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New England Patriots salary cap: Week 1 contract guarantees

A fellow capologist, Jay Hurley, wrote about how Week 1 guarantees will impact the 49ers salary cap. It was a such informative piece that I decided to customize it for the New England Patriots.

The defending Super Bowl Champions will cut down to their final roster in less than three weeks. When the 53-man roster is set at that point, it will likely not be completely finalized. We will see roster moves in the days leading up to Week 1, and there could be a flurry of roster moves immediately after Week 1 wraps.

The reason for that latter prediction is due to NFL rules regarding veteran contracts. Generally speaking, NFL contracts are viewed as not guaranteed, barring some additional negotiation between player and team. However, once the regular season starts, certain salaries become fully guaranteed for that season.

Under the terms of the CBA, if a player has four or more years of accrued service, if he is on the team’s Week 1 roster, his base salary for that season becomes fully guaranteed. It does not guarantee future salaries, but it guarantees money owed that year. A player accrues a season’s worth of service when he is on the 53-man roster, IR or PUP list for at least six regular season games.

The best example of this in recent years has been the Patriots adding and dropping of tight end Matthew Mulligan in 2013. He was signed on September 3rd, released on September 5th and re-signed the Tuesday after Week 1 Monday Night Football game. The player gets a 25 percent salary guarantee if on the roster after Week 1.

This is mostly notable for veteran players. For example, Derek Cox was on the Patriots roster this offseason. If the team is interested in re-signing him, the Patriots will likely wait until after Week 1, when he no longer gets the full salary guarantee. A veteran minimum is not a crazy amount of money, but if you don’t see the player as a definite starter, there is a chance he will be released later in the year for another roster issue. Waiting until after Week 1 allows for more flexibility

I thought it was time to take a look at all the Patriots that will have their 2015 salary become fully guaranteed when Week 1 hits. First up, we have a list of vested veterans (4+ years of accrued service). Some had parts of their salary guaranteed at signing or on a particular date, and that information has been included in parentheses.

All of these salaries are already factored into the salary cap, so these are not new impacts to the Patriots existing salary cap space.

QB Tom Brady – $8 million
TE Rob Gronkowski – $4.75 million (the $4.75 million was guaranteed for injury at signing and became fully guaranteed at the start of the 2015 League Year)
LT Nate Solder – $7.438 million (Solder’s salary became fully guaranteed at the start of the 2015 League Year)
RT Sebastian Vollmer – $2.25 million
LB Jerod Mayo – $1.5 million (the $1.5 million was fully guaranteed at signing)
S Devin McCourty – $2.5 million (the $2.5 million was fully guaranteed at signing)
DE Rob Ninkovich – $1.5 million (the $1.5 million was fully guaranteed at signing)
WR Julian Edelman – $2.25 million (2 million became fully guaranteed at the start of the 2015 League Year)
DE Jabaal Sheard – $1,000,000 (the one million was fully guaranteed at signing)
K Stephen Gostkowski – $1.8 million (the $1.8 million was fully guaranteed at signing)
WR Brandon Lafell – $1.8 million
WR Danny Amendola – $1.25 million
OT Marcus Cannon – $1.2 million
Ryan Wendell  – $1 million
TE Scott Chandler – $1.2 million
DT Alan Branch  – $1.2 million
S Patrick Chung – $1,000,000 (the one million was fully guaranteed at signing)
ST Matthew Slater- $1,000,000 (the one million was fully guaranteed at signing)
TE Matthew Hoomanawanui  – $800,000
CB Robert McClain – $800,000 ($150,000 fully guaranteed at signing)
RB LaGarrette Blount – $750,000
LB Jonathan Freeney – $850,000
LB Dane Fletcher – $585,000
DT Antonio Johnson – $585,000

Three players also have roster bonuses that they will earn Week 1 for making the 53-man roster.

CB Tarrell Brown – $100,000
RB Travaris Cadet – $50,000

This next group of players have some or all of their base salaries that are already fully guaranteed as part of their rookie deals

DE Chandler Jones – $752,284 of $1,504,568 salary fully guaranteed
DT Dominique Easley – $751,980
DT Malcom Brown – $435,000
QB Jimmy Garoppolo – $250,000 of $578,359 salary fully guaranteed.
S Jordan Richards – $199,700 of $435,000 salary fully guaranteed.
WR Chris Harper – $5,000 of $435,000 salary fully guaranteed

This next group of players received roster bonuses earlier this offseason.

RT Sebastian Vollmer – $1,000,000
RB LaGarrette Blount – $100,000
TE Michael Hoomanawanui – $300,000

You can follow me on Twitter at @patscap.

A call for a donation

A long-time family friend, my youngest sister’s best friend, is on the board of directors of a soup kitchen and food pantry in Malden, Massachusetts that serves over 400 low-income and homeless families per month. I am asking that if you have found my salary cap pages/blogs 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. Thanks so much!!!

Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots Calendar

Customizing the NFL calendar for the best team of the NFL salary cap era – the New England Patriots.

December 29 Clubs could start signing free agent players for the 2015 season. Patriots signed Rufus Johnson, Dion Lewis, and Antonio Johnson to 2015 contracts
December 29 Patriots may renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of a drafted rookie who was selected in the 2012 NFL Draft (Chandler Jones, Dont’a Hightower, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner, and Alfonzo Dennard). Any permissible renegotiated or extended player contract will not be considered a rookie contract, and will not be subject to the rules that limit rookie contracts.
December 29 Option exercise period begins for fifth-year option for first-rounds elections from the 2012 NFL Draft (Chandler Jones, Dont’a Hightower). To exercise the option, the club must give written notice to the player on or after December 29, 2014 but prior to May 3, 2015.
February 2 Waiver system began for 2015
February 6 Rob Gronkowski’s 2015 $4.75 million salary and $250,000 offseason workout bonus became fully guaranteed.
February 10 Beginning at 12 noon, New York time, NFL clubs could sign players whose 2014 CFL contracts have expired. Players under contract to a CFL club for the 2015 season or who have an option for the 2015 season are not eligible to be signed.
February 15 Tom Brady received final installment of his $30 million signing bonus guaranteed him in February,2013. Brady received $10 million upfront, $5 million on Valentine’s Day, 2014, $10 million during the 2014 season, and the final $5 million on February 15, 2015.
February 16 First day that the Patriots could designate a Franchise or Transition Player
March 2 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for Patriots to designate a Franchise or Transition Player. If tagged, Stephen Gostkowski’s 2015 cap number will be $4,549,000. A player’s franchise tag number is the higher of 120% of his prior cap number plus all bonuses included in prior contract or the number achieved from the franchise tag number calculation. Gostowksi’s $4,549,000 figure is a total of his $4.44 million salary, $100,000 offseason workout bonus, and $50,000 Pro Bowl incentive.
On October 12th, 2014 CBS Sportline’s Jason LaCanfora reported that the percentage that will be used to determine the franchise tag number for safeties will be 6.713%. The below table lists the possible franchise tag numbers for McCourty if the league cap is between $140 million and $144 million.

League Cap Safety Franchise Tag Number
$140,000,000 $9,398,000
$141,000,000 $9,465,000
$142,000,000 $9,532,000
$143,000,000 $9,600,000
$143,280,000 $9,618,000
$144,000,000 $9,667,000
March 7-10 Patriots were permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who would become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2014 contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 10. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 10
4PM March 10 (End of 2014 League Year) Deadline for the New England Patriots to exercise options for Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Vince Wilfork. Revis’s option was for 2015 including a $12 million first day of the 2015 league year roster bonus. $3 million of which is payable on March 31, $3 million due on October 31, 2015, $3 million due on December 31, and $3 million on March 31,2016). If the option isn’t exercised, the Patriots can’t use their franchise or transition tag on Revis. Wilfork’s option was for 2015 and 2016 contract years. Wilfork was due a $4 million roster bonus. Brandon Browner’s option was for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Browner was due a $2 million roster bonus on March 10.
March 10 Nate Solder’s $7.438 million salary became fully guaranteed. 2 million of Julian Edelman’s salary changed from being guaranteed for injury only to fully guaranteed.
March 10 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, the Patriots submitted a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2014 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit (James Morris – $435,000; Brian Tyms – $585,000; James Develin – $660,000; Sealver Siliga – $660,000). They did not submit a tender to Greg Orton.
March 10 Top-51 Begins. All clubs had to have been their 2015 adjusted cap number prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time. The 2015 League cap is $143,280,000. The Patriots 2015 adjusted cap number is $144,578,084. $143,280,000 (League Cap) + $5,258,054 (2014 Ending Cap Space + $1,184,000 Aaron Hernandez salary grievance credit – $5,143,970 (LTBE/NLTBE adjustment). For more on the Aaron Hernandez credit please review this blog post.
March 10 All 2014 player contracts expired at 4:00 p.m., New York time
March 10 Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 10
March 10 Trading period for 2015 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2014 contracts
March 10, 4PM After 4PM March 10 Patriots can apply the June 1 release designation to no more than two players. The player’s cap hit will remain the same until June 2nd when his 2015 salary and any unearned LTBE incentives would come off the books
March 12 Sebastian Vollmer was due a $1,000,000 roster bonus
March 14 $1 million of Rob Ninkovich’s 2015 salary became fully guaranteed. LaGarrette Blount was due a $100,000 roster bonus. Michael Hoomanawanui was due a $300,000 roster bonus
March 23 NFL Annual Meeting. It was during this meeting that the compensatory picks were announced. The Patriots received a 3rd round pick (Aqib Talib) and a 7th round pick (Dane Fletcher). Patriots.
March 31 Darrelle Revis received $2 million as part of his 2014 $10 million signing bonus. Brandon Lafell received $1 million of his 2014 $3 million signing bonus. Julian Edelman received $2 million of his 2014 $5 million signing bonus.
April 15 Marcus Cannon had to weigh no more than 350 pounds on April 15 in order to earn a $30,000 weight clause.
April 20 All 32 NFL teams will be charged $561,600 on their caps to cover offseason workout bonus. $195 per workout times 80 players times 36 workouts equals $561,600. The Patriots offseason workout program begins.
April 24 Deadline for Patriots to sign Restricted Free Agents to offer sheets
April 30 – May 2 2015 NFL Draft, Chicago, Illinois.
May 2 Patriots can start signing undrafted players. In 2014 the Patriots could offer their UDFAs a total of $80,362 in signing bonuses. Actual total was $47,000
May 2 Patriots can start signing their drafted players. Because of the Top 51 rule signing the 2014 Patriots draft class took up $1,206,373 in cap space. Therefore, it seems safe to project that the Patriots will need between $1.5 and $1.6 million in cap space to sign its 2015 draft picks. I attempt to explain the rookie pool and its impact on the Patriots 2015 salary cap in this blog post. Please refer to it if you have any questions.
May 3 Option exercise period ends for fifth-year option for first-rounds elections from the 2012 NFL Draft (Chandler Jones, Dont’a Hightower). To exercise the option, the club must give written notice to the player prior to May 3, 2015.
June 1 For any Patriot removed from the club’s roster or whose contract is assigned via waivers or trade on or after June 1, any unamortized signing bonus amounts for future years will be included fully in team salary at the start of the 2016 League Year. These Patriots are currently signed past the 2015 season so they would be affected by the June 1 amortization rule (Tom Brady, Jerod Mayo, Jabaal Sheard, Chimdi Chewka, Scott Chandler, Alan Branch, Travaris Cadet, Rob Gronkowski, Sebastian Vollmer, Danny Amendola, Devin McCourty, Julian Edelman, Rob Ninkovich, Brandon Lafell, Marcus Cannon, Patrick Chung, Matthew Slater, Dominique Easley, Brandon Bolden, Jamie Collins, Aaron Dobson, Jimmy Garoppolo, Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, Bryan Stork, James White, Cameron Fleming, Zach Moore, Cameron Gordon, Jordan Richards, Geneo Grissom, Trey Flowers, Tre’ Jackson, Matthew Wells, A.J. Derby, Darryl Roberts and Xzavier Dickson)
June 1 Deadline for prior club to send “June 1 Tender” to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a contract with a club by July 22 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, he may negotiate or sign a contract from that date until the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, at 4:00 p.m., New York time, only with his prior club.
June 1 Marcus Cannon has to weigh no more than 345 pounds on June 1 in order to earn a $35,000 weight clause.
July 15 Marcus Cannon has to weigh no more than 340 pounds on July 15 in order to earn a $35,000 weight clause. Deadline to reach a long-term deal with Stephen Gostkowski,
July 22 Signing Period ends for unrestricted Free Agents to whom a “June 1 Tender” was made by prior club. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
July 22 Signing period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
August 5 Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an Accrued Season for free agency
August 5 If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2015, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the draft in the 2016 League Year.
August 13 – 7:30PM The first preseason game will have the Patriots at home playing against the Green Bay Packers
August 22 – 7:00PM The second preseason game will have the Patriots on the road playing against the New Orleans Saints
August 28 – 7:30PM The third preseason game will have the Patriots on the road playing against the Carolina Panthers
September 1 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 75 players
September 2 All tryouts on this date and for the remainder of the season must be reported to the League
September 3 – 7:30PM The fourth preseason game will have the Patriots at home playing against the New York Giants
September 5 Prior to 6:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List.
September 5 Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non- Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List. Tom Brady and LeGarrette Blount’s suspensions begin.
September 5 Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, Tom Brady and LeGarrette Blount’s suspensions begin.
September 6 Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at 12:00
September 6 Beginning at 12:00 p.m., New York time, clubs may establish a Practice Squad of ten players. A player is eligible if he does not have an accrued season of NFL experience. Players gain an accrued season by being on the active roster for at least six games. If a player has one accrued season, they can still be practice squad eligible if they were on the 46-man active game-day roster for less than nine regular season games. Under the new 2014 NFL rules, teams may sign no more than two players up to two accrued seasons. A player is deemed to have served a season on the practice squad if he remains on the practice squad for at least six weeks. Players are eligible to be on the practice squad for two seasons. Players can be eligible for a third practice squad season if their team maintains no less than 53 players on the active/inactive list at all times. The minimum salary for a practice squad player is $6,600. $6,600 * 10 * 17 = $1,122,000. Since the Patriots have typically pay some of their practice squad players more than the minimum and sometimes have less than 10 players on their practice squad, I will use $1.25 million for budgeting purposes. In this blog post I list the Patriots who are eligible to be placed on the practice squad.
September 6 Final day of preseason training camp for all clubs, as defined in CBA Article 23, Section 9.
September 6 After 4:00 p.m., New York time, a club is permitted to place a player (maximum of two) on Reserve/Injured as “Designated for Return.”
September 9 At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for all NFL Player Contracts, Practice Player Contracts, tender offers, and miscellaneous amounts to
fit within each Club’s 2015 Salary Cap, in anticipation of the midnight expiration of the Top 51 Rule. The Pats will need to have $1.25 million in cap space
for their practice squad players. The Patriots will need another $870,000 in cap space to pay the salaries of players 52, and 53. The Patriots typically have a $2 to 4 million cushion to replace players placed on IR. The Patriots usually sign 1 to 2 players to extensions during the regular season taking anywhere between 1 to 2 million in cap space. Based on what happened last year the Patriots will have a $2 million cushion for NLBE incentives that are likely to be earned in 2015.

