Foxborough, MA - Now that pre-season football has come to an end for the New England Patriots, the end of the off-season is almost upon us. Professional football will be resuming in the coming week and it's safe to say that fans are excited around the nation, but few can be as amped as Patriots fans are with Tom Brady returning at the age of forty-one and visions of another Super Bowl dancing in their heads.
However, housekeeping has to be taken care of before the Patriots can begin their quest for another Super Bowl victory. In addition to making cuts to the roster, the Patriots have also been active on the trading block and in terms of contract negotiations with their current players.
For one, the Patriots renegotiated contracts with their tight ends Dwayne Allen and Rob Gronkowski. Allen, in pursuit of securing a roster spot, agreed to take a pay cut on his contract. Gronkowski, on the other hand, renegotiated for up to 4.3 million dollars in incentives as long as he puts up the right numbers in touchdowns, receptions, yards, and playing time. Now, his contract will advance year-to-year, but these incentives work to keep Gronk happy while not completely restructuring his entire deal.
New England also agreed to an extension with their starting guard, Shaq Mason. A crucial part of the offensive line, Mason signed a contract extension worth up to fifty million dollars over the next five years. Mason was about to enter free agency, so the Patriots are fortunate to lock up the guard with top tier money.
Not every player has stayed with the Patriots, though. Heading for fifty-three players, the Patriots cut two wide receivers, Devin Lucien and Paul Turner, two defenders, Frank Herron and Ryan Lewis, and two running backs, Khalfani Muhammad and Mike Gillislee. More cuts will arrive in the coming week.
Lastly, the Patriots have finally washed their hands of problematic safety Jordan Richards by trading him to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a 2020 draft pick.
New England is priming themselves for an excellent 2018-19 season!