BOSTON (CBS) — If you’ve followed the Patriots’ offseason, then you surely know that the team has had almost no salary cap space whatsoever. While other teams have had millions to spend freely, the Patriots have had almost no flexibility with regard to signing free agents.
While the space will remain tight, the team did some work to create some breathing room on Tuesday by restructuring Rex Burkhead’s deal.
The running back, entering the final season of his three-year deal, appeared to have taken a pay cut in order to stay with the Patriots, based on Field Yates’ reporting.
Source: the Patriots and RB Rex Burkhead have agreed to a reworked final year of his contract. Burkhead gets $550K to sign and drops his base salary from $2.5M to $1.05M, with $400K available in roster bonuses (down from $500K). The move creates $981,250 in cap space.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 7, 2020
Originally, Burkhead had been set to make $2.5 million as a base salary, with up to $406,000 in roster bonuses. Now, he’ll make a little over $1 million as a base salary with $400,000 available in roster bonuses.
My new Patriots salary cap space number is $1,244,739 https://t.co/IEb9rZJh11
— Cap Space=$1,244,739 (@patscap) July 7, 2020
Burkhead, who turned 30 last week, was a dual threat out of the backfield for New England last year. He rushed 65 times for 302 yards and three touchdowns, and he caught 27 passes for 279 yards.
In his three seasons with the Patriots, he’s rushed for 752 yards and eight touchdowns while catching 71 passes for 664 yards and four touchdowns in 31 games. He’s also played in six playoff games, with 123 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries plus 11 receptions for 123 yards. That includes his work at the end of the 2018 AFC Championship Game, when he rushed for 13 combined yards on consecutive carries before plunging into the end zone with the game-winning score in overtime to send the Patriots to Super Bowl LIII.