With the initial flurry of free agency over and the NFL's attention having turned from the owners meetings to the draft, the offseason has entered one of its slowest periods. The league never sleeps, though, and there are still developments across its 32 franchises.
Six members of the New England Patriots were part of such today. Because of their contractual structure, all six received deferred signing bonus payments (numbers via the Boston Globe's Ben Volin):
QB Tom Brady: $14.0 million
OT Marcus Cannon: $2.5 million
WR Chris Hogan: $1.0 million
LB Shea McClellin: $800,000
SS Patrick Chung: $800,000
LB Jonathan Freeny: $60,000
The payments themselves have no influence on the Patriots' salary cap space, which currently stands at $21.96 million, as they are simply a tool teams use to manage their cash flow. Tom Brady's $14.0 million check he received today is the best example to explain how this method works.
When Brady signed a 2-year contract extension in March 2016, he received a $28.0 million signing bonus to sweeten the deal. But while the bonus is split up over the remainder of the deal and thus hits the salary cap not all at once, the actual payout happens in installments. The future Hall of Famer received first of those installments – also worth $14.0 million – last year; the second one was paid today.