Closer look at Warren's contract

May, 9, 2012
5/09/12
9:45
AM ET
A closer look at veteran defensive lineman Gerard Warren's one-year contract, and what it might mean for the Patriots:

Base salary: $925,000
Signing bonus: $50,000
Workout bonus: $10,000
Salary cap charge: $600,000*

ANALYSIS: This deal qualifies under the minimum salary benefit*, which was implemented in recent years to make it easier for teams to keep veteran players who might otherwise have been released in favor of a younger, cheaper option. The minimum salary benefit cuts the salary cap charge, while still paying the player at regular levels. Warren's cap charge would be $985,000 under this contract if the minimum salary benefit didn't exist (base salary + signing bonus + workout bonus). But with the minimum salary benefit, it is $600,000, making it more appealing for the Patriots to potentially keep him. This is a modest deal, but what was expected at this stage of Warren's career. It isn't the type of financial investment that would make Warren a roster lock. At the same time, a $600,000 cap charge for a versatile, productive veteran who played 27 percent of the snaps last season seems to represent good value if Warren's maintains his level of play.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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