  • Vollmer’s Pro Bowl bonus – $250,000
  • Mayo’s Pro Bowl bonus – $300,000
  • Mayo’s playing-time incentive – $1,500,000
  • Vollmer’s 46-man active roster bonus – $62,500
  • Edelman’s 46-man active roster bonus – $93,750
  • Wendell’s 46-man active roster bonus – $25,000
  • Alan Branch’s 46-man active roster bonus – $200,000
  • Bradley Fletcher’s 46-man active roster bonus – $18,750
  • Alan Branch’s playing-time incentive – $750,000
  • Vollmer’s 90% playing-time incentive – $1,000,000
  • Bradley Fletcher’s playing-time incentive-$350,000
  • Ryan Wendell’s playing-time incentive-$500,000
  • Robert McClain’s playing-time incentive – $760,000

Therefore, the Patriots would probably like to enter Week 1 with about 5 to 8 million in cap space.

September 10 At 12:00 a.m., New York time, the Top 51 Rule expires for all NFL Clubs.
September 10 – 8:30PM Week 1 will have the Patriots at home playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers
September 20 – 1:00PM Week 1 will have the Patriots on the road playing against the Buffalo Bills
September 27 – 1:00PM Week 1 will have the Patriots at home playing against the Jacksonville Jaguars
September 29 Beginning on the Tuesday following the third weekend of regular season games, the claiming priority is based on the inverse order of the standing of clubs in the current season’s games.
October 4 Week 4 is the Patriots bye week.
October 11 – 4:25PM Week 5 will have the Patriots on the road playing against the Dallas Cowboys
October 18 – 8:30PM Week 6 will have the Patriots on the road playing against the Indianapolis Colts in a Sunday night game.
October 16 Beginning on the sixth calendar day prior to a club’s seventh regular season game (including any bye week) and continuing through the day after the conclusion of the 11th regular season weekend, clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform and Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness for a period not to exceed 21 days. Players may be activated during the 21-day practice period, or prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period, provided that no player may be activated to participate in a Week 6 game.
October 25 – 1:00PM Week 7 will have the Patriots at home playing against the New York Jets
October 29 – 8:25PM Week 8 starts off with the Patriots at home playing against the Miami Dolphins in a Thursday night game
November 3 All trading ends for 2015 at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
November 4 Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons are subject to the waiver system for the remainder of the regular season and postseason.
November 8 – 1:00PM Week 9 will have the Patriots at home playing against the Washington Redskins
November 15 – 4:25PM Week 10 will have the Patriots on the road playing against the New York Giants
November 17 At 4:00 p.m., New York time, signing period ends for Franchise Players who are eligible to receive Offer Sheets.
November 17 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their unsigned Franchise and Transition Players, including Franchise Players who were eligible to receive Offer Sheets until this date. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in the NFL in 2015.
November 17 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their Unrestricted Free Agents to whom the “June 1 Tender” was made. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in the NFL in 2015.
November 17 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for Clubs to sign their drafted rookies. If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2015.
November 23 – 8:30PM Week 11 will end with the Patriots at home playing against the Buffalo Bills in a Monday night game
November 28 Deadline at 4:00 p.m., New York time, for reinstatement of players in Reserve List categories of Retired, Did Not Report, and Exclusive Rights, and of players who were placed on Reserve/Left Squad in a previous season.
November 29 – 8:30PM Week 11 will have the Patriots on the road playing against the Denver Broncos in a Sunday night game
November 29 – 8:30PM Week 12 will have the Patriots on the road playing against the Denver Broncos in a Sunday night game
December 6 – 4:25PM Week 13 will have the Patriots at home playing against the Philadelphia Eagles
December 13 – 1:00PM Week 14 will have the Patriots on the road playing against the Houston Texans
December 20 – 1:00PM Week 15 will have the Patriots at home playing against the Tennessee Titans
December 27 – 1:00PM Week 16 will have the Patriots on the road playing against the New York Jets
January 3, 2016 – 1:00PM Week 17 will have the Patriots on the road playing against the Miami Dolphins
January 4, 2016 Clubs may begin signing free agent players for the 2016 season.
January 4, 2016 Earliest permissible date for the Patriots to renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of a drafted rookie who was selected in any round of the 2013 NFL Draft (Jamie Collins,
Aaron Dobson, Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, and Michael Buchanan). Earliest permissible date for the Patriots to renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of an undrafted rookie who was not selected in any round of the 2014 NFL Draft (Malcolm Butler). Any permissible renegotiated or extended player contract will not be considered a rookie contract, and will not be subject to the rules that limit rookie contracts.
January 9-10, 2016 Wild-card playoffs.
January 10, 2016 Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that have byes in the Wild Card weekend may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of the Wild Card games.Wild-card playoffs.
January 16-17, 2016 Divisional playoffs.
January 17, 2016 Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that won their Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games.Wild-card playoffs.
January 18, 2016 Deadline for college players that are underclassmen to apply for special eligibility. A list of players who are accepted into the NFL Draft will be transmitted to clubs on January 22.Wild-card playoffs.
January 24, 2016 AFC and NFC Conference Championship games
January 30, 2016 Senior Bowl
January 31, 2016 Pro Bowl
January 31, 2016 An assistant coach, whose team is participating in the Super Bowl, who has previously interviewed for another club’s head coaching job may have a second interview with such club no later than the Sunday preceding the Super Bowl.Wild-card playoffs.
February 7, 2016 Super Bowl 50
February 22, 2016 First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players
February 23-29, 2016 Combine Timing and Testing, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
March 7, 2016 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players. Nate Solder is the most likely Patriot to receive the franchise tag in 2016. On October 12th, 2014 CBS Sportline’s Jason LaCanfora reported that the percentage that was used to determine the franchise tag number for offensive lineman was 9.034%. For ease of discussion, let’s use 9% for 2016. The below table lists the possible franchise tag numbers for Solder if the league cap is between $150 million and $160 million.
League Cap – Offensive Line Tag Number

  • $150,000,000 – $13,500,000
  • $152,500,000 – $13,750,000
  • $154,000,000 – $13,860,000
  • $155,000,000 – $13,950,000
  • $157,500,000 – $14,175,000
  • $160,000,000 – $14,400,000
March 12-15, 2016 Beginning at 12 noon, New York time, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2015 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 15. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 15.
March 15, 2016 The 2016 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
The first day of the 2016 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 15. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 15.
March 15, 2016 Trading period for 2016 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2015 contracts.
March 20-23, 2016 Annual League Meeting, Boca Raton, Florida. Expect that the 2016 compensatory draft picks to be announced during this team. OvertheCap.Com’s Nick Corte projects the Pats to receive a 3rd round pick for Darrelle Revis, a 6th round pick for Vince Wilfork, a 6th round pick for Shane Vereen, and a 6th round pick for Akeem Ayers
April 18, 2016 Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs
April 22, 2016 Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets
April 27, 2016 Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents
April 28-30 NFL Draft (Chicago)
OvertheCap.Com’s Nick Korte projects that the Patriots will receive a 3rd round compensatory pick in 2016 as well as 3 6th round compensatory picks. The Patriots received the Houston Texans’ 2016 7th round pick as part of the Ryan Mallett trade. The Patriots lost their 2016 first round pick as part of their punishment for violations of the NFL Policy on Integrity of the Game and Enforcement of Competitive Rules relating to the use of under-inflated footballs in the 2014 AFC Championship Game and their failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation.As of August 15, 2015 the Patriots will enter the 2016 draft with 11 draft picks
First round: Taken away by the NFL
1. Second round: Own pick
2. Third round: Own pick
3. Third round: Compensatory pick for loss of Darrelle Revis. 97th overall
4. Fourth round: Own pick
5. Fifth round: Own pick
6. Sixth round: Own pick
7. Sixth round: Compensatory pick for loss of Vince Wilfork.
8. Sixth round: Compensatory pick for loss of Shane Vereen.
9. Sixth round: Compensatory pick for loss of Akeem Ayers.
10.Seventh round: Texans – acquired as part of the Ryan Mallett trade
11.Seventh round: Own pick

The purpose of this blog is to tracking the defending Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots 2015 dead money.

