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Tom Brady gives the Patriots some cap space

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The Patriots weren’t part of one of the most memorable offseason Wednesdays in league history, but they have been busy behind the scenes.

There’s more salary cap space in New England thanks to Tom Brady. The quarterback restructured his contract last week to provide the Patriots with more than $7 million in extra room for the 2012 season. Brian McIntyre reports that Brady converted $4.8 million of his base salary and $6.25 million of other bonuses into a signing bonus that can be prorated over the last three years of Brady’s contract.

Brady’s cap number for 2012 dropped from $15.2 million to $8 million, although it went up to $21.8 million for 2013 and 2014. The Pats weren’t in any particular cap trouble before the restructuring, although the extra cap space certainly didn’t hurt as the team loaded up on free agents over the last week. They have added eight free agents, including wide receiver Brandon Lloyd and guard Robert Gallery, to the roster so far this offseason.

Thanks to the Brady restructuring, there’s still room to add more players to the mix. With extra space for this season, the Patriots could front-load a contract for another free agent or stick to their plan of adding smaller pieces to complement the AFC Championship roster from last season.

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69 Responses to “Tom Brady gives the Patriots some cap space”
  1. tuckfanforlife says: Mar 22, 2012 9:42 AM

    brees franchise number just when down again

  2. cakemixa says: Mar 22, 2012 9:42 AM

    look out jets.

  3. gisellichek says: Mar 22, 2012 9:43 AM

    Tom wants that fourth ring bad…

  4. billybob91 says: Mar 22, 2012 9:43 AM

    Its just speculation what they’ll do with the extra cap space but I think two options that have to be considered are giving an extension to either Gronk or Hernandez so that both contracts don’t expire at the same time or even possibly the Patriots are looking to trade up with the new rookie wage scale

  5. miamiron says: Mar 22, 2012 9:44 AM

    The machine continues

  6. vonmiller58 says: Mar 22, 2012 9:45 AM

    Sounds like they’re getting ready to make a run at Mike Wallace.

  7. jcw000 says: Mar 22, 2012 9:45 AM

    Luis Castillo, maybe Michael Bush.

  8. knucklebucket says: Mar 22, 2012 9:46 AM

    Thanks Tom! This is one of the reasons i respect this franchise. They make smart money decisions that keep them competitive every year.

    Now if we can just get Tom’s heir apparent ready, they’ll be good for another 10 years.

  9. sj39 says: Mar 22, 2012 9:48 AM

    The machine continues to falter.

  10. mobuccsfan says: Mar 22, 2012 9:48 AM

    I said this last night but you guys didn’t let my post get through? Why? Because I shared the link to the article? It was a competitor, another football blog like PFT started as? Sounds like Sanchez being butt hurt about Tebow to me. Wonder if this even gets posted? Half my posts never make it through and I don’t understand why. Maybe you need better mods or something. I don’t curse, I don’t shout, I don’t talk trash with other people, I don’t make very sick/ill-advised jokes and comments, like the one clown who made a joke about Korey Stringer, etc. Yet my posts aren’t worthy enough to make it? I just might have to pull my own Goodell and bring the hammer down by not reading this site…indefinitely.

    It is a shame too, because I found this by accident three years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Love the insight and some of the stories you guys break. Love the way you can break down hot topics and stories into different angles, etc. But come on. We will see if this makes it.

  11. tfbuckfutter says: Mar 22, 2012 9:48 AM

    So how many Safeties, Cornerbacks and Linebackers can $7 million buy at the veteran minimum?

    That’ll fix the defense for sure.

  12. mobuccsfan says: Mar 22, 2012 9:49 AM

    And yeah, when I posted last night, I said I bet this is to make a move for Wallace.

  13. theandy59 says: Mar 22, 2012 9:49 AM

    Without a lot of prime free agents still on the market, this move makes sense for one of two reasons – they’re preparing to take care of current players whose contracts will need to be redone in the next year or two (Gronkowski, Hernandez?), or they’re preparing to trade for a big-time NFL player with a heavy cap hit (Freeney, Samuel, one of the Panther’s RB’s?).

