and because of the structure of the deal. If he plays well, he will have a great deal of leverage over the Patriots as the Patriots have to pick up their option for the 2015 season by the end of the 2014 League Year. If the Patriots pick up the option, Revis would have a $25 million cap hit. If the Patriots do not pick up the option, they will have a $5 million dead money hit for Revis. As far as I can remember, the Revis deal is the first deal that the Patriots have signed a player in which they gave the player most of the leverage in contract negotiations. That is, if Revis plays well in 2014 and thinks that his price is 16 million per year, it is more likely that the Patriots will move up to meet Revis’ price than Revis will move down to meet the Patriots’ price. The deal structure help support the argument that the deal is win-now since the Patriots pushed $5 million of signing bonus money to 2015.

2.) Cash spending – Right now, the Patriots have committed themselves to spending in cash this season the amount of $97,184,867. As you can see on OvertheCap.Com the Patriots are among the lowest teams in the NFL in terms of cash commitments

3.) Pushing signing bonus money to the future – The Patriots have pushed very little signing bonus money (866,667 total) to the future as part of extensions or restructures. The Patriots have not used June 1 designation nor did they redo Mankins’ deal.

4.) The future years have not been compromised – As you can see on my future years page the Patriots are well under the projected caps for the years 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. If the Pats do not pick up Revis’ option, they should be in good but not great shape for the 2015 season. I do plan to create a blog post previewing the Patriots 2015 salary cap picture later this month.

In summary, I do not believe that the Patriots have adopted a win-now approach this offseason.

As of April 1 5:15 PM, the New Emngland Patriots have 11 offensive linemen (Logan Mankins – $10,500,000, Dan Connolly – $4,083,334, Sebastian Vollmer – $3,750,000, Nate Solder – $2,717,429, Ryan Wendell – $1,625,000, Marcus Cannon – $743,968, Chris Barker – $495,000, Josh Kline – $495,000, Braxston Cave – $420,000, Jordan Devey – $420,000, and R.J.Mattes – $420,000) signed for the 2014 season. Their Top 51 cap numbers total $23,914,731, or 17.19% of the Patriots adjusted cap number. Because of the Top 51 rule, Chris Barker, Braxston Cave, Jordan Devey and R.J. Mattes are not counting against the Patriots salary cap currently.

I do not expect Mankins to take a paycut this year. I will not be surprised if he restructures his deal to free up cap space for the Patriots. One possible deal would be to convert $4.5 million of his 2014 $6.5 million salary into a signing bonus which could create a cap savings of $3 million while pushing out $1.5 million of signing bonus proration to the 2015 and 2016 seasons. I list other ways to lower Mankins’ 2014 cap hit here.

Dan Connolly could be signed to an extension that could lower his 2014 cap number by 1 to 2 million dollars. He could also be released which would create $2.505 million in cap space for the Patriots.

The Patriots would probably like to leave themselves a cushion just in case Sebastian Vollmer reaches his NTLBE playing time incentive – $1 million (if he plays 80 percent of offensive snaps) or $2 million (if he plays 90 percent of offensive snaps).

The Patriots hold a fifth year option on Solder that will be worth the average value of the 3rd through 25th highest cap numbers at the offensive line position in 2014. That option must be picked up before May 4, 2014. The option is guaranteed for injury and becomes fully guaranteed if Nate Solder is on the Patriots roster at the start of the 2015 league year. Right now, I project that the option amount to be in the 8 to 9 million range. I expect the option to be picked up on May 3rd and for Solder to be extended after the 2014 season but before the start of the 2015 regular season.

Marcus Cannon will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2014 season. If he and some NFL team sees him as a starting offensive tackle, then 2014 will be his last year with the Patriots.

Will Svitek will also be an unrestricted free agent. Do not see the Patriots signing him early in the offseason but I could see him returning to the Patriots to a similar deal that he had in 2013 – 500K in playing time incentives, 46-man per-game roster bonus. Please note that Svitek did not earn any of his playing-time incentives in 2013 but did earn $130,000 in 46-man active roster bonuses since he played in 13 games last year.

Logan Mankins’s salary cap page
Vollmer
Solder
Mattes
Cannon
Cave
Devey
Barker
Mattes
Kline
Connolly

Since it was reported that Vincent Wilfork’s extension contain playing-time incentives, I thought that it would be a good time to discuss incentives and their impact on the Patriots salary cap on my blog. I like to thank JR4 and PatsWickedPissah, fellow PatsFans.com posters, for their help in creating this blog post.

I consider the following the best explanation of how the LTBE/NTLBE incentives work. I forgot where I got it from.