Dead money is the salary cap hit for a player that was waived/released while on the Patriots roster. Dead money is usually unamortized signing bonus proration. It can also be guaranteed salary and injury settlements. Dead money also refers to the cap hits for players placed on Injured Reserve.

Updated on August 15th to add Chris White and Matthew Wells

  1. Darrelle Revis- $5,000,000 (prorated signing bonus). I write more about Darrelle Revis in another blog post.
  2. Logan Mankins – $4,000,000 (prorated signing bonus plus offseason workout bonus money)
  3. Kyle Arrington – $3,250,000 (prorated signing bonus plus offseason workout bonus money)
  4. Vince Wilfork – $866,667 (prorated signing bonus)
  5. Josh Boyce – $238,500 (prorated signing bonus). Josh Boyce was waived on August 30, 2014.
  6. Armond Armstead – $143,222 (The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin was the first to report Armond’s 2015 injury settlement amount)
  7. Jake Bequette – $134,950 (prorated signing bonus). Jake Bequette was waived on August 30, 2014.
  8. Jon Halapio – $92,235 (prorated signing bonus)
  9. Jemea Thomas – $69,834 (prorated signing bonus)
  10. Chris White – $50,000 (prorated signing bonus)
  11. Matthew Wells – $35,973 (prorated signing bonus)
  12. Jeremy Gallon – $35,694 (prorated signing bonus)
  13. A.J. Derby – $28,013 (prorated signing bonus). Derby’s dead money amount will increase by $318,000 on September 10th when the Top 51 rule expires and his $318,000 salary while on Injured Reserve will start to count against the Patriots salary cap.
  14. .

  15. Michael Buchanan – $26,806 (prorated signing bonus)
  16. Brandon Spikes – $25,000 (prorated signing bonus)
  17. Steve Beauharnais – $23,796 (prorated signing bonus)
  18. Alfonzo Dennard – $14,462 (prorated signing bonus)
  19. Cameron Gordon – $10,000 (prorated signing bonus)
  20. Garrett Gilbert – $10,000 (offseason workout bonus)
  21. Stephen Houston – $5,000 (Stephen Houston was waived by the New England Patriots on August 31, 2014 after receiving a $7,500 signing bonus on May 10. The $5,000 is the 2015 dead money hit that resulted from his waiver)Devin Gardner – $5,000 (Devin Gardner was waived by the New England Patriots on May 18, 2015 after receiving a $5,000 signing bonus on May 8.
  22. Roy Finch – $3,334 (Roy Finch was waived by the New England Patriots on August 31, 2014 after receiving a $5,000 signing bonus on May 10. The $3,334 is the 2015 dead money hit that resulted from his waiver)
  23. Shamiel Gary – $3,334 (Shamiel Gary was waived by the New England Patriots on August 31, 2014 after receiving a $5,000 signing bonus on May 10. The $3,334 is the 2015 dead money hit that resulted from his waiver)
  24. Travis Hawkins – $3,334 (Travis Hawkins was waived by the New England Patriots on August 31, 2014 after receiving a $5,000 signing bonus on May 10. The $3,334 is the 2015 dead money hit that resulted from his waiver
  25. Justin Jones – $3,334 (Justin Jones was waived by the New England Patriots on August 31, 2014 after receiving a $5,000 signing bonus on May 10. The $3,334 is the 2015 dead money hit that resulted from his waiver
  26. Asa Watson – $2,000 (Watson was waived by the New England Patriots on August 10, 2014 after receiving a $3,000 signing bonus on May 10. The $2,000 is the 2015 dead money hit that resulted from his waiver)
  27. Mark Harrison – $1,000 (prorated signing bonus)
  28. Kenbrell Thompkins – $834 (prorated signing bonus)
  29. Vince Taylor – $833 (prorated signing bonus)
  30. Kevin Hughes – $0. Hughes’ dead money amount will go to $333,000 on September 10th when the Top 51 rule expires and his $333,000 salary while on Injured Reserve will start to count against the Patriots salary cap.
  31. Tyler Gaffney – $0. Gaffney’s dead money amount will go to $318,000 on September 10th when the Top 51 rule expires and his $333,000 salary while on Injured Reserve will start to count against the Patriots salary cap.

Total – $14,152,975

The $14,152,975 is 9.79% of the 2015 Patriots adjusted cap number of $144,578,084. The average dead money hit for the 32 NFL teams is $10,963,081 so the Patriots’ amount is $3,537,162
more than the league average. The Patriots have the 9th highest dead money amount in the league. As of August 14, 2015 the New England Patriots have $109,856 dead money (Matthew Wells and Vince Taylor) for 2016. 5 of 32 teams have $0 2016 dead money. The Patriots have the 10th most amount of 2016 dead money. The league average for 2016 dead money is $1,160,266.

Source for Patriots numbers – myself
Source for league numbers – http://www.overthecap.com
You can follow me on Twitter at @patscap.

A call for a donation

A long-time family friend, my youngest sister’s best friend, is on the board of directors of a soup kitchen and food pantry in Malden, Massachusetts that serves over 400 low-income and homeless families per month. I am asking that if you have found my salary cap pages/blogs 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. Thanks so much!!!

Providing this look at the Patriots’ offseason activities:

Got this idea from reading Matt Maiocco’s 49ers scorecard. I like to thank Mrs. Yates’ son Field for tweeting about Matt’s scorecard.

I will be using this abbreviations in this blog post.
LTBE-Likely to Be Earned
NLTBE-Not Likely to Be Earned
UFA-Unrestricted free agent: Free to sign with any team
RFA-Restricted free agent: Patriots have right to match any offer sheet
ERFA-Exclusive rights free agent: Player has no outside negotiating power

SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 2015 OFFSEASON SCORECARD
Salary cap space
$8,854,988. My cap space number is off from the official number by $20,000 for two reasons. For some unknown reason Garrett Gilbert’s $10,000 offseason workout bonus is counting against the Lions salary cap even though he completed his workouts with the Patriots. The NFLPA is considering Chimdi Chewka as counting $80,000 against the Patriots salary cap even though he was not on the team long enough to earn his $30,000 offseason workout bonus. From the official NFLPA report the League average is $11,641,629. Therefore, the Patriots have $2,806,641 less than the league average. The Patriots rank 18th in cap space.

(Figure updated as official signings and contracts are reported to the league: 90 players under contract. Only the salaries of the players with the 51 highest cap numbers are currently counting against the cap). As of July 30, 2015 the Patriots have 90 players signed http://www.patscap.com updated July 30, 11:30 AM

Patriots Salary Cap Allocation by Age

Age Number Cap Hit Percentage
21 2 $1,389,224 0.96%
22 5 $1,069,572 0.74%
23 13 $3,877,944 2.68%
24 15 $3,695,002 2.56%
25 15 $10,233,797 7.08%
26 10 $16,311,650 11.28%
27 8 $13,534,666 9.36%
28 7 $13,830,000 9.57%
29 5 $18,404,166 12.73%
30 5 $9,426,666 6.52%
31 3 $15,370,833 10.63%
32 0 0.00%
33 0 0.00%
34 0 0.00%
35 0 0.00%
36 0 0.00%
37 0 0.00%
38 1 $14,000,000 9.68%
Offseason Workout $561,600 0.39%
Dead Money $14,017,976 9.7%
Cap Space $8,854,988 6.12%
Totals $144,578,084 100.00%

Patriots Salary Cap Allocation by Position (Matthew Slater, Chris White, and Nate Ebner are included in the Special Team total).

Position Cap Number Percentage Count
OL $20,936,711 14.48% 14
QB $15,456,795 10.69% 3
RB $4,046,772 2.80% 8
TE $12,508,013 8.65% 6
WR $13,502,926 9.34% 9
S $10,742,284 7.43% 6
CB $6,132,285 4.24% 10
DL $14,111,384 9.76% 13
LB $15,892,534 10.99% 14
ST $7,813,816 5.40% 6
Offseason Workout $561,600 0.39%
Dead Money $14,017,976 9.70%
Cap Space $8,854,988 6.76%
Totals $144,578,084 100.00% 90

Patriots Salary Cap Allocation by Unit

Unit Cap Number Percentage Count
Offense $66,451,217 45.96% 41
Defense $46,878,487 32.42% 43
Special Teams $7,813,816 5.40% 6
Dead Money $14,017,976 9.70%
Cap Space $8,854,988 6.12%
Offseason Workout Bonus $561,600 0.39%
Totals $144,578,084 100.00% 90

 

If you wish to learn more details about the player’s contract just follow the hyperlink to their salary cap page.
Additions

