Report: Patriots Restructure Defensive Ends Contract

Deatrich Wise

Getty Deatrich Wise reacts after a play during the New England Patriots 2021 season.

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he acquisition of Devante Parker was a major move for the New England Patriots as they try and improve their offense ahead of the 2022 NFL Season. While New England was able to get the move done, they needed to work some salary cap space magic to make sure that Parker could come to the Patriots.

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Field Yates was the first to report that the team converted $2.85 million of defensive end Deatrich Wise’s base salary into a signing bonus.

Wise is coming off a 2021 campaign that saw him tally 41 tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble. While having the third most sacks on the roster, it was still a down year compared to Wise’s rookie season where he racked up five sacks.

In 2022, Wise will continue to be a key part of New England’s pass rush. With Chase Winovich being traded to the Cleveland Browns, more playing time should be coming the 27-year-olds way.

When you combine Wise with the rest of the front seven, fans should be excited about the defense leading up to this year. While 32-years-old, Lawrence Guy is still a quality defensive player and Christian Barmore will look to continue to improve after a successful rookie season that saw him record 46 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Matthew Judon was a menace for offensive lines to handle and after signing a new deal Ja’Whaun Bentley has the potential to have an impressive season.

With a difficult 2022 season ahead, New England will definitley need the defense to step up and perform well this season.

Where do the Patriots stand now?

With the move, New England currently is $1,017,562 under the cap. That’s not a lot of room with the NFL Draft coming up.

Cap Space expert Miguel Benzan (@patscap on Twitter) expects the Patriots to make more moves to gain cap space similar to Wise. Prior to the move, the defensive end had cap hits of $6.19 million, $6.25 million, and $6.25 million from 2022 to 2024. With the restructuring of his contract, Wise’s cap hit will now be $4.29 million, $7.2 million, and $7.2 million.

In terms of Parker, he is on the books for a cap hit of $6.04 million in 2022, and total cash spending of up to $6.25 million. The cash and cap hit for 2023 are both $6.3 million, per Spotrac.

What can the Patriots do to shed space?

There is one obvious move that New England can make to shed some cap space. Sending N’Keal Harry packing, would create around $1.1 million in cap space.

Harry’s career has been a massive disappointment after being drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The wide receiver has only been able to tally 57 catches for 598 yards and four touchdowns in three NFL seasons.

With the arrival of Parker, Harry’s already small role in the offense continued to diminish. Even if New England was to choose to get rid of Nelson Agholor in place of Harry, it’s likely that Harry still ends up leaving the Patriots.

The draft is likely to provide New England with much more affordable options as well as players with higher potential. The Patriots already know what they have in Harry, now it’s time to plan for the future.

So expect more of these deals from the Pats. Wise’s restructure was just the first domino to drop.

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