  14. firstpitchslam says: Mar 22, 2012 9:52 AM

    Is it my imagination or is everybody in the AFC getting weaker (Ok, Buffalo looks better) while the Pats bolster depth? Looks like they are loading up for Brady’s fourth ring hunt.

  15. bozosforall says: Mar 22, 2012 9:53 AM

    Looks like Brady will do anything to buy a fourth ring now that the desperation of age is starting to set in.

  16. rc33 says: Mar 22, 2012 9:53 AM

    Repeat after me: Lardarius Webb

  17. hartleechung says: Mar 22, 2012 9:54 AM

    Brady>Manning>Tebow>Sanchize

  18. patsfanva says: Mar 22, 2012 9:55 AM

    Sounds to me like Wallace or Webb or maybe a shot at Webb first and if Baltimore matches, then a shot a Wallace.

    Without the Law Firm I think they will likely go after Bush (my preference) or Benson, but I don’t think the cap money matters much for them with how much RBs are getting these days.

  19. prosourcetalk says: Mar 22, 2012 9:55 AM

    Go get Mike Wallace

  20. dynaco says: Mar 22, 2012 9:55 AM

    Sounds like when i rid my garage of old junk to make room for new better looking junk.

  21. pats4ever says: Mar 22, 2012 9:56 AM

    I wonder why, considering all the cap space they had. Mike Wallace? Cut 85 and trade Welker? who knows what BB is thinking.

  22. EJ says: Mar 22, 2012 9:56 AM

    Its not like any of these players are doing any real favors for their teams by sliding money they’d get this year to the next…

    They are still guaranteed to get that same money even if they are not with the same team the next year. They are taking non guaranteed money and making it guaranteed. So basically, Its just saying that Tom is giving Robert another year to pay him what he’s owed. Big deal. If anything it benefits Brady more so than Kraft, considering he is the one who has to play with these guys they pick up.

  23. patsfanva says: Mar 22, 2012 9:58 AM

    Forget what I just said. The Pats definitely aren’t going after Wallace if he’s asking for Fitz money. He’s crazy!

  24. onlysane1intheroom says: Mar 22, 2012 9:59 AM

    A true team player.

  25. dscags says: Mar 22, 2012 10:01 AM

    i don’t see the Patriots making a run at Mike Wallace although that would be one hell of a pick up

  26. sjhesketh says: Mar 22, 2012 10:01 AM

    I suspect this is to re-sign Gronk and Hernandez in a year or two’s time.

  27. billinva says: Mar 22, 2012 10:02 AM

    The Pats have quietly had an excellent offseason so far. Grabbing solid 2nd tier guys who come at a reasonable price, but will give you all they’ve got on the field.

    Now go out and sign Jeff Saturday to shore up the interior of the O-line.

  28. portnoychunk says: Mar 22, 2012 10:03 AM

    People will continue to hate on Tom Brady. He’s a competitor and he gets it. He’s not saving babies or curing cancer by doing this, but it’s not something he needed to do – especially with how well he’s played the past few years. I’m glad he’s the Pats QB, nobody I would rather have.

  29. mempusa says: Mar 22, 2012 10:03 AM

    Attn: Drew Brees! This is what true teammates do to help their team. They don’t stomp their feet and demand to be paid higher than everyone else. Idiot

  30. anotheryx says: Mar 22, 2012 10:09 AM

    Now since you can carry over cap space to next year, there is zero reason for teams not to do that (well, except actually paying part).

  31. patriotsdiehard says: Mar 22, 2012 10:11 AM

    Definitely sounds like a Mike Wallace move. I cannot wait.

  32. adkfootballfan says: Mar 22, 2012 10:14 AM

    Who’s next for them to sign? Wallace? Or, just draft picks?

  33. gtrav says: Mar 22, 2012 10:38 AM

    @bozosforall

    I was wondering when our Patriot-hater troll would stop by. Hey Bozo!

