Patriots reworking Rex Burkhead’s contract adds much needed cap space

The Patriots have given themselves some salary cap breathing room by renegotiating the final year of Rex Burkhead’s contract.

For the entire offseason, the Patriots have been up against the cap. It’s been a roadblock in their efforts to sign free agents, which is why they haven’t been too active. But they made a small move on Tuesday which will help them financially as free agency comes to an end.

The Patriots have renegotiated the final year of Rex Burkhead’s contract in order to clear up more cap space in 2020. They have dropped his base salary from $2.5 million to $1.05 million, giving him a $500k signing bonus today. The Pats will save just under $1 million with the move.

In his three years with the Patriots, Burkhead has totaled 1,416 yards and eight touchdowns along with a Super Bowl ring in 2018. His best performance came in the AFC Championship in 2018, when he totaled 64 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime.

Prior to the new deal, Burkhead was a cut candidate for the Pats, with an extremely crowded running back room that includes the likes of Sony Michel, James White and Damien Harris. The deal shows Bill Belichick’s commitment to the running back and guarantees him a spot on the team come September.

What could the Patriots do with the cap space they’ve freed up?

The Patriots have not officially announced the signing of Cam Newton, so this may be a precursor to that announcement. However, Bill Belichick could always have something else up his sleeve. Who knows what his true intentions are with this move?

There are still a ton of useful free agents on the market that Belichick may be interested in. He’s also never been afraid to make a trade, which could very much be on the cards for the Patriots. It may also just give the Patriots some room to breathe with the cap once the season starts. In case of injury, it’s always good to have some cap space on hand in a pinch.

Next: Cam Newton will be criminally underpaid in 2020

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