  1. Antonio Johnson (DT) (Street Free Agent): 1 year/$755,000 including $10,000 offseason workout bonus. Deal qualifies for Minimum Salary Benefit lowering cap hit of salary from $745,000 to $585,000. Antonio Johnson’s 2015 cap number is $595,000
  2. Rufus Johnson (LB) (Street Free Agent): 1 year/$435,000
  3. Kevin Dorsey (WR) (Street Free Agent – Waived by Green Bay): 1 year/$510,000. Waived by the Patriots on May 7th.
  4. Dion Lewis (RB) (Street Free Agent): 1 year/$585,000
  5. Scott Chandler (TE) (Street Free Agent- released by Buffalo): 2 year/$5.3 million. $2 million signing bonus
  6. LB Jabaal Sheard (UFA; Cleveland): 2 years/$11 million, $4 million signing bonus
  7. CB Bradley Fletcher (UFA; Philadelphia): 1 year/$2,131,250 (2.5 million maximum), $550,000 guaranteed
  8. CB Robert McClain (UFA; Atlanta): 1 year/$1.24 million, $300,000 guaranteed
  9. LB Jonathan Freeny (non-tendered RFA; Miami): 1 year/$1,000,000
  10. RB Travaris Cadet (non-tendered RFA; New Orleans): 2 years/$1.7 million, $65,000 guaranteed
  11. CB Chimdi Chewka (non-tendered RFA; Oakland): Signed on March 12th. 1 year/$825,000 including $50,000 signing bonus and $30,000 offseason workout bonus. Deal qualifies for Minimum Salary Benefit lowering cap hit of salary from $745,000 to $585,000. Chewka’s 2015 cap number is $665,000. Released by the Patriots on May 18th.
  12. WR Brandon Gibson (Street Free Agent, released by Miami): 1 year/$825,000 including $40,000 signing bonus and $40,000 offseason workout bonus. Deal qualifies for Minimum Salary Benefit lowering cap hit of salary from $745,000 to $585,000. Gibson’s 2015 cap number is $665,000
  13. LB Brandon Spikes(UFA; Buffalo): 1 year/$1.3 million, $25,000 guaranteed. $700,000 in NLTBE playing-time incentives. Released by the Patriots on June 8th
  14. TE Fred Davis(Street Free Agent): 1 year/$825,000, $20,000 offseason workout bonus. Deal qualifies for Minimum Salary Benefit lowering cap hit of salary from $745,000 to $585,000. Released by the Patriots on June 19th
  15. OT Kevin Hughes(Street Free Agent): 1 year/$510,000
  16. LB Dakoda Watson(Street Free Agent): 1 year/$745,000. Deal qualifies for Minimum Salary Benefit lowering cap hit of salary from $745,000 to $585,000
  17. CB Derek Cox(Street Free Agent): 1 year/$745,000. Deal qualifies for Minimum Salary Benefit lowering cap hit of salary from $745,000 to $585,000
  18. QB Matt Flynn(Street Free Agent): 1 year/$950,000. Deal qualifies for Minimum Salary Benefit lowering cap hit of salary from $870,000 to $585,000
  19. WR Chris Harper (UDFA): 3 year/$1,590,000 deal including $15,000 signing bonus and $5,000 of 2015 salary fully guaranteed. Harper’s 2015 cap number is $440,000
  20. CB Jimmy Jean (UDFA): 3 year/$1,580,000 deal including a $5,000 signing bonus. Dean’s 2015 cap number is $436,666
  21. S Brandon King (UDFA): 3 year/$1,578,000 deal including a $3,000 signing bonus. King’s 2015 cap number is $436,000
  22. CB Eric Patterson (UDFA): 3 year/$1,575,000. Patterson’s 2015 cap number is $435,000
  23. DT Vince Taylor (UDFA): 3 year/$1,577,500 deal including $2,500 signing bonus. Taylor’s 2015 cap number is $437,500
  24. C David Andrews (UDFA): 3 year/$1,590,000 including $15,000 signing bonus. Andrews’ 2015 cap number is $440,000
  25. WR Devin Gardner (UDFA): 3 year/$1,580,000 deal including $5,000 signing bonus and $10,000 of 2015 salary fully guaranteed. Gardner’s 2015 cap number was $436,666. Waived by the Patriots on May 18th. Claimed by the Steelers who are now responsible for the $10,000 guaranteed salary
  26. WR Zach D’Orazio (UDFA): 3 year/$1,575,500 deal. D’ Orazio’s 2015 cap number is $435,000
  27. CB Tarell Brown (Street Free Agent): 1 year/$2,000,000 deal including $400,000 signing bonus, $1 million salary, $100,000 53-man roster bonus and $500,000 in LTBE playing-time incentives. Tarell Brown’s 2015 cap number is $2,000,000.

Patriots 2015 DRAFT PICKS
1. First round: Own pick, No. 32 overall (Malcom Brown)
2. Second round: Own pick, No. 32 in round, 64th overall (Jordan Richards)
Third round: Own pick, No. 32 in round (96th overall) Traded to Cleveland Browns as part of a May 1 draft day trade
3. Third round: Compensatory pick for loss of Aqib Talib, No. 33 in round, 97th overall (Geneo Grissom)
4. Fourth round: Buccaneers – acquired as part of the Logan Mankins trade, 2nd in round,101st overall (Trey Flowers)
5. Fourth round: Browns – acquired as part of a May 1 draft day trade. 12th in round, 111st overall (Tre’ Jackson)
6. Fourth round: Own pick, No. 32 in round, 131st overall (Shaq Mason)
7. Fourth round: Packers – acquired as part of a May 2 draft day trade. 30th in round, 166th overall (Joe Cardona)
Patriots’ fifth round assigned selection – Traded to the Buccaneers as part of the Jonathan Casillas trade
8. Sixth round: Buccaneers – acquired as part of the Jonathan Casillas trade, 2nd in round, 178th overall (Matthew Wells)
9. Sixth round: Browns – acquired as part of a May 1 draft day trade. 26th in round, 202nd overall (A.J. Derby)
Patriots’ sixth round assigned selection – Traded to the Titans as part of the Akeem Ayers trade
10. Seventh round: Packers – acquired as part of a May 2 draft day trade. 30th in round, 247th overall (Darryl Roberts)
Patriots’ seven round assigned selection – Traded to the Eagles as part of the Greg Salas trade
11. Seventh round: Compensatory pick for loss of Dane Fletcher, No. 36 in round, 253rd overall (Xzavier Dickson).

Recapping the Patriots draft day trades.

  1. Traded the 96th and the 219th pick to the Cleveland Browns for the 111st pick (Tre’ Jackson), 147th pick (later traded to Packers), and 202nd (A.J. Derby).
  2. Traded the 147th pick to the Packers for the 166th pick (Cardona) and the 247th pick (Roberts)

If you wish to learn more about the 2015 rookie pool and these player’s 2015 cap hits please review this blog post that covers that material.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Re-signed/extensions/restructures

Jerod Mayo(restructure): Lowered 2015 salary from $6.25 million to $1.5 million while receiving a $3,000,000 signing bonus. His 2015 46-man active roster was eliminated along with his 2015 offseason workout bonus. He now has $1,500,000 in playing-time incentives (85% of defensive snaps) that is also tied to an unknown team incentive. receptions. Mayo’s 2016 salary was lowered from $7.25 million to $3.25 million. Mayo’s 2017 salary was lowered from $8.75 million to $6.75 million.In 2016 and in 2017 Jerod Mayo could earn up to $500,000 in 46-man active roster bonus ($31,250 per game). In 2016 and in 2017 Jerod Mayo has a $250,000 offseason workout bonus. In 2016 Jerod Mayo has a $4 million roster bonus that is tied to an option for the 2016 season. The roster bonus is due at the beginning of the 2016 League Year. In 2017 Jerod Mayo has a $2 million roster bonus that is tied to an option for the 2017 season. The $2 million roster bonus is due at the beginning of the 2017 League Year. For more information about Mayo’s restructure please review this blog post.

Jerod Mayo’s Old Deal
2015 2016 2017
Salary 6,250,000 7,250,000 8,750,000
46-man active Roster Bonus 187,500 500,000 500,000
2012 Option Bonus Proration 2,400,000 2,400,000
2011 Signing Bonus Proration 1,200,000
Offseason Workout Bonus 250,000 250,000 250,000
Pro Bowl Incentive
Start of League Year Roster Bonus
2015 3M Signing Bonus Proration
Totals 10,287,500 10,400,000 9,500,000
300,000 Pro Bowl incentive is NLTBE
Jerod Mayo’s New Deal
2015 2016 2017
Salary 1,500,000 3,250,000 6,750,000
46-man active Roster Bonus 500,000 500,000
2012 Option Bonus Proration 2,400,000 2,400,000
2011 Signing Bonus Proration 1,200,000
Offseason Workout Bonus 250,000 250,000
Pro Bowl Incentive
Start of League Year Roster Bonus 4,000,000 2,000,000
2015 3M Signing Bonus Proration 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Totals 6,100,000 11,400,000 10,500,000

–WR Danny Amendola (restructure): Lowered 2015 salary from $4 million to $1.25 million while receiving $500,000 signing bonus. Replaces $500,000 receptions NLTBE incentive with $750,000 playing-time NLTBE incentive. Amendola played in 40% of the offensive snaps in 2014. The terms of the 2016 and 2017 contract years were not changed.

Amendola’s Old Deal
2015 2016 2017
Salary 4,000,000 5,000,000 6,000,000
2013 Signing Bonus Proration 1,200,000 1,200,000 1,200,000
Roster Bonus 500,000 500,000 500,000
Cap Number 5,700,000 6,700,000 7,700,000
Cash Received 4,500,000 5,500,000 6,500,000
Amendola’s New Deal
2015 2016 2017
Salary 1,250,000 5,000,000 6,000,000
2013 Signing Bonus Proration 1,200,000 1,200,000 1,200,000
2015 Signing Bonus Proration 166,666 166,666 166,668
Roster Bonus 500,000 500,000 500,000
Cap Number 3,116,666 6,866,666 7,866,668
Difference 2,583,334 -166,666 -166,668
Cash Received 2,250,000 5,500,000 6,500,000
Cash Difference -($2,250,000) 0 0

–DE Rob Ninkovich (restructure): Lowered 2015 salary from $2.1 million to $1.5 million while receiving $3,000,000 signing bonus. Eliminated 2015/2016 playing-time and Pro Bowl incentives. Increased 46-man active roster bonus from $250,000 to $400,000.

Ninkovich’s Old Deal
2015 2016
Salary 2,100,000 1,500,000
LTBE Playing-Time Incentive 250,000 1,650,000
2013 Signing Bonus Proration 1,250,000 1,250,000
Workout Bonus 100,000 100,000
Roster Bonus 250,000 300,000
Totals 3,950,000 4,800,000
Cash Received 2,700,000 3,550,000
Ninkovich’s New Deal
2015 2016
Salary 1,500,000 1,500,000
2013 Signing Bonus Proration 1,250,000 1,250,000
2015 Signing Bonus Proration 1,500,000 1,500,000
Roster Bonus 400,000 400,000
Workout Bonus 100,000 100,000
LTBE Playing-Time Incentive
Cap Number 4,750,000 4,750,000
Difference 800,000 -50,000
Cash Received 5,000,000 2,000,000
Cash Difference 2,300,000 -1,550,000

–WR Brian Tyms (ERFA; re-signed): 1 year/$600,000 including $15,000 offseason workout bonus
–DT Sealver Siliga (ERFA; re-signed): 1 year/$660,000
–TE/FB James Develin (ERFA; re-signed): 1 year/$660,000
LB Chris White (UFA; re-signed): 1 year/$795,000 including $50,000 signing bonus. Deal qualifies for Minimum Salary Benefit lowering cap hit of salary from $745,000 to $585,000. Chris White’s 2015 cap number is $635,000
–S Devin McCourty (UFA; re-signed): 5 years/$47.5 million. $22 million fully guaranteed. $15 million signing bonus.
–K Stephen Gostkowski (UFA; franchise tagged and then extended): 4 year/$17.2 million. $1.8 million salary.$100,000 offseason workout bonus. $6 million signing bonus. 2015 and 2016 salaries fully guaranteed.
DT Alan Branch (UFA; resigned): 2 years/$6.6 million maximum value, $700,000 signing bonus
LB James Morris (ERFA – resigned): 1 yr/$435,000
Dax Swanson (CB) (2014 Practice Squad member – signed): 1 yr, $435,000
Jake Bequette (DE) (2014 Practice Squad member – signed): 1 yr, $585,000
Chris Barker (OG) (2014 Practice Squad member – signed): 1 yr, $510,000
Caylin Hauptmann (OT) (2014 Practice Squad member – signed): 1 yr, $510,000
Eric Martin (LB) (2014 Practice Squad member – signed): 1 yr, $585,000
Jonathan Krause (WR) (2014 Practice Squad member – signed): 1 yr, $445,000, $10,000 signing bonus
Deontae Skinner (LB) (2014 Practice Squad member – signed): 1 yr, $510,000
Justin Green (CB) (2014 Practice Squad member – signed): 1 yr, $435,000
Garrett Gilbert (QB) (2014 Practice Squad member – signed): 1 yr, $445,000, $10,000 offseason workout bonus

Subtractions

  1. LB Akeem Ayers (UFA: St. Louis Rams): 2 years/$6 million, $2.75 million guaranteed)
  2. CB Brandon Browner (UFA; New Orleans): 3 years/$15 million contract
  3. RB Shane Vereen (UFA; New York Giants): 3 years/$12.35 million, $4.75 million guaranteed
  4. LB Jonathan Casillas (UFA;New York Giants): 3 years/$8 million, $2.975 million guaranteed
  5. DT Vince Wilfork (UFA; Houston): 2 years/$10 million, $5 million guaranteed
  6. CB Darrelle Revis (UFA; New York Jets: 5 years/$70 million, $39 million guaranteed
  7. RB Stevan Ridley
  8. CB Kyle Arrington
  9. CB Alfonzo Dennard
  10. LB Cameron Gordon
  11. WR Devin Gardner
  12. Kevin Dorsey
  13. Chimdi Chewka

As of June 21 the Patriots have $14,017,976 (9.70% of their adjusted cap) in dead money. To see a complete list of the players on the dead money list please see this blog post.
Unsigned free agents

  1. LS Danny Aiken
  2. G Dan Connolly (retired)
  3. WR Greg Orton (non-tendered as ERFA)

If you wish to see the current roster status (72 players total) of the defending Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots please review this blog post.

