The New England Patriots now have the least amount of available cap space in the NFL, but there might be a few ways out of the situation.
At the beginning of the month, both the Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons had less room, but with the release of Todd Gurley and Desmond Trufant, respectively, the Patriots aren’t just at the bottom of the NFL rankings in cap space, they are the only team without at least $1 million in available space at $650,989, per Patriots cap expert Miguel Benzan.
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The Limitations the Cap Space Situation Creates
The conversation and rumors associated with the New England Patriots potentially signing free-agent quarterback Cam Newton won’t seem to go away. Newton was released by the Carolina Panthers after an injury-riddled 2019 campaign.
The former NFL MVP is still just 31 years old and he undoubtedly has a lot of football left in him. That said, it’s going to take a little more than what the Patriots have left to offer to sign him–if that’s ever even a desire of the team.
Wide Receiver Help
N’Keal Harry, Mohamed Sanu, Julian Edelman, Damiere Byrd, Jeff Thomas, and others have the talent to develop into a solid wide receiver group, but aside from Edelman, there are a lot of ifs with this bunch. Even Edelman’s age and health could be seen as a question mark.
That’s why the receiver position could be an area the Patriots look to upgrade with an available free agent close to training camp and the preseason. Again, the lack of cap space would drastically hinder any move to bring in someone capable of making a splash.
Defensive Tackle Depth
The defense is still seen as a strength for the Patriots, but if there is a position that could potentially need an upgrade, it’s the defensive tackle. Adam Butler overachieved in 2019 and no one knows if Beau Allen will be able to provide the kind of run support and interior presence the team got from Danny Shelton in 2019.
The Moves That Could Create Cap Space
Negotiating an extension with Joe Thuney would clear a good deal of space for the Patriots. Thuney is currently on the books for just over $14.7 million for 2020. If the two sides could come to a multiyear contract agreement, it would likely provide the Patriots the wiggle room to sign a free agent.
Likewise, restructuring the contracts of veterans like Stephon Gilmore or Julian Edelman might also provide some relief. Keep an eye out for players who are in a contract year, but who could still be in the team’s plans moving forward.
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