  34. homelanddefense says: Mar 22, 2012 10:39 AM

    I really wonder where they are going with this. If its to resign guys currently on the roster it doesnt make sense unless they take most of their money THIS YEAR. This restructure lowers his cap hit this season but increases in the next two. That would make it harder to pay them (Gronk, Hernandez) in the future because Brady’s number will escalate.

  35. zimaman says: Mar 22, 2012 10:39 AM

    guys – forget Wallace and everyone else

    this is the Patriots and this is part of a move to sign and extend Welker

    Tom would not do this to bring in a guy and pay him more than Welker – not happening

    look at the Brandon Lloyd deal. Wallace aint getting Larry Fitz money from BB

    Tom would be willing to restructure for Wes.

  36. footballmaven says: Mar 22, 2012 10:42 AM

    The Pats have no interest in Mike Wallace at any price. He’s a typical dummy Steelers receiver (see Plaxico, Santonio, et al). Listen to him talk, then listen to Brandon Lloyd talk, and you understand why NE went in that direction

  37. fearadmiral says: Mar 22, 2012 10:48 AM

    ATTENTION BRADY HATERS: This is what a champion and someone who wants to win above individual accomplishment does. I know you want to spin this as him “buying” a 4th ring, or “desperate” for that 4th ring but you are wrong. You dont need to prove anything when you have 3 rings. Thats why hes a beast and people love him, because after all is said and done he just wants to win. How anyone turns that into a negative is beyond me. To hell with it, hate on him all you want. He loves it.

  38. dyims says: Mar 22, 2012 10:52 AM

    Sometime I wonder if bozosforall ever tries to engage what few brain cells he has before he posts on this site?!

  39. billybob91 says: Mar 22, 2012 10:53 AM

    If anyone thinks it’s for a Welker extension, they’re wrong. If/when Welker signs an extension that will lower the cap number itself. The Brady thing is either for an outside move or giving one of the TEs a new deal.

  40. laeaglefan says: Mar 22, 2012 10:57 AM

    Its not such a big sacrifice for Brady. Its not like he’s hurting for money and it makes no difference to him whether he gets that $7 million this year or a few years from now. Now if he WAS saving babies or curing cancer with that money, I would say that its a really great gesture on his part, but as it is, its pretty much a “so what?”

  41. havok82 says: Mar 22, 2012 10:58 AM

    Wallace is not coming to NE. If anything this is to free up some juice for something else. They may go RB with some of that or get someone like a Dwight Freeney (who is good but one-dimensional and on the back 9 of his career).

    Only time will tell, but this wouldn’t be to free up money for Welker necessarily. He’s already going to get 9+ million, so (if anything) they’s give him a long term deal with a lower cap hit per year and an upfront bonus to compensate him accordingly.

  42. patsfan3175 says: Mar 22, 2012 10:59 AM

    The only logical reason why they would do this is because they’re planning to sign another free agent with a front loaded contract. I think Webb is far more likely than Wallace though. Webb/McCourty would be a nice CB tandem for the future.

  43. patsfan3175 says: Mar 22, 2012 11:01 AM

    Zimaman, Welker’s cap hit for 2012 is already around $9 million at the moment. Signing him to a long term deal would only decrease his cap number, not increase it.

  44. darthhoodie says: Mar 22, 2012 11:26 AM

    All class.

  45. marcuswelby70 says: Mar 22, 2012 11:29 AM

    mobuccsfan says:
    Mar 22, 2012 9:48 AM
    I said this last night but you guys didn’t let my post get through? Why? Because I shared the link to the article? It was a competitor, another football blog like PFT started as? Sounds like Sanchez being butt hurt about Tebow to me. Wonder if this even gets posted? Half my posts never make it through and I don’t understand why. Maybe you need better mods or something. I don’t curse, I don’t shout, I don’t talk trash with other people, I don’t make very sick/ill-advised jokes and comments, like the one clown who made a joke about Korey Stringer, etc. Yet my posts aren’t worthy enough to make it? I just might have to pull my own Goodell and bring the hammer down by not reading this site…indefinitely.