The below table attempts to show that the total cash outlay made to free agents or through re-signings. It also shows the amount of guarantees received by the player.

Name 2015 Cash 2015Cap Full Guarantee Total Guarantee
McCourty, Devin $18,000,000 $6,000,000 $22,000,000 $28,500,000
Sheard, Jabaal $6,000,000 $4,000,000 $5,500,000 $6,000,000
Gostkowski, Stephen $8,100,000 $3,600,000 $10,100,000 $10,100,000
Chandler, Scott $3,250,000 $2,250,000 $2,000,000 $2,000,000
Branch, Alan $2,100,000 $2,150,000 $700,000 $700,000
Brown, Tarell $2,000,000 $2,000,000 $400,000 $400,000
Fletcher, Bradley $2,131,250 $1,481,250 $550,000 $550,000
Cox, Derek $745,000 $585,000
McClain, Robert $1,090,000 $1,090,000 $300,000 $300,000
Freeny, Jonathan $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Gibson, Brandon $825,000 $665,000 $40,000 $40,000
Flynn, Matt $950,000 $665,000 $20,000 $20,000
White, Chris $795,000 $635,000 $50,000 $50,000
Cadet, Travaris $775,000 $742,500 $62,500 $62,500
Johnson, Antonio $755,000 $595,000
Watson, Dekoda $745,000 $585,000
Fletcher, Dane $825,000 $665,000 $20,000 $20,000
Develin, James $660,000 $660,000
Siliga, Sealver $660,000 $660,000
Tyms, Brian $600,000 $600,000
Martin, Eric $595,000 $595,000
Bequette, Jake $585,000
Lewis, Dion $585,000
Vellano, Joe $585,000
Barker, Chris $510,000
Hauptmann, Caylin $510,000
Skinner, Deontae $510,000
Green, Justin $435,000
Johnson, Rufus $435,000
Krause, Jonathan $435,000 $10,000 $10,000
Morris, James $435,000
Swanson, Daxton $435,000
Totals $58,496,250 $31,223,750 $41,7652,500 $48,752,500

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

2016 Free Agency

  • The Pats will have until the start of the 2016 League to make ERFA tender offer to these potentional ERFAs (Josh Boyce, Jordan Devey, Chris Barker, Caylin Hauptmann, Jonas Gray, Joe Vellano, James Morris, Kevin Hughes, Jonathan Krause, Justin Green, Daxton Swanson, and Rufus Johnson). The tender offer equals the minimum salary for a player with the amount of credited seasons.
  • The Pats will have until the start of the 2016 League Year to these potential RFAs (Josh Kline, James Develin, Dion Lewis, Brian Tyms,  Sealver Siliga, and Darius Fleming). The 2015 tenders were $3.354 million for the 1st round tender, $2.356 million for the 2nd round tender, and $1.542 million for original round tenders. The minimum increase is 5%. The maximum increase is 10%.
  • As of July  30th these Patriots will become UFAs after the 2015 season (Tarell Brown, Ryan Wendell, Nate Solder, LeGarrette Blount, Michael Hoomanawanui, Matt Flynn, Brandon Gibson, Stephen Gostkowski, Nate Ebner, Chris White, Bradley Fletcher, Robert McClain, Tavon Wilson, Antonio Johnson, Derek Cox, Jonathan Freeny, Dane Fletcher, and Dekoda Watson)

 

2016 Draft

OvertheCap.Com’s Nick Korte projects that the Patriots will receive a 3rd round compensatory pick in 2016 as well as 3 6th round compensatory picks. The Patriots received the Houston Texans’ 2016 7th round pick as part of the Ryan Mallett trade. The Patriots lost their 2016 first round pick as part of their punishment for violations of the NFL Policy on Integrity of the Game and Enforcement of Competitive Rules relating to the use of under-inflated footballs in the 2014 AFC Championship Game and their failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation.

As of June 21 the Patriots will enter the 2016 draft with 11 draft picks
First round: Taken away by the NFL
1. Second round: Own pick
2. Third round: Own pick
3. Third round: Compensatory pick for loss of Darrelle Revis. 97th overall
4. Fourth round: Own pick
5. Fifth round: Own pick
6. Sixth round: Own pick
7. Sixth round: Compensatory pick for loss of Vince Wilfork.
8. Sixth round: Compensatory pick for loss of Shane Vereen.
9. Sixth round: Compensatory pick for loss of Akeem Ayers.
10.Seventh round: Texans – acquired as part of the Ryan Mallett trade
11.Seventh round: Own pick

You can see a timeline of upcoming events in my Patriots calendar salary cap post.

You can follow me on Twitter at @patscap.

A call for a donation

A long-time family friend, my youngest sister’s best friend, is on the board of directors of a soup kitchen and food pantry in Malden, Massachusetts that serves over 400 low-income and homeless families per month. I am asking that if you have found my salary cap pages/blogs 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. Thanks so much!!!

Updating my 2015 Patriots salary cap picture right before training camp begins.

Right now, the total Patriot 2015 cap commitments is $135,723,096. The 2015 Patriots adjusted cap number is $144,578,084. The Patriots 2015 adjusted cap number of $144,578,084 minus cap commitment of $135,723,096 equals $8,854,988 in cap space with 90 signed players

September 5 Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non- Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List. 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 Jonathan Freeny ($850,000 in salary) does not make the team and is replaced by Geneo Grissom ($435,000 in salary). This would free $415,000 in cap room for the Patriots. If Tyler Gaffney makes the team instead of Tavaris Cadet, that would create $275,000 in cap space. If Jordan Richards makes the 53-man roster instead of Tavon Wilson, that would create $530,166 in cap space. If A.J. Derby makes the 53-man roster instead of Michael Hoomanawanui, that would create $665,000 in cap space With just 4 those roster decisions the Patriots could create over $1,885,166 in cap space when the rosters are cut down to 53 players.
September 5 Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53,Tom Brady and LeGarrette Blount’s suspensions begin.
The Patriots will receive the below credit on their 2015 salary cap depending on how Tom Brady is suspended for

  • 0 games- $0
  • 1 game – $470,588.24
  • 2 games – $941,176.47
  • 3 games – $1,411,764.71
  • 4 games – $1,882,352.94

The Patriots will receive a $44,118 credit when LeGarrette Blount’s suspension kicks in

September 6 Beginning at 12:00 p.m., New York time, clubs may establish a Practice Squad of ten players. A player is eligible if he does not have an accrued season of NFL experience. Players gain an accrued season by being on the active roster for at least six games. If a player has one accrued season, they can still be practice squad eligible if they were on the 46-man active game-day roster for less than nine regular season games. Under the new 2014 NFL rules, teams may sign no more than two players up to two accrued seasons. A player is deemed to have served a season on the practice squad if he remains on the practice squad for at least six weeks. Players are eligible to be on the practice squad for two seasons. Players can be eligible for a third practice squad season if their team maintains no less than 53 players on the active/inactive list at all times. The minimum salary for a practice squad player is $6,600. $6,600 * 10 * 17 = $1,122,000. Since the Patriots have typically pay some of their practice squad players more than the minimum and sometimes have less than 10 players on their practice squad, I will use $1.25 million for budgeting purposes. If you wish to see the list of the Patriots eligible to be placed on the 2015 practice squad please see this blog post.
September 6 Final day of preseason training camp for all clubs, as defined in CBA Article 23, Section 9.
September 9 At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for all NFL Player Contracts, Practice Player Contracts, tender offers, and miscellaneous amounts to fit within each Club’s 2015 Salary Cap, in anticipation of the midnight expiration of the Top 51 Rule. The Patriots will need another $870,000 in cap space to pay the salaries of players 52, and 53. The Patriots typically have a $2 to $4 million cushion to replace players placed on IR and to reach injury settlements with players. Under the new CBA the Patriots have placed the following amounts of players on Injured Reserve or NFI (Non Football Injury)

  • 2011 – 12
  • 2012 – 11
  • 2013 – 13
  • 2014 – 10

The Patriots usually sign 1 to 2 players to extensions during the regular season taking anywhere between 1 to 2 million in cap space. Based on what happened last year the Patriots will have a $1.4 million cushion for NLBE incentives that are likely to be earned in 2015.

  • Sebastian Vollmer’s $62,500 46-man active roster which totals $62,500 since Vollmer played in 15 games in 2014
  • Julian Edelman’s $46,875 46-man active roster which totals $93,750 since Edelman played in 14 games in 2014
  • Bradley Fletcher’s $18,750 46-man active roster which totals $18,750 since Fletcher played in 15 games in 2014
  • Alan Branch’s $25,000 46-man active roster which totals $200,000 since Branch played in 8 games in 2014
  • Ryan Wendell’s $12,500 46-man active roster which totals $175,000 since Wendell played in 14 games in 2014
  • Vollmer’s 90% playing-time incentive – $1,000,000

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

Current cap space – $8,850,000
Players 52, 53, and practice squad (-$2,120,000) – early September
Robichaud roster effect – ($2,300,000). 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 (-$3,000,000) – Also early September
Cushion for reached NLTBE incentives (-$1,400,000) – Also early September
Cushion for in-season extensions (-$2,000,000) – Also early September
Credit for LeGarette Blount’s suspension ($45,000) – 1st week of regular season
Credit for Tom Brady’s suspension ($1,900,000) – 1st week of regular season

8,850,000 (Current cap space)
-2,120,000 (paying for players 52, 53 and practice squad)
+2,300,000 (Robichaud roster effect)
-3,000,000 (Replacing injured players)
-1,400,000 (Cushion for reached NLTBE incentives)
-2,000,000 (Cushion for in-season extensions)
+45,000 (Blount suspension credit)
+1,900,000 (Brady suspension credit)
===========
$4,575,000

Therefore, the Patriots would probably like to enter Week 1 with about 4 to 6 million in cap space.

shows that the Patriots have about 5 million in cap space to account for any future free agent signings. That is, they could sign one free agent to a $5.585 million deal today and still account for the above contingencies

The Patriots are currently under their 2015 cap by $8.85 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.

1.) Extend Nate Solder for a net cap savings of $4.088 million. I would use the deal struck between the Arizona Cardinals and Jared Veldheer in March of 2014 as a template. 5 year, $40 million deal. $8 million signing bonus. $500,000 each year in 46-man active roster bonuses.

