Patriots

Pats have some room under the cap

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Pats have some room under the cap

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
As of Tuesday, the Patriots were 9.2 million under the 2011 salary cap of 120.4 million, according to Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk. The cap goes into effect Friday, the first day of the new league year. The top 51 cap numbers on the team are the ones that count against the cap during the preseason. When the regular season begins, the top 53 cap numbers are added. The Tuesday figure may not include either Matt Light's newly-signed two-year, 12 million deal that included 7 million in guaranteed money or BenJarvus Green-Ellis' 2011 salary as an RFA. Earlier this week, Florio pointed out that the "salary floor," which will require each team to spend 89 percent of the salary for each team, doesn't go into effect until 2013. But the cash spent league-wide in 2011 must add up to 99 percent of the cap.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Gostkowski named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

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Gostkowski named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

FOXBORO -- Stephen Gostkowski is almost 34 years old, but in Mexico City he provided a reminder that he's not slowing down in his 12th NFL season. 

After going four-for-four on field goals -- including a team-record 62-yarder, a 51-yarder and a 40-yarder -- and making all three of his extra points, Gostkowski was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the sixth time in his career. 

During a press conference on Wednesday, Bill Belichick explained that someone in Gostkowski's situation probably isn't improving at this point in his career. But if he's maintaining a strong level of play, that's OK. 

"I don’t know how much real improvement you’re going to see from a player that’s been in the league 12 or 20 years in a case like Adam [Vinatieri] or somebody like that," Belichick said. "But, if the level they’re performing at is pretty good, if they can maintain that, then that’s certainly enough to help the team.

"Are there things that a player can do better? Yeah, sure, there always are technique things. I think Steve has really improved in some of his alternative kicks on kickoffs, as an example, instead of just kicking every ball as far as he can. He’s done a great job of that. I’d say it’s maintaining the timing and the overall leg speed and technique that makes kickers good at their job."

Ex-Pats Moss, Law and Seymour among Hall of Fame semifinalists

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Ex-Pats Moss, Law and Seymour among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Former Patriots Randy Moss, Ty Law and Richard Seymour are among 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

In January, selectors will reduce the list to 15 finalists, who will join seniors Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and contributor Bobby Beathard on the final ballot. The annual selection meeting will take place Feb.y 3, the day before Super Bowl LII.

Click here for the complete story from NBC's Pro Football Talk.