    It is a shame too, because I found this by accident three years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Love the insight and some of the stories you guys break. Love the way you can break down hot topics and stories into different angles, etc. But come on. We will see if this makes it.

    ——————————————–
    I agree, some of my post get taken down also for no apparent reason.

  46. Rhodygal says: Mar 22, 2012 11:34 AM

    Leave it to bozosforall to say anything he can, as a Patriots hater, to try to turn something positive about the Patriots into a negative.

    Fail!!

  47. rayguyreturns says: Mar 22, 2012 11:37 AM

    Good Luck with that Gallery signing. He’ll be good for about 3 games. That is of course if he makes it out of camp uninjured.

  48. radrntn says: Mar 22, 2012 11:40 AM

    anybody else seeing brady signing a new 6 year deal next year for $135

  49. jkcranshaw says: Mar 22, 2012 11:48 AM

    I can’t see the Pats making a move for Wallace. He isn’t proven in an offensive system like the Pats run. New England has had terrible luck with receivers because this is a tough system to grasp. I can see him coming in and dieing on the vine like Ocho because he is never where Brady expects him to be based on defensive alignments.

    That’s why Lloyd who has worked in this system will fit in, or a player like Reggie Wayne who was successful in a similar read and react offense with Peyton Manning and the Colts would have fit right in. The pats need smart and sure handed more than a burner… Moss had the football intelligence to gel in the NE system to go along with freakish skills and a 4.3 40.

    I just can’t see burning that kind of money on someone who you can’t be sure if he’s going to be where Brady puts the ball.

  50. bencoates57 says: Mar 22, 2012 11:49 AM

    This is not a Wallace move! Wallace is demanding to be paid more than Fitzgerald. You can buy a whole defense for that. Belichick is not paying that.

  51. patswhatsup says: Mar 22, 2012 11:51 AM

    Why is anyone even talking about Mike Wallace anymore? They signed lloyd. They have not released any WR. It’s stacked now. I am hoping they are going to use that money on D. Lord knows they need it. If they can put together even a middle of the pack defense, with a high ranking in turnovers, it’s gonna be a Superbowl caliber team easily.

  52. papagambino says: Mar 22, 2012 11:56 AM

    Tom is the best!
    A class act.

  53. wikidpissah says: Mar 22, 2012 11:57 AM

    bozosforall says: Mar 22, 2012 9:53 AM

    Looks like Brady will do anything to buy a fourth ring now that the desperation of age is starting to set in.
    ===============================

    Unlike the Jets who trade for Tebow in a desperate grab at their second ring in 44 years.

  54. gacoltfan says: Mar 22, 2012 11:59 AM

    Some of the comments on here are unreal. I’m not “hating” on Brady, but let’s not go overboard on the whole “just wants to win” stuff. He isn’t taking less money, he just restructured how he is getting the same amount of money. By doing this it is actually better for him. He is converting salary and bonuses that are not guaranteed to a signing bonus that is guaranteed, and he gets it now rather than later. Kind of a no-brainier.

    Even though I am a Colts fan and hate everything that is the Patriots, I have no doubt that winning is most important to Brady. But let’s not put him on a pedestal for this. This is something players do all the time. There are probably over 50 players that did this just this year. It’s a very common practice. And before you go too far with how he is so much more unselfish than other players, remember when he signed the contract it made him the highest paid player in the game.

  55. 8man says: Mar 22, 2012 12:05 PM

    When Brady is on, there is no one better in the league to watch.

    Five Super Bowl appearances in 10 years. Anybody here would trade that for what they have.

  56. patriotgame says: Mar 22, 2012 12:13 PM

    With four picks out of the first 63 i’m sure they will be looking to wheel and deal as usual. One big move will get done by the draft.

  57. rc33 says: Mar 22, 2012 12:38 PM

    After winning his 3rd SB and 2nd SB MVP, Brady signed a 6 year, $60 million deal when everyone on the planet knew he could’ve held the Patriots hostage.
    At 27, he could’ve EASILY asked for $15 million per or more and Kraft would’ve had no other choice but to pay him.
    $10 million a year for a guy who’s 27 with 3 SB rings?
    Let him walk and the fan base that might’ve literally burned down Gillette Stadium.