  • 2015 – $8m signing bonus, $1.25m fully guaranteed salary, $500,000 in 46-man active roster bonuses. 3.35 million cap number
  • 2016 – $5.75 million salary. $4 million guaranteed for injury at start of deal, becomes fully guaranteed at the start of 2016 season. $500,000 in 46-man active roster bonuses. $7.85 million cap number
  • 2017/2018/2019 – $7.5 million salary. $500,000 in 46-man active roster bonuses. $9.1 million cap number.

As rich as this deal sounds, this would put Solder among the lowest paid left tackles who are NOT on a rookie contract.

2.) Waive Aaron Dobson
3.) Waive Tavon Wilson
4.) Release Michael Hoomanawanui
5.) Release Jonathan Freeny

Listing the big decisions that the New England Patriots have to make right around the start of the 2016 League Year.

  • Jerod Mayo – The Patriots have a $4 million option on Mayo’s first day of 2016 League Year roster bonus. They must decide to pick up the option or not by the end of the 2015 League Year. Have created a blog post dedicated to examining Jerod Mayo’s restructure
  • Alan Branch – The Patriots have a $400,000 option on Branch’s first day of 2016 League Year roster bonus. They must decide to pick up the option or not by the end of the 2015 League Year. Have created a blog post dedicated to examining Alan Branch’s deal with the Patriots
  • Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower’s 2016 options which are now guaranteed for injury only become fully guaranteed on 4PM, March 15th.
  • Nate Solder  – Nate Solder is the most likely Patriot to receive the franchise tag in 2016. On October 12th, 2014 CBS Sportline’s Jason LaCanfora reported that the percentage that was used to determine the franchise tag number for offensive lineman was 9.034%. For ease of discussion, let’s use 9% for 2016. The below table lists the possible franchise tag numbers for Solder if the league cap is between $150 million and $160 million.
    League Cap Offensive Lineman Tag Number
    $150,000,000 $13,500,000
    $152,500,000 $13,750,000
    $154,000,000 $13,860,000
    $155,000,000 $13,950,000
    $157,500,000 $14,175,000
    $160,000,000 $14,400,000
  • The Pats will have until the start of the 2016 League to make ERFA tender offer to these potentional ERFAs (Josh Boyce, Jordan Devey, Chris Barker, Caylin Hauptmann, Jonas Gray, Joe Vellano, James Morris, Casey Walker, Jonathan Krause, Justin Green, Daxton Swanson, Eric Kettani, Mark Asper, Mason Brodine, L.J. Fort, A.J. Pataiali’i and Rufus Johnson). The tender offer equals the minimum salary for a player with the amount of credited seasons.
  • The Pats will have until the start of the 2016 League Year to these potential RFAs (Josh Kline, James Develin, Dion Lewis, Brian Tyms, Sealver Siliga, and Darius Fleming). The 2015 tenders were $3.354 million for the 1st round tender, $2.356 million for the 2nd round tender, and $1.542 million for original round tenders. The minimum increase is 5%. The maximum increase is 10%.
  • Rob Gronkowski – The Patriots will have until the start of the 2016 League to pick up Gronkowski’s $6 million option bonus. If they do, he will be signed through the 2019 season. As it stands right now, Gronk will have the 9th highest cap hit for a tight end in 2016, 7th highest in 2017, and the highest in both 2018 and 2019. The option bonus was originally $10 million but on July 30th the Patriots paid Gronkowski $4 million. Source for Gronk’s rankings: http://www.overthecap.com. If the Patriots do not, Gronk will become a free agent at the start of the 2016 League Year and the Patriots can not place the franchise tag on him.
  • Jabaal Sheard – $500,000 of Sheard’s 2016 salary becomes fully guaranteed the 5th day of the 2016 league year.

You can follow me on Twitter at @patscap.

A call for a donation

A long-time family friend, my youngest sister’s best friend, is on the board of directors of a soup kitchen and food pantry in Malden, Massachusetts that serves over 400 low-income and homeless families per month. I am asking that if you have found my salary cap pages/blogs 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. Thanks so much!!!

Listing the big decisions that the New England Patriots have to make right around the start of the 2016 League Year.

  • Jerod Mayo – The Patriots have a $4 million option on Mayo’s first day of 2016 League Year roster bonus. They must decide to pick up the option or not by the end of the 2015 League Year. Have created a blog post dedicated to examining Jerod Mayo’s restructure
  • Alan Branch – The Patriots have a $400,000 option on Branch’s first day of 2016 League Year roster bonus. They must decide to pick up the option or not by the end of the 2015 League Year. Have created a blog post dedicated to examining Alan Branch’s deal with the Patriots
  • Nate Solder and Stephen Gostkowski – Nate Solder and Stephen Gostkowski are the two most likely candidates for a franchise tag in 2016. On October 12th, 2014 CBS Sportline’s Jason LaCanfora reported that the percentage that was used to determine the franchise tag number for offensive lineman was 9.034%. For ease of discussion, let’s use 9% for 2016. The below table lists the possible franchise tag numbers for Solder if the league cap is between $150 million and $160 million.
    League Cap Offensive Lineman Tag Number
    $150,000,000 $13,500,000
    $152,500,000 $13,750,000
    $155,000,000 $13,950,000
    $157,500,000 $14,175,000
    $160,000,000 $14,400,000

    It will cost at least $5,428,000 to tag Stephen Gostkowski in 2016. His 2015 salary would be increased by 20% to $5,328,000. Add in his $100,000 offseason workout bonus and you get $5.428 million. If Gostkowksi repeats as a Pro Bowler, add another $50,000 to his 2016 cap number making it $5,478,000.

  • The Pats will have until the start of the 2016 League to make ERFA tender offer to these potentional ERFAs (Josh Boyce, Jordan Devey, Chris Barker, Caylin Hauptmann, Jonas Gray, Joe Vellano, James Morris, Kevin Hughes,  Jonathan Krause, Justin Green, Daxton Swanson, and Rufus Johnson). The tender offer equals the minimum salary for a player with the amount of credited seasons.
  • The Pats will have until the start of the 2016 League Year to these potential RFAs (Josh Kline, James Develin, Dion Lewis, Brian Tyms, Ryan Allen, Sealver Siliga, and Darius Fleming). The 2015 tenders were $3.354 million for the 1st round tender, $2.356 million for the 2nd round tender, and $1.542 million for original round tenders. The minimum increase is 5%. The maximum increase is 10%.
  • Rob Gronkowski – The Patriots will have until the start of the 2016 League to pick up Gronkowski’s $10 million option bonus. If they do, he will be signed through the 2019 season. As it stands right now, Gronk will have the 9th highest cap hit for a tight end in 2016, 7th highest in 2017, and the highest in both 2018 and 2019. Source for Gronk’s rankings: http://www.overthecap.com. If the Patriots do not, Gronk will become a free agent at the start of the 2016 League Year and the Patriots can not place the franchise tag on him.
  • Jabaal Sheard – $500,000 of Sheard’s 2016 salary becomes fully guaranteed the 5th day of the 2016 league year.

You can follow me on Twitter at @patscap.

A call for a donation

A long-time family friend, my youngest sister’s best friend, is on the board of directors of a soup kitchen and food pantry in Malden, Massachusetts that serves over 400 low-income and homeless families per month. I am asking that if you have found my salary cap pages/blogs 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. Thanks so much!!!

Starting right before the draft I started to hear questions about the salary cap ramifications of La’el Collins going undrafted. La’el Collins was widely projected to be selected in the first round before the news of the death of his former girlfriend. This blog will attempt to answer those questions and hopefully provide same clarity to a confusing situation.
6:30AM Update – Added the Total Rookie Compensation Pool. Answered four more questions. The Italicized text was added since the first version.

I will be using this abbreviations in this blog post.

LTBE-Likely to Be Earned
NLTBE-Not Likely to Be Earned
UFA-Unrestricted Free Agent: Free to sign with any team
RFA-Restricted Free Agent: Patriots have right to match any offer sheet
ERFA-Exclusive Rights Free Agent: Player has no outside negotiating power
UDFA – Undrafted Free Agent: A player not selected in the draft that he was eligible for.

The next four paragraphs will provide background information.

Per Article 7, Section 3 (a) of the CBA as an undrafted free agent the length of Collins’ contract has to be three years. Quoting the CBA with the emphasis added – “every Rookie Contract shall have a fixed and unalterable contract length:…(iii) three years for Undrafted Rookies. Per Article 7, Section 3 (k) of the CBA as an undrafted free agent Collins is not eligible to redo his UDFA deal until after the 2016 season – “(ii) A Rookie Contract for an Undrafted Rookie may not be renegotiated, amended or altered in any way until after the final regular season game of the player’s second contract year.”

For the 2015 League Year the Undrafted Rookie Reservation for each club is $86,957. The Undrafted Rookie Reservation is the amount paid to Undrafted Rookies as signing bonus or amounts treated as signing bonus given to undrafted rookies. A team has full discretion over how to allocate the $86,957. They can give it to just one player or spread it among several players. Most teams give several of their UDFAs signing bonuses. I have seen various amounts given out by the Patriots as small as $1,000 to Quentin Hines in 2013 to as much as Jeremiah Warren’s $18,000 in 2012. Several UDFAs (Malcolm Butler, for one) did not receive any signing bonuses from their teams, especially if the player makes the team after a tryout.

On a league-wide basis the rookie pool is the total amount of money that can be spent on all rookies, except that the minimum base salaries for undrafted rookies do not count toward the rookie pool. Each team’s rookie pool is its portion of the league-wide total and is determined by the number, round and position of the draft choices it uses, plus one-third of the Undrafted Rookie Reservation. The total slotted 2015 cap number for the Patriots 11 draft picks is $6,639,208. I provide more information about how the rookie pool works in this blog post. The Patriots rookie pool is therefore $6,668,194 ($6,639,208 plus one-third of the $86,957 – $28,986. As Adamjt13 in his 2012 blog about the rookie pool notes “the entire first-year cap numbers for all of a team’s draft choices must fit into its rookie pool, along with any first-year cap charges for undrafted rookies other than their minimum base salaries. When a team signs a drafted player, his first-year cap number does not have to be equal, or even close to, the rookie pool value of the pick used to select him, as long as the team’s combined rookie pool charges for all of its rookies don’t exceed its limit. Therefore, the Patriots could have one or more draft picks under their slotted amounts and allocate the difference to Collins. Because of this I can not now answer the question what could be 2015 Collins’ maximum cap number. I feel safe to say that Collins can not come close to earning as much in 2015/2016/2017 as he would have as a first-round pick. At best he can earn more than some seventh-round picks over the next 3 years.

Total Rookie Compensation Pool means the League-wide limit on the total amount of Rookie Salary for which all Clubs may contract with Drafted and Undrafted Rookies over the entire term of such Rookie Contracts. Total Rookie Allocation means for the Patriots its proportional share of the Total Rookie Compensation Pool, calculated based upon the number, round and position of the Club’s selection choices in the Draft, plus the Undrafted Rookie Reservation.The sum of the Total Rookie Allocations for all Clubs shall equal the Total Rookie Compensation Pool. Therefore, the Patriots are limited by its total rookie allocation how much it can paid its 2015 draft class and its 2015 UDFAs over the length of their rookie contracts.