LTBE bonuses count against the team’s salary cap in the year that they are scheduled to be earned, NLTBE bonuses do not. At the end of the season, the NFL calculates how much each team had set aside for LTBEs that weren’t earned – or said differently, it figures out how much was charged to the team’s cap that was not actually spent. Similarly, the NFL calculates the amount of incentives designated NLTBE that were actually earned. If the unearned LTBEs are greater than the earned NLTBEs, then the following year’s salary cap for that team is increased by the net amount. Similarly, if the earned NLTBEs exceed the unearned LTBEs, then the team’s cap for the following year is lowered by that amount. You can see an example of the effect of cap adjustments at USA Today. The teams with negative cap adjustments had most likely earned more NLTBE incentives in 2013 than they did not earn LTBE incentives. For cap nerds, at the bottom of this post will be my attempt to reverse engineer the Patriots cap adjustment figure of $2,002,250.

As of April 5 9AM, the Patriots have $2.25 million in LTBE incentives counting against their 2014 cap.

  • Vince Wilfork’s weight bonus – $300,000.
  • Vince Wilfork’s 53-man roster bonus – $500,000
  • Brandon Browner’s 53-man roster bonus – $500,000
  • Rob Ninkovich’s playing time incentive – $250,000 if he plays in at least 75% of the defensive snaps in 2014. Ninkovich played in 95.5% of the defensive snaps in 2013
  • Matt Slater’s Pro Bowl incentive – $300,000
  • Michael Hoomanawanui’s playing time incentive – $400,000

As of April 5 9AM, the Patriots have $4,198,750 in 46-man active roster bonuses that are now counting against their 2014 cap.

  • Jerod Mayo’s $31,250 46-man active roster which totals $187,500 since Mayo played in 6 games in 2013
  • Darrelle Revis’s $33,000 46-man active roster which maxes at $500,000 (15 games) since Revis played in 16 games in 2013
  • Danny Amendola’s $31,250 46-man active roster which totals $375,000 since Amendola played in 12 games in 2013
  • Rob Ninkovich’s $15,625 46-man active roster which totals $375,000 since Ninkovich played in 16 games in 2013
  • Julian Edelman’s $31,250 46-man active roster which totals $500,000 since Edelman played in 16 games in 2013
  • Brandon Lafell’s $12,500 46-man active roster which totals $200,000 since he played in 16 games in 2013
  • Brandon Browner’s $150,000 46-man active roster which totals $1,200,000 since Browner played in 12 games in 2013
  • Tommy Kelly’s $50,000 46-man active roster which totals $250,000 since Kelly played in 5 games in 2013
  • Michael Hoomanawanui’s $6,250 46-man active roster which totals $81,250 since the Hooman played in 13 games in 2013
  • Vince Wilfork’s $87,500 46-man active roster which totals $350,000 since Wilfork played in 4 games in 2013
  • Patrick Chung’s $15,000 46-man active roster which totals $180,000 since Patrick played in 12 games in 2013

As of April 5 9AM the Patriots have about $5,351,250 in NLTBE incentives that I consider easily reachable by the player.

  • Mayo’s per-game roster bonus – $312,500 if Mayo plays all 16 games
  • Vollmer’s playing time incentive – $2 million if he plays in 90% of the offensive snaps, $1 million if he plays in 80% of the offensive snaps
  • Kelly’s per-game roster bonus – $550,000 if Kelly plays all 16 games
  • Kelly’s playing time incentive maxes at $645,000 if Kelly plays in 60% of the defensive snaps
  • Amendola’s per-game roster bonus – $125,000 if Amendola plays all 16 games
  • Hoomanawanui’s per-game roster bonus – $18,750 if Hoomanawanui plays all 16 games
  • Browner’s per-game roster bonus – $600,000 if Browner plays in 12 games
  • Wilfork’s per-game roster bonus – $1,050,000 if Wilfork plays all 16 games.
  • Chung’s per-game roster bonus – $60,000 if Chung plays all 16 games.

From the CBA – Any roster bonus which is deemed not ‘likely to be earned’ based upon the player’s performance during the prior year shall immediately be included in Team Salary when earned” which means that the Patriots will lose cap space as soon as any of the seven above plays in more games in 2014 than they did in 2013. I am going to use Vince Wilfork as an example. He has a $87,500′s 46-man active roster bonus. Its LTBE amount is 350,000 or 87,500 times 4 (amount of games he played in 2013). So after each game over 4 that he plays in the Patriots will lose $87,500 in cap space. Wanted to mention these incentives since any reached NLTBE incentives in 2014 will likely lower the Patriots 2015 adjusted cap number. I am trying to guess at how the Patriots will handle having $5.3 million in NTLBE incentives. If they do not leave a big enough cushion for them, the Patriots could end up with an adjusted cap number that is lower than the actual cap number. This is the first time I have seen the Patriots with so much easily attainable NLTBE incentives. Do the Patriots leave a 100% cushion? 0% cushion? I am presuming that the Patriots do leave themselves a 100% cushion or $2,706,250 for the 46-man active roster bonuses and maybe have a 50% cushion ($1.3 million) for the other NLTBE incentives. That is, I guesstimate that the Patriots would like to leave themselves a 4 million cushion at the start of the regular season just to cover reached NLTBE incentives.

