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Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Patriots limit risk with contracts

By Mike Reiss

The restructured contracts signed by defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco present a low-risk, high-reward scenario from a team perspective.

Haynesworth's deal, in particular, fits into that category.

Haynesworth is scheduled to earn $1.5 million in 2011 (not including incentives), and the team is not on the hook for any bonus payments this year, according to the restructured contract filed with the league. So essentially, the club could cut Haynesworth tomorrow and it would have little financial impact. 

Robert Kraft wasn't kidding when he said Haynesworth "didn't come for the money."

Certainly, that aspect created more comfort for the team in consummating the trade for Haynesworth. The Patriots essentially get a free tryout in training camp to see if it works because contracts aren't guaranteed until the first week of the season.

At this point, it looks like a one-year contract as Haynesworth's pay spikes in 2012 -- a base salary of $6.7 million, along with a roster bonus of $400,000 (due Aug. 1) and another $100,000 in the form of a workout bonus.

So in this case, it looks like Haynesworth was willing to take less to get out of Washington and revive his career with New England. In turn, the Patriots seem willing to accept a one-year arrangement for the fifth-round pick they traded.

Ochocinco's contract falls into the same category, although it's not as big of a cut (updated: Thursday, 6 a.m.).

In addition to his $1 million salary for 2011, he also earned a $4.5 million signing bonus, meaning his total pay this year is approximately $5.5 million.

He had a base salary of $6 million in his old deal for 2011.

Ochocinco’s new deal extends through 2013. He is scheduled to earn base salaries of $3 million apiece in 2012 and 2013. He can earn workout bonuses of $100,000 in each year.