Friday, February 7, 2014
Patriots defensive snapshot: contracts
By Mike Reiss
Following up on colleague Field Yates' player-by-player positional review series, the following is a current Patriots defensive snapshot based on players under contract, which gives a feel for both the present and future outlook (with length of players' contracts):
Quick hit: Solid with Jones and Ninkovich as starters, the development of Buchanan (seventh round, 2013) will mostly determine how significant of a need there is at this spot. The Patriots have an option to extend Jones’ contract through 2016.
Quick hit: Wilfork’s $7.5 million base salary and $11 million salary-cap charge could spark extension talks. Sopoaga is expected to be released based on his $3.5 million salary, or perhaps returns with a significant pay cut. A lot of players here who fit different systems and Armstead remains a wild card.
Quick hit: The starting trio in 2014 -- comprised of all top draft picks -- has big-time upside. With Spikes passing the torch to Collins in the playoffs, it seems a safe bet that Spikes will be playing elsewhere this year. Fletcher is a solid core special-teamer whose return is likely contingent on if another team views him as a possible bigger piece of its defensive plans.