Meriweather's pay increases by $1m


Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather reached escalators in his contract that increase his base salary from $650,000 to $1.65 million for the 2011 season. His contract included up to $2.75 million in escalators for 2011.

Meriweather, the team's first-round draft choice in 2007, leads all current Patriots with 12 career interceptions. He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection, although his up-and-down play is often a lightning-rod topic among those who follow the team.

At one point during the 2010 season, vs. the Bears on Dec. 12, Meriweather was relegated to special teams and playing in the dime package (6 defensive backs). Yet by the end of the season, no safety had logged more playing time and he finished with 66 tackles.

Meriweather enters the final year of his contract in 2011.

EXTRA POINT: As noted by Brian McIntyre on "Mac's Football Blog", Patriots defensive lineman Mike Wright also had a $125,000 bump for 2011. His base salary is now $2.315 million for 2011. Wright's contract included up to $3.05 million in escalators for 2011.

Wright and Meriweather join cornerback Jonathan Wilhite and guard Dan Connolly as players who have hit salary escalators for the 2011 season.