As you can see from above, there is no indication that there is a limit on how much a salary can be guaranteed. The Patriots along with a good number of the teams fully guaranteed some UDFA’s salaries. In 2012 the Cowboys guaranteed $205,000 of Ron Leary’s salary. The Patriots once fully guaranteed $405,000 of Armond Armstead’s 2013 salary and $225,000 of his 2014 salary when they signed him after he played in Canada.  Under new CBA the largest guarantee ever given to an UDFA by the Patriots was the $211,000 (11,000 signing bonus+200,000 guaranteed salary) given to Jeff Demps in 2012. Could Collins sign a contract that fully guarantee the 2015/2016/2017 salaries? Yes. Please note that all 2015 first round picks will sign contracts that will fully guarantee those 3 seasons. It seems plausible to me that Collins will want to have as much of his salaries guaranteed as he would have had them fully guaranteed as a first round pick.

Collins’ salaries will be $435,000 in 2015, $525,000 in 2016, and $615,000 so at the very minimum he will earn $1,575,000 over the next 3 years as an UDFA. The next couple of paragraphs will examine how he can increase his earnings.

PostSeason Pay:
In 2015 a player could earn as much as $198,000 in postseason pay. He would have to play in the wild card game as a division winner and go on and win the Super Bowl. The maximum a player who had a postseason bye can earn during the playoffs is $173,000. In 2016 a player could earn as much as $210,000 in postseason pay. He would have to play in the wild card game as a division winner and go on and win the Super Bowl. The maximum a player who had a postseason bye can earn during the playoffs is $183,000. In 2017 a player could earn as much as $219,000 in postseason pay. He would have to play in the wild card game as a division winner and go on and win the Super Bowl. The maximum a player who had a postseason bye can earn during the playoffs is $191,000.

Players on Division Winners will be paid $25,000, $27,000, and $28,000 in 2015, 2016, 2017 respectively for their appearance in the Wild Card Game.
Players on Wild Card Teams will be paid $23,000, $24,000, and $26,000 in 2015, 2016, 2017 respectively for their appearance in the Wild Card Game.
Players will be paid $25,000, $27,000 and $28,000 respectively for their appearance in the Divisional Playoff Game.
Players will be paid $44,000, $46,000 and $49,000 respectively for their appearance in the Conference Championship Game
Super Bowl Winners will be paid $102,000, $107,000 and $112,000 respectively.
Super Bowl Losers will be paid $51,000, $53,000 and $56,000 respectively.

Over the next 3 years Collins could earn as much as $627,000 in postseason pay or 40% of the $1,575,000 he will get in salaries.

Performance Based Pay:

Performance-Based Pay is computed by using a “player index.” To produce the index, a player’s regular-season playtime (total plays on offense, defense and special teams) is divided by his adjusted regular-season compensation (full season salary, prorated portion of signing bonus, earned incentives). Each player’s index is then compared to those of the other players on his team to determine the amount of his pay. Players who played a great number of snaps while receiving a smaller amount of cash compensation as compared to their teammates are the biggest recipients of performance-base pay payouts. See https://nfllabor.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/03-13-15-performance-based-pay-2.pdf http://nesn.com/2014/03/patriots-chris-jones-alfonzo-dennard-awarded-big-performance-based-paychecks/ http://blog.masslive.com/patriots/2015/03/bryan_stork_earns_additional_2.html for a listing of recent payouts. If Collins were to join a team that he could play in a great number of snaps each year he could earn over $200,000 each year. 11 players earned over $250,000 in performance-based pay in 2013. 19 did so in 2014.

It is a truism in the NFL that a player’s second contract is the one that he should maximize his contract. Collins after signing an UDFA contract will be allowed to redo his deal after the 2016 season. He is scheduled to become a RFA in 2018. The lowest percentage that the RFA tenders can increase each year is 5%, the maximum is 10%. While Collins can not control the percentage increase he should look to sign with a team that gives him the best chance to become a first-round tender in 2018. In 2018 most 2015 drafted rookies will be playing for a $715,000 salary.

5% increase 2015 2016 2017 2018
Original Round Compensation 1,542,000 1,619,000 1,700,000 1,785,000
Second Round Compensation 2,356,000 2,474,000 2,598,000 2,728,000
First Round Compensation 3,352,000 3,520,000 3,696,000 3,881,000
10% increase 2015 2016 2017 2018
Original Round Compensation 1,542,000 1,696,000 1,866,000 2,053,000
Second Round Compensation 2,356,000 2,592,000 2,851,000 3,136,000
First Round Compensation 3,352,000 3,687,000 4,056,000 4,462,000

As you can see from the above tables, Collins if t

Trying to anticipate questions that the blog post may cause:
1.) Question: As an UDFA is Collins eligible for the Proven Performance escalator? Answer: No. Per the CBA – Undrafted Rookies are not eligible to earn the Proven Performance Escalator
2.) Question: As an UDFA can Collins have any incentives in his contract?Answer: The only incentive that UDFAs are allowed to have in their contracts is a playing-time incentive. The playing-time incentive must be for at least 15% for the rookie year and at least 30% the other years of the contract. Any incentive will be considered LTBE for 2015 and will count against the Patriots’ rookie pool of $6,668,194.
3.) Question: Can Collins’ deal include a promise to redo the deal after two years? Answer: No. The CBA lists in Article 7, Section 3 paragraph 3 13 terms that are allowed to be in a contract. A promise to redo a deal is not one of the thirteen and therefore will be deemed null and void ab initio.
4.) Question: Can Collins’ deal include a clause prohibiting a team from placing a RFA tender after the 2017 season? Answer: No. The CBA lists in Article 7, Section 3 paragraph 3 13 terms that are allowed to be in a contract. A promise to redo a deal is not one of the thirteen and therefore will be deemed null and void ab initio. Interestingly, one of the 13 allowable terms is a clause prohibiting a team from placing the franchise tag on a player.
5.) Question: Why should La’el Collins sign with the Patriots? Answer: Great chance to earn postseason pay the next three years. Good chance to earn a good deal of performance-based pay. Incumbent left tackle Nate Solder not signed past the 2015 season. He would be the best left guard prospect on the Patriots 2015 roster. Patriots have shown that they will pay left guards (see Logan Mankins). Patriots have shown that they will guarantee salary (Armond Armstead). Since Patriots have signed so few UDFAs they may be able to offer him one of the highest signing bonuses.
6.) Question: Why should not La’el Collins sign with the Patriots? Answer: Massachusetts state income tax. Some states (Florida, Washington, Tennessee, Texas) with football teams do not have a state income tax. Vollmer and Cannon have playing-time incentives. Patriots just drafted two guards (Shaq Mason and Tre’ Jackson). On other teams he may have an easier path to excel at the left tackle position. Top-tier left tackles are paid significantly more than right tackles or left guards.
7.) Question: Can Collins’ UDFA contract contain option bonus or a voidable year clause? Answer: Per the CBA, no.
8.) Question: Can Collins’ UDFA contract fully guarantee 2017 season but not the 2016 season? Answer: Per the CBA, no.
9.) Question: Could Collins’ salary increase based on him fulfilling a contingency? Answer: Per the CBA, no.
10.)Question: If the Patriots withdrew their tender to Xavier Dickson could they then use his rookie pool allocation on Collins? Answer: Per the CBA, no. Under this scenario, the Patriots rookie pool would decrease by Dickson’s allocation amount.
11.)Question: Is there a limit on salaries for UDFAs? Current and future years? Answer: Yes. Paying Collins more than the minimum salary will count against the 2015 Rookie Pool and the against the Total Rookie Allocation. Example, if a team paid Collins a $500,000 salary when the rookie salary in 2015 is $435,000. The extra $65,000 would count against the Patriots rookie pool of $6,668,194 and its Total Rookie Allocation.
12.)Question: Is there a limit on incentives for UDFAs? Answer: A practical limit, yes. Paying Collins an incentive will count against the 2015 Rookie Pool and the against the Total Rookie Allocation. Example, if Collins has a $500,000 playing time incentive based on playing in 15% of the offensive snaps in 2015 and 30% in 2016/2017. The $500,000 would count against the 2015 Patriots rookie pool of $6,668,194 and the $1,500,000 will count against its Total Rookie Allocation.
13.)Question: Can the Patriots give Collins 46-man active roster bonuses? Answer: Per the CBA, no.
14.)Question: If Joe Cardona can not play for the Patriots and had not yet signed with the Patriots can the Patriots use his rookie pool allocation on Collins? Answer: Per the CBA, no. Under this scenario, the Patriots rookie pool would decrease by Cardona’s allocation amount.
15.)Question: Can La-el Collins sign an UDFA deal with the Patriots in 2015, be waived by the Patriots in 2016 and had then sign a deal not subject to the Rookie Pool limitations? Answer: Under this scenario, Collins will have to clear waivers first. It is very unlikely that he would so.

2015 New England Patriots eligible for practice squad

Starting at noon September 6 the New England Patriots can build its practice squad, which can consist of up to ten players. Not every player is eligible to be on the practice squad.

Below are the criteria for eight of the ten players:

  1. A player who has not accrued a season of NFL experience is eligible for the practice squad. (e.g. a rookie).
  2. A free agent who was active (46-man game-day roster) for fewer than nine games during their accrued season(s) is eligible for the practice squad (e.g. Tyler Gaffney).
  3. A player cannot be on a practice squad for a third season unless his team has a full 53-man roster.

Note that a player must have a minimum of six games – up from the current three games – on a Practice Squad in order for that season to count as one of the player’s three permissible seasons of Practice Squad service.

Two of the ten players can have up to two accrued seasons of free agency credit. Absent this exception, a player who has earned one or more accrued seasons would not be eligible for a Practice Squad unless the player spent fewer than nine games on a club’s 46-player active list in each of his accrued seasons. Source: http://nflcommunications.com/2014/08/19/nfl-practice-squads-expand-to-10-players/

Note: 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.

Reminder – In order to be placed onto the Patriots practice squad, the player must first clear waivers.

This year practice squad players will be paid a minimum of $6,600 a week, an increase from $6,300 last year. $6,600 * 10 players * 17 weeks= $1,122,000. On August 7th ESPN’s Dianna Marie Russini tweeted that “clubs can give signing bonus, salary guarantees, and roster bonuses to players on Practice Squad.”

Here is the list of all practice squad eligible Patriots on the team’s current roster and the reason why they are eligible.

Updated on September 1 to add Jalen Saunders and Davaris Daniels

Updated on August 18th to add Asante Cleveland.

