The Patriots and defensive end Michael Bennett agreed to a reworked contract that gives the player a raise and saves the team salary cap room, according to ESPN.
Sources: the Patriots and DE Michael Bennett have agreed to a reworked two-year deal with a base value of $16.75M, including a $4M signing bonus. Bennett gets guaranteed money and more upside, while the move creates $700K in cap space for the team in 2019.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 2, 2019
Bennett’s new deal is for two years with a base value of $16.75 million. Bennett’s old contract, the one he was on when the Eagles traded him to the Patriots in March, was worth $13.2 million in base value over the next two years, with an additional $2 million available in the form of roster bonuses.
According to ESPN, Bennett’s new deal pays him $3 million in base salary with $1.5 million in per-game roster bonuses available each week in 2019. In 2020, Bennett earns $7 million in base salary with $1.25 million in per-game roster bonuses available.
The 33-year old gets a $4 million signing bonus which helps the Patriots to free up about $700,000 in salary cap space for 2019. The Patriots have roughly $18 million in cap space available at the moment.
Loosening up an extra $700,000 is not a huge amount, but it could come into play if the Patriots try to make a trade for a receiver or eventually work out a big extension for a player like Joe Thuney.
The restructured deal gives Bennett some guaranteed money and the chance to earn more overall, something he said teams should know he wanted before trading for him when he knew he was on the block earlier this offseason.
“I’m not willing to take a pay cut. I actually want a pay raise at this point,’’ Bennett said on NFL Network in March.
Bennett got his wish and the Patriots made it work for their cap situation.