Currently, the New England Patriots aren't financially flexible. They only have about $2 million in salary cap space -- the third-lowest mark in the NFL -- following the 2020 draft.
But their cap situation for next year looks much more encouraging.
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According to Spotrac, the Patriots have $94.1 million in cap room for 2021. That puts them in the top five behind only the Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers, Washington Redskins, and Jacksonville Jaguars.
An early look at the projected 2021 cap space top-10 (in millions) via @spotrac:— Allan Bell (@AllanBell247) April 29, 2020
1. Colts $136.7
2. Chargers $119.2
3. Jaguars $99.6
4. Redskins $99.3
5. Patriots $94.1
6. Ravens $87.1
7. Dolphins $80.5
8. Seahawks $78.3
9. Bengals $76.5
10. Titans $73.0https://t.co/ye3VTD7EFt
The Patriots currently have roughly $24 million in dead cap space, $13.5 million of which can be credited to ex-Pats quarterback Tom Brady. That makes adding talent to the roster for 2020 a challenge.
There are a few ways New England can clear some cap room heading into next season, of course. One way would be trading All-Pro guard Joe Thuney ($14.8 million cap hit) or signing him to a contract extension. Extending cornerback Stephon Gilmore ($18.7 million), linebacker Dont'a Hightower ($14.8 million), or defensive tackle Lawrence Guy ($12.4 million) would help the cause too.
It's a tricky situation right now for the Patriots, but that 2021 cap figure should provide some optimism. They'll be in a great position to retool the roster for the post-Brady era.