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Patriots salary cap: Pre-draft report

With the draft just days away, we reset the current state of the team’s salary cap.

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images

As the major check points throughout the long NFL offseason come and go, it's prudent to keep up with the state of the team's salary cap. With Thursday's draft now just days away, here is everything you need to know.

A few transactions have taken place in the past week which have impacted the Patriots’ salary cap:

  • 4/18 - Tre’ Jackson released, costing the team $130,935 in space.
  • 4/20 - Gillislee’s offer sheet hit the books, costing the team $3,353,750 in space after he replaced a player making $615,000 in the Top 51.
  • 4/21 - James White’s contract extension hits the books, costing the team $1 million in space.
  • 4/24 - Details regarding Danny Amendola’s restructured contract are released. It created $4.75 million in space.

Patriots 2017 Adjusted Team Cap: $167,560,488

Total Players rostered: 65

Total Contracts: $153,091,902

Top 51 Contracts: $145,703,391

2017 Dead Money: $1,684,560

Cap Space using the Rule of 51: $20,119,026

Going forward, here are some important salary cap costs to remember:

  • According to Miguel Benzan of, with the draft picks the Patriots currently have, signing them will only use cost around $500,000 in space due to the Rule of 51. Even that number should decrease with the loss of the 163rd pick sent to Buffalo in the Mike Gillislee signing.
  • The Patriots spent $1,824,282 on their practice squad in 2016. The minimum cost of maintaining a 10-man practice squad for a 17 week regular season would be $1,224,000 in 2017.
  • Per-game roster bonus tracker: The team will lose $1,339,063 in cap space if every player currently on the roster plays all 16 games in 2017. They currently have 26 players on the roster with per-game active roster bonuses. $9,060,937 is already counting toward this year’s cap because it is considered “likely to be earned” based on how many games those players were active for in 2016.
  • With voluntary workouts starting, players can earn $215 per session. The Patriots typically have 32 sessions. It doesn’t sounds like much, but it adds up quickly. If an entire 90-man roster was present for all 32 sessions with would cost $619,200 against the cap this season.
  • Once the 53-man roster is set, and before the start of the first regular season game, the 52nd and 53rd players lowest salaries will be added to the team’s salary cap. This will use up a minimum of $930,000 in cap space, assuming both players are earning the league minimum ($465,000).
  • Teams typically set aside $3-5 million each season as an injury cushion. Replacing a player who goes on IR with a minimum salaried player will cost $27,353 per week in 2017.

All in all, the Patriots are in tremendous shape. But the question that remains is this: With such an abundance of cap space, what major move, whether in 2017 or 2018, could they be gearing up for?

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