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Monday, February 10, 2014
Closer look at top Patriots' cap figures

By Field Yates

Earlier Monday, we passed along a breakdown of the Patriots' dead money for the 2014 season.

In many cases, dead money derives from having to cut a player whose cap charge exceeds his value for that season. The trade-off for the cap savings is a smaller amount of dead money.

Piggybacking off that, below is a look at the 13 Patriots with a salary-cap charge of more than $3 million for the 2014 season, with a quick look at players whom the team may look to restructure or perhaps part ways with because of the value:

QB Tom Brady: $14,800,000
NT Vince Wilfork: $11,600,000
G Logan Mankins: $10,500,000
LB Jerod Mayo: $7,287,500
TE Rob Gronkowski: $5,400,000
S Devin McCourty: $5,115,000
WR Danny Amendola: $4,575,000
G Dan Connolly: $4,083,334
K Stephen Gostkowski: $3,800,000
OT Sebastian Vollmer: $3,750,000
S Steve Gregory: $3,683,334
CB Kyle Arrington: $3,625,000
NT Isaac Sopoaga: $3,500,000

QUICK-HIT THOUGHTS: The first name that jumps out on the list is Sopoaga, as he was a healthy scratch down the stretch last season. It would be a surprise for him to be back on the roster at the current price. Colleague Mike Reiss recently expounded upon the possibility of a possible Wilfork restructure. Connolly is another player who carries a larger charge than one might expect given his level of play, as the team has a lot of money tied up to the guard position. Connolly, Gostkowski, Gregory, McCourty and Wilfork are also all entering the final years of their current contracts, so the Patriots have a natural lead-in to talk extension if they believe those players fit in their future. Contract extensions often include salary-cap relief during their early years.