Defensive Ends – As you can see below, the Patriots have six defensive ends signed for the 2014 season.

Ninkovich has a $200,000 NTLBE Pro Bowl incentive.

The Patriots hold a fifth year option on Chandler Jones that will be worth the average value of the 3rd through 25th highest cap numbers at the defensive end position in 2014. That option must be picked up before some day in May 2015. The option is guaranteed for injury and becomes fully guaranteed if Chandler Jones is on the Patriots roster at the start of the 2016 league year. Right now, I project that the option amount to be $8.3 million but expect the number to be changed as deals with defensive ends are made during the 2014 league year. The first day that the Patriots can extend Chandler Jones is December 29th.

As part of the new CBA there is a proven performance escalator for draft picks chosen in Round 3 through 7. Jake Bequette is eligible for it in 2015. Michael Buchanan 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. Jake Bequette has played in 3% of the defensive snaps in 2012 and in 1% of the defensive snaps in 2013. Michael Buchanan played in 11% of the defensive snaps in 2013. Would not be surprised if an UDFA beats out Bequette for a 2014 roster spot which increase the Patriots cap space by $150,000. Would not also be surprised if an UDFA beats out Will Smith for a 2014 roster spot which increase the Patriots cap space by $75,000.Per the CBA, Zach Moore’s rookie contract can not be changed until after the 2016 regular season ends.

Chandler Jones 24 $2,229,136 $2,600,659 UFA
Rob Ninkovich 30 $2,850,000 $3,950,000 $4,800,000 UFA
Jake Bequette 25 $709,950 $799,950 UFA
Will Smith 33 $585,000 UFA
Michael Buchanan 23 $508,403 $598,403 $688,403 UFA
Zach Moore 24 $445,550 $535,550 $625,550 $715,550 UFA

Total Top 51 cap value:$6,908,039. Chandler Jones, Ninkovich, Bequette, Smith, and Buchanan are all in the Top 51 with Moore counting $25,550 against the Patriots salary cap currently.

Defensive End Portion of Patriots’ adjusted cap number of $139,109,051:4.97 percent (3rd lowest percentage of any position for the Patriots)

Total Cap value:$7,328,039
Compared to NFL average of $13,663,08746.37 percent less
NFL positional rank:28th of 32

Most overpaid:None.

Most underpaid:None.

Name 2014 Cap Number Ranking 2014 Cap Hit if Cut 2014 Net Cap Savings if Cut 2015 Cap Hit if Cut
Rob Ninkovich $2,850,000 Patriots: 14th; 4-3 Defensive Ends: 32nd $2,350,000 $5,000 $2,500,000
Chandler Jones $2,229,136 Patriots: 18th; 4-3 Defensive Ends: 40th $2,981,240 (-$1,247,284) $1,096,091
Jake Bequette $709,950 Patriots: 34th $134,950 $75,000 $134,950
Will Smith $585,000 Patriots: 43rd $15,000 $75,000
Michael Buchanan $508,403 Patriots: 51st $13,403 $26,806
Zach Moore $445,550 Patriots: 54th $25,550 $76,550

Credits: I would like to thank Mike Rodak for coming up with this template and OvertheCap.Com’s Jason Fitzgerald for his salary cap information .

If you have any corrections, suggestion, questions, and/or comments, please feel free to ask me a question on the PatsFans.Com message board or email me at patscap at cox dot net.