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Patriots DT Tommy Kelly Restructures Contract, Likely Sticking Around

Veteran defensive tackle Tommy Kelly has restructured his contract to give the Patriots a little bit of extra cap space.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

On a day when the Patriots learned they would likely be losing one veteran defensive tackle in Vince Wilfork, we have some good news on another: Tommy Kelly has restructured his contract and will therefore most likely be sticking around in 2014.

On his current deal, Kelly had up to a $2.5 million cap hit with a $50,000 roster bonus and $500,000 in per game roster bonuses.

Under the new pact, according to documents filed with the NFLPA, Kelly has a $955,000 base salary, $800k in roster bonuses, and a $100k signing bonus - good for a total of $1.85 million.  He also has various playing time incentives that can earn Kelly his original $2.5 million.

In all, this move saves the Patriots a smidge over $850k in cap space.  Not a huge number, but every bit helps.

Because so little is guaranteed to Kelly, the Patriots could cut ties with him at the end of camp with a miniscule hit.  However, if Kelly plays anywhere close to the level he played in 2013 before his knee injury, he won't have any trouble making the team (and likely earning a starting role).