As promised above here is my attempt to figure out the Patriots cap adjustment number of $2,002,250 was reached.
Negative means that the player reached a NLTBE incentive
Positive means that the player did not earned a LTBE incentive

  • Edelman’s receptions -250,000
  • Hooman’s playing time incentive -370,000
  • Gregory’s playing time incentive -500,000
  • Blount’s playing time incentive -100,000
  • Talib’s Pro Bowl Bonus -500,000
  • Mayo’s per-game roster bonus 343,750
  • Kelly’s per-game roster bonus 312,500
  • Ninkovich Pro Bowl 200,000
  • Mayo’s Pro Bowl 300,000
  • Jonathan Fanene 990,000
  • Brandon Lloyd 1,500,000

Totals $1,926,250
which is just 76,000 less than $2,002,250

As of March 31, the Patriots have seven special team players (Stephen Gostkowski – $3,800,000, Ryan Allen – $495,500, Danny Aiken – $725,000, Matt Slater – $2,266,668, Nate Ebner – $594,150, Chris White – $645,000 , and Charley Hughlett – $420,000) signed for the 2014 season. I consider White, Slater and Ebner special team players because they take most of their snaps on special teams. Slater played in 276 snaps last year – 254 of which were on special teams. Slater participated in 1.8% of offensive snaps and on 51.9% of special teams snaps. Ebner played in 330 snaps last year – 325 of which were on special teams. Ebner participated in 0.4% of defensive snaps and on 66.5% of special teams snaps. White played in 329 snaps last year – 328 of which were on special teams. White participated in 0.1% of defensive snaps and on 67.1% of special teams snaps. Their Top 51 cap numbers total $8,526,318, or 6.13% of the Patriots adjusted cap number. Because of the Top 51 rule, Hughlett’s $420,000 salary is not currently counting against the Patriots 2014 salary cap.

I expect the Pats to extend the Ghost to a deal in the neighborhood of 5 years, 18 million total which could lower his 2014 cap number by around a million dollars.

Gostkowski’s salary cap page – Stephen Gostkowski
Allen’s salary cap page – Ryan Allen
Aiken’s salary cap page – Danny Aiken
Slater’s salary cap page – Matt Slater
Ebner’s salary cap page – Nate Ebner
White’s salary cap page – Chris White
Hughlett’s salary cap page – Charley Hughlett

2014 Patriots Salary Cap Breakdown – Defensive Tackles – Updated on March 30th

As of now, the Patriots have seven defensive tackles (Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Sealver Siliga, Marcus Forston, Chris Jones, Joe Vellano, and Armond Armstead) signed for the 2014 season. Their respective cap numbers are $6,683,333, $1,805,000, $570,000, $570,000, $495,000, $495,000, and $495,000. Their total cap hit in 2014 is $11,038,333, or 7.94% of the Patriots adjusted cap number.

Since my prior defensive tackle breakdown Wilfork redid his deal lowering his salary cap number from $11.6 million to $6.73 million in an incentive-laden deal. You can see more information about Wilfork’s extension at Vince Wilfork’s Salary Cap Page.

Kelly redid his deal lowering his salary while increasing his per-game roster bonus from $31,250 a game to $50,000 a game and adding playing-times incentives that maxed at $645,000.

Siliga is due to become a restricted free agent after the 2014 season. Vellano is due to become a restricted free agent after the 2015 season. Do not foresee any changes in their contracts in 2014.

As part of the new CBA there is a proven performance escalator for draft picks chosen in Round 3 through 7. Chris Jones is eligible for it in 2016 . An eligible player will qualify for the Proven Performance Escalator in his fourth League Year if: (1) he participated in a minimum of 35% of his Club’s offensive or defensive plays in any two of his previous three regular seasons; or (2) he participated in a “cumulative average” of at least 35% of his Club’s offensive or defensive plays over his previous three regular seasons. Chris Jones played in 68% of the defensive snaps in 2013.

Probably because his 2013 salary was fully guaranteed, Armstead was paid like a rookie in 2013 even though he spent the entire season on the Non-Football Injury List. Some NFI players have had their salaries greatly reduced. $225,000 of his 2014 $420,000 salary is fully guarantee

Vince Wilfork’s Salary Cap Page
Vellano
Siliga
Armstead
Kelly
Forston
Chris Jones