In response to Getzo's comment:
In response to PatsEng's comment:
In response to IndianaPatsFan's comment:
Sorry to throw a wrench into the plans of the "just re-sign everybody" crowd, but there's this little obstacle called the salary cap. The Pats, like all NFL teams, have to make tough choices. Important players like Brady, Vollmer, Mankins, Gronk, Big Vince, and Mayo have received their big pay days, and other like Spikes, McCourty, Talib, Wendell, and Solder are coming due.
We are free to throw out our opinions here, but we REALLY don't see the whole picture like the Patriots organization does.
M H K
They are currently 10mil under the capwith the cap expecting a major increase in 2014. Solder can wait until after 2014 to sign, Wendell is not going to command a ton (think 2-3mil), so you are really talking about Talib, McCourty, and Spikes. Of the 3 Talib will cost the most but you certainly can fit both Spikes and McCourty in the 2014 year for under a $7mil cap hit for both combined, until the cap expands were their bas salary can increase (but no more than 30% the previous year by rule). Additionally, if they spend money wisely they will have over $17mil in dead money coming off the books in the next couple of years. That $17mil can be spread into the extensions provided they don't do dumb things like sign Haynesworth's, Fenana's, Ocho's, A. Wilson's anymore. There's plenty of room to fit our guys under the cap and add a couple of extra pieces too.
4. Cap update. One of the questions often posed by readers is: Why are the Patriots preserving cap space as the regular season is underway? The answer is to give the team flexibility to make moves such as this one, as the new money given to Ninkovich will cut into the team's current cap space. That's a worthwhile investment and good reason to be patient with available money. Prior to the Ninkovich deal becoming official, the Patriots have $7.148 in cap space.
Getz, I read all over the place before week 1 they were ~$10mil under. They didn't really add anyone since then so I'm not sure how the number jumped from $10mil to $7.148mil so I'm a little hesistant to think which is the right number. I'll stick to the one that best supports my argument and the one I heard most often until now (honestly that's what we all do anyways). BTW they also got $1.34mil back from Fenana so you have to take that into account. There's also a report that Nink's extension didn't really do much for his current cap number. The main reason is that his current cap hit had 1.6mil in bonuses accounted. So it gets added to the extension bonuses and spread over the extension (including this year) and in essence increases hit cap hit by less than $1mil for this year. Rkarp said he heard talk it actually saves $1.4mil this year which could also be the case but safe to say it did effect his cap number by more or less around $1mil. Not exactly a cap buster on that one and not really a reason to have all that extra room if that's what you are trying to get at. However, if they extend say McCourty (~$2.3mil cap hit this year) there is a fair chance his cap hit could increase by more than $2mil which would be a good reason to keep that kind of extra money around.