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NFLPA: Patriots elect to carry over $5.29 million in unused cap money into 2017

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New England is projected to be among the teams with the most salary cap space in 2017 – and will add $5 million to it.

The New England Patriots have some key members of their team entering unrestricted free agency during the 2017 offseason. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower, running back LeGarrette Blount and tight end Martellus Bennett are just three of 13 players who the team has to re-sign in order to keep them in Foxboro next year and possibly beyond.

Luckily for the Patriots, they are projected to be among the teams with the most available salary cap space once the new league year begins in March. According to patscap.com, the team will have around $61.5 million available. This number includes the carryover from this season, which the NFLPA officially announced yesterday:

(c) NFLPA

As the NFLPA’s graphic shows, the Patriots will carry over $5,292,335 in unused 2016 cap space into 2017. This basically means that New England will be able to spend a little over $5 million more than what the actually salary cap number will be. Given that the team has some important players – both starters and key depth options – entering free agency, every available dollar counts.

To put it into perspective, the Patriots’ carryover is the 17th largest in the NFL and the ninth largest in the AFC.