Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New England Patriots [Print without images]

Monday, June 25, 2012
Closer look at Ihedigbo's 1-year deal

By Mike Reiss

A closer look at the one-year contract signed by safety James Ihedigbo and what it means for the Patriots:

Length: 1 year
Base salary: $700,000
Signing bonus: $25,000
Roster bonus: $40,000
Split (if lands on IR): $368,000
Salary cap charge: $605,000

ANALYSIS: This is a modest deal that qualifies for the minimum salary benefit, meaning Ihedigbo's salary cap charge is less than his base salary if he makes the club. The minimum salary benefit is designed to help veterans land contracts by keeping their salary cap charge down.  The split salary in the contract protects the Patriots in the event Ihedigbo, who was durable in 2011 even as he played through a shoulder injury to log 67 percent of the defensive snaps, lands on season-ending injured reserve. This contract indicates that the Patriots didn't have a lot of competition in negotiating with Ihedigbo, whose re-signing highlights the team's overall offseason strategy of improving depth.