by Paul Wanecski
Before we dredge into the only article of the “32 Teams In 32 Days” series that I wasn’t excited to write, allow me to state that it pains me immensely to show that New England has secured the 32nd selection in the NFL draft having won the Super Bowl. I will do my best to write as objective an article as possible. I make no promises.
Working with about $9 million in salary cap space (with only about $5 million figuring they will need to have about $4 million to sign the players in this year’s upcoming draft), the Patriots need to do a little creative management to address the needs this offseason. While it makes the Buffalo Bills fan in me happy to know that they are not in amazing financial position, I know better than to buy the fool’s gold that the state they are in will remain until the lights turn on.
It is with great pleasure I say that the Patriots still are paying OL Logan Mankins in dead money, counting $4 million against 2015.
CB Brandon Browner has a $2 million roster bonus that is paid on the first day of the League Year as well as another $1.6 million in per game active roster bonuses. Both the 2015 and 2016 League Years can void if the Patriots fail to pick up an option on Browner’s contract.
Releasing WR Danny Amendola as a Post-June 1st cut will save $4.5 million.
Releasing CB Kyle Arrington under the Post-June 1st designation will also save $3 million. While Arrington does not really deserve to get his walking papers, they may need to part ways. The team would only gain $1.3 million by trading him.
It was a no-brainer that the Patriots passed on CB Darrell Revis and his $20 million option since they have such limited space.
New England is always a popular landing spot and coming off the Super Bowl victory, this season will be no different. They will need to replenish the CB, DT and WR positions during the offseason. They always look for value. The players they sign will not be blockbuster names simply because they just do not have the space.
The Patriots have had very little luck in drafting impact WRs in the past. They will again need to address this position this off season.
Never one to grab a running back too early in the draft, expect them to dig for a 4th round value since they will be losing two running backs to free agency.
Defensive tackle is the most glaring hole. This will have to be the pick in the 1st round.
Quick Guide to the Rookie Wage Scale (Complete First Round Breakdown)