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The Patriots are making some money moves before the end of Thursday night’s game against the Buffalo Bills, the latest of which involves their best player.
ESPN’s Field Yates reported Thursday morning the team had restructured the contract of Matthew Judon to create about $2.2 million in cap space through the end of the season.
That money shuffle should provide a little extra breathing room for the Patriots, who entered the day with a little over a $1 million in cap space. Judon, who has broken out with New England since signing a four-year, $54 million contract last season, figures to be around next season and perhaps beyond, making the decision to punt some of his cash into the future an easy decision.
It also perhaps signals the Patriots are in business behind the scenes with contract talks on some key players.
The Patriots just extended linebacker Jahlani Tavai to an affordable two-year, $4.4 million deal this week, keeping the now-starting linebacker and special teams contributor in town a little while longer.
After that, the team has 18 unrestricted free agents and two restricted free agents (Myles Bryant and Yodny Cajuste) to account for, according to Over the Cap. The $3 million or so New England now has in cap space probably isn’t enough to do much with the big-name unrestricted free agents like Jakobi Meyers or Jonathan Jones, who feels like a player the Patriots will want to keep. But a smaller extension for a role player – say, Carl Davis Jr. – could make sense with the money they have.
It might not seem like much, but the Patriots seem to already be gearing up for what figures to be a busy 2023 off-season while also throwing a bonus Judon’s way – he’s earned it, after all.