Patriots' 2013 Salary Situation: Breaking Down New England's Current Cap Status

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer IMarch 12, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 23:  New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft watches his team during warm ups prior to the start of their game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The New England Patriots are rarely ever big players in the free-agent market, and even with a bit more cap space than usual this year, they're still not in the discussion for any big-name free agents.

That's because a majority of the attention is locked on wide receiver Wes Welker and cornerback Aqib Talib, both of whom are set to hit the open market.

Those deals, and any others, will have a big impact on the team's salary-cap situation.

There's already a good spot for you to grab all the news, rumors, analysis and grades for every move the Patriots make, but what about the contracts themselves? Here, you'll find all the updated contract info as it becomes available, complete with analysis on how it affects the Patriots' salary-cap situation.


Estimated* Cap Space: $13,662,782 [March 22, 1:28 p.m. ET]

*This number can only be as accurate as the information given. Salary cap information is always fluid, and salary data is not always readily available. At times, this will be an approximate guess based on all available information, with serving as the starting point. Spotrac will be used as frequently as possible.

Updated Signings

OT Will Svitek: one-year, $1 million contract (via Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald)

Contract Value Grade: A

Last year's backup left tackle was the starting right tackle. With this signing, the Patriots have added a backup who can fill in at either left or right tackle in a pinch, and who can also line up as an extra offensive tackle in jumbo packages.

CB Aqib Talib: one-year, $5 million contract (via Albert Breer of NFL Network)

Contract Value Grade: A

The Patriots were wary of bringing back Talib for more than one year because of his injury concerns and some off-field issues that have tainted his resumé. Now, they have him in-house on a one-year deal at half the price of the franchise tag. This allows them to get a year-plus read on a talented young cornerback to determine if he would be a good fit for the team for the long-term.


CB Kyle Arrington: four year, $16 million contract (via Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston)

Contract Value Grade: C+

Arrington is an underrated slot corner, but at $4 million a season, his average salary puts him somewhere in the 30's among the NFL's top-paid cornerbacks per year. The structure of the deal is important, but as a slot cornerback, the Patriots may have just set their own market for Aqib Talib. 


S Adrian Wilson: three-year, $5 million contract (via Shalise Manza Young of The Boston Globe)

Contract Value Grade: B+

The Patriots are shopping at Wal-Mart and rolling back prices, this marking just $1.333 million off the cap in his first year. This contract puts him outside the top 40 average salaries at safety.


RB/KR/PR Leon Washington: one-year, $1.56 million contract (via Field Yates of ESPN Boston)

Contract Value Grade: B+

Washington may not add much on offense, but the Patriots addressed a long-standing need by adding a dynamic presence in the return game. With a very cheap contract for one year, the Patriots have their answer at least for a little while.


WR Donald Jones: three-year, $4.155 million contract (via Field Yates of ESPN Boston)

Contract Value Grade: A-

The Patriots managed to pay Jones just $1.385 million per year, or $62,000 per year more than what would have been the low RFA tender for Jones with the Bills. His cap charge of $1.19 is even less than the RFA tender by $133,000. The contract also has no guaranteed money up front, probably due to health issues.


WR Danny Amendola: five year, $28.5 million contract (via Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston)

Contract Value Grade: B

Just hours after watching Wes Welker walk to the Denver Broncos, the Patriots paid exactly $100,000 per year more to Amendola for him to do the exact same thing. Only problem: he's a bit more injury prone, having missed multiple games in three of his four years in the league, including playing just 11 games last year. Almost every free agent comes with an injury history, but Amendola's going to have to stay healthy to avoid some seriously disgruntled Patriots fans. The fact is, the Patriots could have had Welker for the same guaranteed money Amendola will get in the first two years.


TE Michael Hoomanawanui: one year, $1.323 million RFA tender (via Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston)

Contract Value Grade: A

If a team tries to make Hoomanawanui an offer, the Patriots have the right to match it. Would they go higher than this? They have spent more on backup tight ends in the past, and will be paying Daniel Fells more than Hoomanawanui's RFA tender next year. In fact, Hoomanawanui took the third-most snaps of any Patriots tight end last year, ahead of Fells and behind Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.


Updated Releases

WR Brandon Lloyd: saves $2.9 million against the cap (via Greg Bedard of The Boston Globe)

Cap Savings Grade: C+

The team wanted Lloyd back, and Lloyd reportedly wanted to be back, but with the 4:00 p.m. ET deadline fast approaching, the Patriots didn't want to get Elvis Dumervil'd. There were a lot of ups-and-downs for Lloyd with the Patriots on and off the field. This may not be the end for Lloyd, but it is for now.


Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise specified, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.