For most of this offseason, the Patriots were near the bottom of the league in available salary cap space for the 2020 season. Now they’re near the top.
The Patriots have more than $35 million in cap space right now, the third-most in the NFL, according to OverTheCap.com.
So what changed? For starters, they resolved a pair of old contract grievances (coincidentally right after getting Cam Newton to sign a bargain of a contract) to free up $7 million in cap space.
Then, the Patriots had several players opt out of the 2020 season, which means all of their salaries for 2020 go off the cap and get moved to 2021. For most teams, that would cause concern for the 2021 cap, but the Patriots were already in great cap shape for 2021.
So the Patriots are sitting pretty right now, if they choose to sign any free agents. The reality, however, is that there aren’t a lot of free agents to sign. So the Patriots may just stand pat this year, and roll over their available 2020 cap space into 2021. Regardless, although the Patriots have lost a lot of players and will have a roster that looks a lot different than last year’s, they remain in strong shape to rebuild their roster at a time when many other teams are concerned about an expected significant decline in next year’s cap. The Patriots always seem to be ahead of the game.