$15m in cap space
The Patriots have $15,271,750 in cap space remaining, according to a league source. That includes a $54,412 miscellaneous cap credit on Deion Branch’s contract from last season.
The Patriots will not spend all that space. They need to set aside $6 million to $12 million for various expenses, including draft picks, incentives and possible contract extensions before the next league year. The Patriots carried over an average of $6.15 million from one season to the next the past two seasons.
Talib has bonuses
Cornerback Aqib Talib’s one-year contract includes $4.58 million in guaranteed money ($3 million signing bonus). He can receive up to $350,000 in per-game roster bonuses, $500,000 for the Pro Bowl, and $50,000 workout bonus.
Talib’s cap number is $4.86 million. Offensive tackle Will Svitek counts $840,000 against the cap.
League owners approved two rules changes, but have not taken a vote yet on the tuck rule, or prohibiting a player using the crown of his helmet in space.
The peel-back block — offensive players blocking low from the side back toward your end zone — was eliminated entirely (it had been allowed inside the tackle box). The field goal rules — no more than six players on one side of the line of scrimmage, no pushing kick rushers, and adding defenseless protection of the snapper — were approved.