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Contract details show that Kyle Van Noy is a low-risk/high-reward signing for the Patriots

Related: Hunter Henry’s contract follows the example of other Patriots deals this week

Kansas City Chiefs Vs. New England Patriots At Gillette Stadium Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Based on first reports, the New England Patriots spent more than $275 million in total contractual value since the start of the NFL’s legal tampering period on Monday: they signed eleven outside free agents and also kept some of their in-house talent in the building. As always, however, the initially reported numbers show only a fragment of the picture and need more details to be properly assessed.

Those details are becoming available one after the other, with four more contracts now ready to be taken a closer look at: that of linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who returned to New England after a one-year stint with the Miami Dolphins, as well as the extensions signed by defensive tackle Carl Davis as well as core special teamers Nick Folk and Cody Davis.

Let’s take a look at how those deals are built and what that means for New England.

LB Kyle Van Noy: Two years, $11.88 million

  • Salary: $5.1 million
  • Signing bonus: $4.9 million
  • Roster bonuses: $1.9 million
  • Cap numbers: $4.43 million (2021), $7.45 million (2022)

Despite having signed a four-year contract with the Dolphins last free agency that included $30 million in guaranteed money, Van Noy was able to get only a two-year deal in his return to New England with a mere $6 million in guarantees. As is the case with other deals multi-year deals signed by the Patriots, the cap number in 2021 is comparatively small before increasing into the second season. With $3.55 of those guarantees coming off the books after this year’s campaign, however, the team might have an out following Year One. Releasing Van Noy next year would create a dead cap charge of $2.45 million — the remaining signing bonus proration — versus $5 million in savings.

For a more comprehensive breakdown, please take a look at this graphic by Miguel Benzan.

K Nick Folk: One year, $1.63 million

  • Salary: $1.1 million
  • Signing bonus: $125,000
  • Roster bonuses: $400,000
  • Cap numbers: $1.63 million (2021)

Nick Folk’s new contract with the Patriots is relatively straight-forward. The veteran kicker has signed a one-year deal that includes sizable guarantees: his entire salary and, of course, signing bonus are guaranteed. On top of those, he can earn up to 400,000 in bonus money — all of which already counting against the cap this year given that Folk played in all 16 of New England’s games during the 2020 season.

For a more comprehensive breakdown, please take a look at this graphic by Miguel Benzan.

S Cody Davis: Two years, $4.23 million

  • Salary: $2.5 million
  • Signing bonus: $1 million
  • Roster bonuses: $725,000
  • Cap numbers: $1.93 million (2021), $2.3 million (2022)

After signing a one-year, $1.5 million deal in New England last season, Cody Davis was able to get a slighter better deal heading into 2021. The core special teamer has also taken home $2.1 million in guarantees, split between his $1 million signing bonus and $1.1 million salary this season. Accordingly, Davis should be considered a lock to make the team this year.

For a more comprehensive breakdown, please take a look at this graphic by Miguel Benzan.

DT Carl Davis: One year, $1.08 million

  • Salary: $990,000
  • Veteran Benefit salary: $850,000
  • Signing bonus: N/A
  • Roster bonuses: $9,375
  • Cap numbers: $859,375 (2021)

Carl Davis returned to the Patriots on a one-year deal that is qualifying for the NFL’s so-called Veteran Salary Benefit that was included into the new Collective Bargaining Agreement last year. This essentially means that his cap number constitutes not of his normal salary as agreed upon in the deal, but rather that of the veteran’s minimum for a player with two credited seasons on his résumé (i.e. $850,000 in this case). Long story short: Davis will be cheap and not guaranteed a spot on the roster this year.

For a more comprehensive breakdown, please take a look at this graphic by Miguel Benzan.

Patriots analysis

While the deals for Nick Folk, Cody Davis and Carl Davis only carry a relatively small salary cap charge, that of Kyle Van Noy is a bit more expensive: he will carry somewhere between the 12th and 14th highest cap hit on the team, depending on Trent Brown’s yet-to-be-reported contract as well as the designation of Patrick Chung’s retirement as either pre- or post-June 1.

Still, the cost associated with the veteran linebacker is comparatively small given his potential upside in the system. Van Noy can therefore be considered a low-risk/high-reward signing for the Patriots: he will be relatively cheap in both years of his deal, but has the track record and experience in the system to potentially develop into a difference maker this season. He was one before, after all.