    And BTW, more than a handful of players are unwilling to restructure every year. Kameron Wimberly comes to mind, most recently.
    For the sake of the franchise and the player, more often than not these “turn downs” are not publicized.

  58. rc33 says: Mar 22, 2012 12:45 PM

    One other note:
    I say the Pats would be well-served to put together a package and try to get Jared Allen. He costs a lot of money but he’s wasting his time on a “going nowhere” Minnesota team that right now, needs rebuilding more than a dominant pass rusher.

    Offer one of their first round picks, maybe a player, and see what they say. In their current state, I would think it would benefit the Vikings mightily to get his contract moved down the road.

  59. patriotera says: Mar 22, 2012 12:45 PM

    They almost won the Superbowl with a defense most teams would go under 500 with. It’s not going to take much.

  60. TheWizard says: Mar 22, 2012 12:55 PM

    Looks like Brady will do anything to buy a fourth ring now that the desperation of age is starting to set in

    Yeah, if I had 100 mil in liquid cash and a looming retirement at the age of 40, I’d be a mess.

    Great analysis.

  61. cmcgly says: Mar 22, 2012 12:59 PM

    While the patriots have been anything BUT predictable over the years, there is no way they go after mike wallace. the guy wants more money than larry fitzgerald, I don’t see bill belichick putting that much value in a player when the offense already looks as good as it does.

  62. TheWizard says: Mar 22, 2012 1:04 PM

    If they can put together even a middle of the pack defense

    They already have one.

    In points allowed.

    The stat that actually matters.

  63. tomeffnbrady says: Mar 22, 2012 1:22 PM

    Unfortunately i see this as a sign of lights retirement. Its probably not the plan but id like to see us move up and take a high OL in the draft now/ or a high DE for more immediate impact.

  64. patsfiend says: Mar 22, 2012 1:43 PM

    Maybe they are going to actually keep / use their 1st round picks this year. They have established quantity / depth with free agency and past drafts, perhaps they can go quality this year in the draft, with the new rookie salary cap, and #12’s age creeping above 35, I think BB is much more likely to draft high, maybe even try to move up, than in the past.

  65. patsfiend says: Mar 22, 2012 1:44 PM

    … and just forget about Wallace. No way they are going to pay him more than everyone else on the team and give up a 1st round pick. Not happening… if they are going to go the RFA route, Webb is the better choice anyway.

  66. majbobby says: Mar 22, 2012 2:35 PM

    Class would be taking a Paycut. NOT just getting your money Now

    Who cares it is not like these players that restructure really care the get their money the minute the sign it instead
    Of a weekly paycheck.

  67. allsportsnyfan says: Mar 22, 2012 9:41 PM

    This is the least he could’ve done after promising owner Kraft he would play better in the SB, only to choke again. And besides, like they do in the draft, they do in free agency, they go after rejects, nickle-n-dime them, cause they know their system works. But, in reality, that system only works in the regular season, they haven’t won a SB since spy gate, cause they can’t find a way to cheat.

    The Giants have beaten them two SB in a row, and 2010, Tom (choke) Brady couldn’t find a rhythm against the stingy Jets defense, and they barely escape the Ravens, that’s when the choke artist known as Brady made the promise to Kraft, only to choke again in the SB.

  68. patriotsssss says: Mar 23, 2012 5:21 AM

    Brady didnt choke you idiot. Players just dropped some balls. In SB 42, the defense choked . Brady almost had a game winning drive. So what if the pats lost the SB this year? Like brady and the patriots wont be back? Brady still has 5 years left. WE ARENT GOING AWAY. And there’s nothing you haters can do about it.

  69. Rhodygal says: Mar 23, 2012 7:37 AM

    Love how the NY fans like to say that the Pats choked during the SB, huh? Losing by 4 points is not choking. and if Brady’s Hail Mary was caught you would be crying quite a different tune, now wouldn’t you.

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