After finding themselves near the bottom of the league in salary cap space last offseason, the New England Patriots are near the other end of the spectrum in 2023. According to Patriots salary cap expert Miguel Benzan, the team is currently $37.5 million under the projected $225 million cap for the new league year.
Part of that number is the Patriots’ rollover from their 2022 campaign. As recently reported by ESPN’s Field Yates, the team announced that number to be roughly $1.119 million, the 27th highest in the league.
For comparison, the average rollover for the 31 non-Patriots teams was $4.29 million with a median of $2.56 million.
New England being under that number is not necessarily a cause for concern or a reflection of bad bookkeeping, though. More than anything the amount of cap space left is a result of pre-season buildup in combination with in-season expenses.
Signing outside players to replace those on injured reserve, for example, requires additional resources that lower the cap space during the year. New England had to send several players to injured reserve either for the short or the long term after roster cutdown day — including, among others, defensive tackle Christian Barmore and punter Jake Bailey.
At the end of the day, the rollover amount does still not move the needle all too much as far as the Patriots’ 2023 cap space is concerned. They would still have been among the most financially potent teams this offseason, even with that number as small as it is. Not only are their financial commitments for the upcoming league year not all that high — the result of a team rostering a significant number of rookie-deal players — their list of in-house free agents is also not necessarily a star-studded one.
As always, only a team’s top-51 contracts are counted towards the salary cap during the offseason. New England currently has a total of 58 players signed with 22 headed to either unrestricted, restricted or exclusive-rights free agency.