Kuhn will offer depth and experience behind Malcom Brown, Dominique Easley, Alan Branch and Terrance Knighton. However, when it comes to his chances of joining the aforementioned quartet on the Patriots' roster, Kuhn does not come close to the four (near-)roster locks. A closer look at his contract reflects this (via Mike Reiss):
Term: 1 year
Signing bonus: $140,000
Base salary: $760,000
Roster bonus: $300,000 ($18,750 per game if on 46-man game-day roster)
Incentives: $300,000 (classified as not likely to be earned)
Split salary: $428,000
Salary-cap charge: $1.08 million
A look at the numbers shows that New England has to pay Kuhn only $140,000 in guarantees, while the veteran can earn up to $1.5 million if he stays healthy and is able to become a regular contributor on the Patriots' defensive line. This leaves the player with a lot of financial motivation to prove himself, while simultaneously limiting the risk for the club in case Kuhn fails to meet expectations.
The deal is also a risk-averse one for the Patriots in case Kuhn gets injured, as both sides agreed on a split salary: if the 29-year old lands on injured reserve, he would receive "only" $428,000 per week instead of his original salary of $760,000.
Overall, the one-year contract is a fair one for both parties and potential win-win situation for Kuhn and the Patriots.