Updated on August 15th to add Casey Walker

  1. Malcolm Butler (One accrued season)
  2. Dominique Easley (One accrued season)
  3. Cameron Fleming (One accrued season)
  4. Darius Fleming (One accrued season with less than 9 games on 46-man roster)
  5. Jimmy Garoppolo (One accrued season)
  6. Josh Kline (Two accrued seasons with one of them being less than 9 games on 46-man roster)
  7. Zach Moore (One accrued season)
  8. Sealver Siliga (Patriots must have a full 53-man roster since Siliga has played on a practice squad for two seasons)
  9. Bryan Stork (One accrued season)
  10. James White (One accrued season)
  11. James Develin (two accrued seasons) (Eligible because of new rules)
  12. Aaron Dobson (two accrued seasons) (Eligible because of new rules)
  13. Ryan Allen (two accrued seasons) (Eligible because of new rules)
  14. Jamie Collins (two accrued seasons) (Eligible because of new rules)
  15. Chris Jones (two accrued seasons) (Eligible because of new rules)
  16. Logan Ryan (two accrued seasons) (Eligible because of new rules)
  17. Duron Harmon (two accrued seasons)(Eligible because of new rules)
  18. Jonas Gray (One accrued season. One practice squad season)
  19. James Morris (One accrued season)
  20. Daxton Swanson (One accrued season with less than 9 games on 46-man roster. One practice squad season)
  21. Malcom Brown (rookie)
  22. Jordan Richards (rookie)
  23. Geneo Grissom (rookie)
  24. Trey Flowers (rookie)
  25. Tre’ Jackson (rookie)
  26. Shaq Mason (rookie)
  27. Joe Cardona (rookie)
  28. Darryl Roberts (rookie)
  29. Xzavier Dickson (rookie)
  30. David Andrews (rookie)
  31. Chris Harper (rookie)
  32. Brandon King (rookie)
  33. Mark Asper (no accrued seasons and no practice squad season)
  34. Eric Martin (two accrued seasons)
  35. Caylin Hauptmann (No accrued seasons)
  36. Rufus Johnson (One practice squad season)
  37. Zach D’Orazio (rookie)
  38. Asante Cleveland (one accrued season with less than 9 games on 46-man roster)
  39. A.J. Pataiali’l (one practice squad season)
  40. Casey Walker (One accrued season with less than 9 games on 46-man roster and one practice squad season).
  41. Chris Martin (one practice squad season)
  42. Ryan Lindley (one accrued season)
  43. Dion Lewis (two accrued seasons)
  44. Mike Williams (one practice squad season)
  45. Jalen Saunders (one accrued season)
  46. Davaris Daniels (rookie)

Players waived by Patriots in 2015 who are eligible to be placed on the practice squad

  • Tyler Ott (No accrued seasons. No practice squad season)
  • Deontae Skinner (One accrued season with less than 9 games on 46-man roster)
  • Michael Buchanan (two accrued seasons)
  • Tim Wright (two accrued seasons)
  • Kevin Dorsey (Two accrued seasons with less than 9 games on 46-man roster.)
  • Devin Gardner (rookie)
  • Eric Patterson (rookie)
  • Garrett Gilbert (one practice squad season)
  • Tim Wright (two accrued seasons)
  • Logan Stokes (rookie)
  • L.J. Ford (rookie)
  • Jordan Devey (one accrued season with less than 9 games on 46-man roster and one practice-squad season)
  • Eric Kettani (No accrued seasons. No practice squad season)
  • Jimmy Jean (Rookie)
  • Mark Asper (no accrued seasons and no practice squad season)
  • Cameron Gordon (one accrued season)
  • Jimmay Mundine (rookie)
  • Joe Vellano (one accrued season. One Practice squad season)
  • Chris Barker (One accrued season with less than 9 games on 46-man roster, one practice squad season)
  • D.J. Lynch (rookie)Players who are ineligible for the practice squad because they have been placed on Injured Reserve
    1. A.J. Derby
    2. Tyler Gaffney
    3. Brian Tyms
    4. Kevin Hughes
    5. Jake Bequette
    6. Josh Boyce
    7. Jonathan Krause

With Brian McFarland’s @Ravenssalarycap permission I am using his fine work at
http://russellstreetreport.com/2014/05/06/baltimore-ravens-salary-cap/an-explanation-of-how-the-rookie-salary-cap-really-work/
as a template for this blog post.

Updated on May 5 with exact numbers as provided by Mike Reiss

Soon after the 2015 NFL draft is completed, the league will announce each team’s “Year One Rookie Allocation” (formerly known as the “Rookie Pool” or “Rookie Salary Cap”). This is an oft misunderstood number, because while it is part of the team’s Salary Cap, it does not have a dollar-for-dollar impact on the team’s overall Salary Cap.

The Rookie Salary Cap is often referred to as “a cap within a cap” because it limits the amount that teams can allocate to their rookies in the year they were drafted (and over the life of the rookies’ contracts). But, beyond that, there is a lot of confusion about the Rookie Salary Cap and exactly how it works. Even some in the media do not fully understand the mechanics of it. Some have been heard to say that it’s a totally separate pool of money that is not included in the team’s overall Cap. Others think the entire amount of the Rookie Cap is included in the team’s overall Cap, meaning that teams will need that much overall Cap space to sign their rookies.

Both of those characterizations are incorrect.

The Rookie Cap is not a separate, distinct pool, but rather, a separate calculation and there is not a dollar-for-dollar correlation between the Rookie Cap and the overall Cap. So, while all of the Salary Cap numbers of a team’s draft picks must fit under the team’s Rookie Salary Cap, very rarely will all of that amount actually impact the team’s overall Salary Cap.

The reason for these misconceptions revolves around the Rule of 51, which is contained in Article 13 of the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Rule of 51 dictates that, from the beginning of the league year in early March until the beginning of the season, only the top 51 Salary Cap numbers and all of the pro-rata shares of bonus money for the players outside of the top 51 count toward the team’s overall Cap. All “dead money,” i.e. amounts that count against the Salary Cap for players who are no longer on the roster, counts as well.

Said a simpler way, during this period of the offseason, a team’s Rule of 51 Salary Cap number can be calculated by removing the base salaries of all players who do not fall amongst the top 51 Cap numbers.

This rule is necessary because, during the offseason, team rosters can number up to 90 players. As such, it would be impossible for teams to fit all of those players under the Cap. So, to counter this problem, the NFL has instituted the Rule of 51.

So, by way of example, there is a seven-way tie for Patriots’s 51st highest Cap number at $585,000. Chris Jones, Jake Bequette, Darius Fleming, Josh Kline, Dion Lewis, Joe Vellano, and Tim Wright all have salaries of $585,000. The 58th highest Cap number (Zach Moore) is $535,550. Because the “58th” highest Cap number doesn’t count against the Cap, Zach Moore’s base salary of $510,000 is not currently counting against the Patriots salary cap but his $25,550 in signing bonus proration does. This treatment also applies to all other players who are outside the team’s top 51 – the player’s base salary will not count but signing bonus prorations and offseason workout bonuses will.

OK, so what does this have to do with how the Rookie Cap works?

First, as way of further explanation, under the CBA of 2011, all draft picks receive 4-year contracts, generally with a signing bonus and often with minimum base salaries set for each year of the deal. While 1st and 2nd round picks may have base salaries of more than the minimum in years two through four of their deals, even those players will almost always receive the rookie minimum base salary during their first year. For 2015, the minimum base salary for a rookie is $435,000. For Salary Cap purposes, the bonus received by the player is prorated over the four years of the deal and that prorated amount is added to the base salary to create the player’s Cap number.

So, because of the low base salary and the small signing bonuses that many of the lower round draft picks receive, those draft picks will not be amongst the top 51 Cap numbers on the Patriots (Patriots had 75 signed or tendered players before the start of the 2015 draft). As such, under the Rule of 51, those players’ base salaries of $435,000 will not count against the teams overall Salary Cap and only the player’s bonus proration will count toward the team’s overall Cap.

So, how will this affect the Patriots in 2015?

As we now know, the Patriots ended up with eleven (11) draft picks in this year’s draft.

With the new CBA’s rookie wage scale, the compensation for draft picks is now basically slotted, so based on the 11 draft picks, the Patriots would likely have a Rookie Cap number of $6,647,733. The below numbers are based on reports that the rookie pool will increase by 15% this year after being essentially frozen the last three (3) years.

Those Cap numbers would breakdown as follows :

1st round (#32- Malcom Brown): $1,384,168

2nd round (#64- Jordan Richards): $674,827

3rd round (#97 – compensatory selection – Geneo Grissom) : $580,487

4th round (#101 – from Buccaneers – part of Logan Mankins trade – Trey Flowers): $574,733

4rd round (#111 – from Browns – part of 2015 draft day trade – Tre Jackson): $565,881

4th round (#131 – Shaq Mason): $545,881

5th round (#166 – from Packers – part of 2015 draft day trade – Joe Cardona Jackson): $482,383

6th round (#178 – from Buccaneers – part of Jonathan Casillas trade – Matthew Wells): $470,973

6rd round (#202 – from Browns through Ravens – part of 2015 draft day trade – A.J. Derby): $463,013

7th round (#247 – from Packers – part of 2015 draft day trade): $448,556

7th round (#253 – compensatory selection – Xzavier Dicksonr): $448,196

Presently, the Patriots ’ bottom 5 Rule of 51 Cap numbers are:

47: Antonio Johnson $595,000 ($585K base salary + 10,000 offseason workout bonus)

48: Eric Martin $595,000 ($585K base salary + 10,000 offseason workout bonus)

49: Ryan Allen $585,500 ($585K base salary + 500 signing bonus proration)

50: Cameron Fleming $585,146 ($510K base salary + $75,146 signing bonus proration)

51: Chris Jones $585,000 ($585K base salary + no bonuses)

Again, the team will need to fit all 11 of the draft picks into its $6.647M Rookie Cap, but will not need that much in overall Cap space to accommodate the signing of its draft picks.

So, based on the above numbers, only the first two (2) picks will have Cap numbers greater than Cameron Fleming’s $585,146, which is the Patriots’ 50th highest Cap number. As such, only those two will be part of the top 51 and, under the Rule of 51, will replace Cameron Fleming and Chris Jones who are currently 50th and 51st on the team’s Cap. Only Cameron Fleming ‘s $75,146 signing bonus proration will remain to count against the Salary Cap.

The Cap numbers of the remaining nine (9) draft picks will fall outside of the top 51, so the base salaries of those players, while counting against the Rookie Cap, will not count against the team’s overall Salary Cap. Only the signing bonus prorations for those players will count.

So, to calculate the exact impact of the Rookie Cap on the team’s overall Cap, the amount of the base salaries – $435K – for each of the lower 9 draft picks ($3.915M) can be deducted from the overall number of $6,647,733. Then, for the top two draft picks, while their Cap numbers do count against the overall Cap (by virtue of being part of the top 51 Cap numbers), they replace Cameron Fleming and Chris Jones so $585K of the duo’s cap numbers will be deducted from the team’s overall Cap.

When those three numbers ($3.915M, $585K and $585K) are deducted from the team’s Rookie Cap ($6,669,733), the true impact of the signing of the team’s rookies – $1,583,140 – is revealed.

So, that is how the Year One Rookie Allocation, a.k.a Rookie Salary Cap – the “cap within a cap” – actually works and demonstrates the actual impact of the Rookie Cap on the team’s overall Salary Cap and how it is fair less than most realize.

Slot Name Salary Prorated Signing Bonus 7/4 Cap Hit 9/10 Cap Hit
32 Brown 435,000 949,224 799,224 1,384,224
64 Richards 435,000 239,827 89,827 674,827
97 Grissom 435,000 145,487 145,487 580,487
101 Flowers 435,000 139,733 139,733 574,733
111 Jackson 435,000 130,935 130,935 565,935
131 Mason 435,000 110,881 110,881 545,881
166 Cardona 435,000 47,383 47,383 482,383
178 Wells 435,000 35,973 35,973 470,973
202 Derby 435,000 28,013 28,013 463,013
247 Roberts 435,000 13,556 13,556 448,556
253 Dickson 435,000 13,196 13,196 448,196
Totals 4,785,000 1,854,208 1,554,208 6,639,208
Player 51 (Chris Jones) on the Patriots currently has a cap number of $585,000

And, despite what some in the media may lead you to believe, that number won’t be anywhere near what the team’s Rookie Cap is reported to be.

Please follow me on Twitter: @patscap

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