What a difference a couple of weeks make.
Just a few weeks ago, the Patriots had the lowest amount of cap space in the entire NFL. Now, heading into training camp, they have the third-most, at least according to Over The Cap.
Thanks to settling financial grievances with Antonio Brown and Aaron Hernandez, about $8 million was gained and then in recent days the Patriots have received extra money because players who opt out of this season will have both their salary and signing bonus proration toll until 2021.
Therefore, they are off the books for 2020.
According to @PatsCap, the Patriots now have $35.28 million in cap space. That number could grow if more players opt out, as players have until Thursday to do so. As of now, eight Patriots have opted out of the 2020 season.
Now, just because the Patriots have all this cap space doesn't mean they will spend it all.
It is important to note the salaries of players who opt out of this year will carry over to 2021, so the Patriots will have that back on their books. Also, no one really knows what will happen to the league's cap so it could be a good idea to save some money just in case it doesn't increase like it has in past years.
The Patriots certainly will be adding a few players at positions of need prior to the start of the regular season, but just don't think these will be huge names and the team will spend all of its $30-plus million. It would be irresponsible for them to do so.
With that being said, things certainly have changed in a big and good way for them relating to the salary cap.