When the New England Patriots signed defensive tackle Authentic Beau Allen Jersey to a two-year, $8 million contract last week, some were puzzled. Why would the Patriots let Danny Shelton walk – who then signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Lions – and then opt to sign a similarly talented DT for the same exact price tag?
Well, the price tag may have been the same, but if you look closely at each player’s contract, it tells a different story.
Here are the contract details for Allen’s deal with the Patriots, per Ben Volin of The Boston Globe:
$500,000 in incentives in 2020
$500,000 in incentives in 2021
$1.7 million signing bonus
$1.3 million base salary in 2020 ($800,000 guaranteed)
$2.2 million base salary in 2021 ($250,000 guaranteed)
$900,000 roster bonus in 2020 and 2021
$2.88 million cap hit in 2020
$3.95 million cap hit in 2021
The important part of the details is Allen’s cap hit for the 2020 season, which is $2.88 million. Shelton got $4 million guaranteed from Detroit this offseason. If Allen were to max out his contract, which includes hitting all incentives/bonuses, he would get $4.4 million for the upcoming season. However, his cap hit is currently $1.12 million cheaper than Shelton’s, which is a lot for a Patriots team that is very tight on cap space this offseason.
New England has been trying to maneuver around money the past couple weeks to free up space to acquire talent. They traded Duron Harmon to the Lions last week and then were able to sign former All-Pro safety Authentic Adrian Phillips Jersey who is talented, younger than Harmon, and has a cheaper cap hit. They also released veteran kicker Stephen Gostkowski on Monday to free up more room. It wouldn’t be surprising to see one of the bigger contracts on the roster restructured in the coming weeks and/or another player is cut to provide more cap relief.