The New England Patriots are in a healthy situation with their cap space, but are there any current contracts that are holding them back?
Believe it or not, the team does not have a ton of ugly contracts on their books at the moment. Even though they spent a ton of money two offseasons ago, they aren’t really paying anyone, not even Matthew Judon.
In his case, overthecap.com rates his contract 25/216 for the edge rusher position, and he’s been playing like one of the five best rushers in the NFL. Anyway, does the team have any contract situations that are holding them back?
Are there any contracts holding the Patriots back right now?
The team has nearly $40 million in cap space, which is one of the highest numbers in the NFL, so the team can again spend money in free agency if they wanted to. For 2023, no player on the Patriots’ roster has a cap hit of $20 million.
In fact, Matthew Judon’s $18.1 million cap hit in 2023 is the highest on the team. The team is uniquely constructed, which seems to benefit them, but there are a couple of contracts that might be holding them back.
The most obvious one is tight end Jonnu Smith, who has done a whole lot of nothing in his two years with the team. He is a cut candidate for the team even though they have a ton of cap space, but the problem there is that the team would have to eat more dead money than they’d save on their cap space.
With a post-June 1st cut, the team would save just $4.5 million but would eat $12.6 million in dead cap. They’d save more on their cap than they would in dead money if they could trade the player, but I’m not sure there is any team who’d be willing to take on his contract.
The only other contract I think that can get in the way is Trent Brown’s. He was not good at left tackle in 2022 and carries a $12.25 cap number for 2023. The team could cut him and save $8 million on their 2023 cap number, but then again, they aren’t being constricted by Brown’s pact.
Not paying anyone big money can be both good and bad, as they don’t have a ton of ugly contracts but outside of Judon, I’m not sure they have any elite players either.