Patriots among top 10 teams in cap space

March, 1, 2013
3/01/13
3:35
PM ET
With the 2013 NFL salary cap set, the question that often comes to mind is: How much cap space do the Patriots have?

The answer is an estimation at this point, as various league sources have told ESPNBoston.com that the Patriots are in the range of $22-25 million under the cap, with one indicating that they have the ninth-most cap space of any NFL team.

When thinking about cap space, it's worth re-visiting comments from Bill Belichick in his final remarks last season, during which he described it as a "very misleading term."

Belichick's main point was that a team with little cap space and most of its starters under contract isn't necessarily in worse shape than a team with abundant cap space and many of its starters set to become free agents.

Additionally, cap space can change very quickly by restructuring contracts or releasing players, as the Patriots experienced by extending Tom Brady's deal and carving out an additional $8 million in cap space this offseason.

So evaluating cap space and what shape a team is in should be considered a fluid process. Right now, our take would be that the Patriots are in good shape with the salary cap, and that the door is open to retaining all three of their primary free agents, as well as adding other players.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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