Monday, May 28, 2012
Adding up all those contracts
By Field Yates
After coming within inches of their fourth Super Bowl victory in franchise history, the Patriots took to the 2012 offseason with re-tooling and re-loading an already talented roster in mind.
Here is a rundown of the Patriots offseason acquisitions, including available contract details. It’s important to remember that many contracts includes incentives that are not necessarily reflected in the numbers below, and that contracts are not fully guaranteed in the NFL. The Patriots will need to trim the roster down to 53 players before the start of the regular season, meaning some of the money invested this offseason will not ever be paid out.
Reserve/Future Contracts LB/DE Markell Carter: 1-year, $465,000
WR Britt Davis: 1-year, $465,000
OL Matt Kopa: 1-year, $465,000
DE Aaron Lavarias: 1-year, $465,000
LB Mike Rivera: 1-year, $465,000
DB Ross Ventrone: 1-year, $465,000
Total Investment: $2.79M
Quick take: These six players all fall into the developmental category, an area the Patriots have had success during Bill Belichick’s tenure. Ventrone was a human-pinball on the transaction front last season, bouncing between the active roster, practice squad and unemployment.
Re-Signed Veteran Free Agents
WR Deion Branch: 1-year, $1.325M
OL Dan Connolly: 3-years, $9.7M
DT Marcus Harrison: 1-year, $615,000
QB Brian Hoyer: 1-year, $1.92M
C Dan Koppen: 2-years, $3.05M
LB Niko Koutovides: 1-year, $825,000
DT Kyle Love: 1-year, $540,000
WR Matthew Slater: 3-years, $5.4M
DL Gerard Warren: 1-year, $985,000
WR Wes Welker: 1-year, $9.5M
LB Tracy White: 1-year, $890,000
Total Investment: $34.75M
Quick Take: On top of the list of free agents to retain was Wes Welker, and although the negotiations for a long-term deal have been somewhat of a roller-coaster ride, the veteran receiver will be back in New England next season. The Patriots did well to reel in most of their pivotal free agents, although defensive end Mark Anderson bolted for Buffalo, while fellow defensive end Andre Carter remains unsigned.
Brandon Lloyd was the biggest name of four free-agent receivers signed by the Patriots this offseason (not couting Wes Welker and Deion Branch).
Draft Choices DE Chandler Jones: 4-years, $8.17M
LB Dont’a Hightower: Unsigned
DB Tavon Wilson: 4-years, $4.217M
DE Jake Bequette: Unsigned
S Nate Ebner: 4-years, $2.196M
CB Alfonzo Dennard: 4-years, $2.157M
WR Jeremy Ebert: 4-years, $2.148M
Total Investment (so far): $18.898M
Quick Take: It seems only a matter of time before Hightower and Bequette sign their contracts, a process that has been made easier under the new collective bargaining agreement. Contract lengths are fixed (all are four years), and the value is virtually pre-determined by the CBA.
Undrafted Free Agents
RB Brandon Bolden: 3-years, $1.59M (Guaranteed money: $15,000)
DL Marcus Forston: 3-years, $1.54M (Guaranteed money: $10,000)
DL Justin Francis: 3-years, $1.49M (Guaranteed money: $10,000)
TE Brad Herman: 3-years, $1.46M (Guaranteed money: $2,500)
OL Jon Opperud: 3-years, $1.44M (Guaranteed money: N/A)
WR Matt Roark: 3-years, $1.46M (Guaranteed money: $2,500)
OL Jeremiah Warren: 3-years, $1.62M (Guaranteed money: $28,000)
OL Markus Zusevics: 3-years, $1.57M (Guaranteed money: $13,000)
Total Investment: $11.52M
Quick Take: These deals are all spread over three years and are in the same range of total value, so guaranteed money can be used as a metric to measure how the team may value each prospect. OL Jeremiah Warren tops the list with $28,000 in guarantees, which suggests he was a coveted rookie free agent after the draft. The team has had some success with undrafted players before, and may be able to find another hidden gem in this year’s class.