Tommy Kelly gave the New England Patriots some needed salary-cap space by restructuring his contract.
Kelly lowered his base salary from $1.95 million to $955,000 for the 2014 season. The restructured deal created $800,000 in cap space for the Patriots.
Kelly’s deal includes just $100,000 in guaranteed money, ESPN.com reported Thursday, which means if Kelly’s torn ACL is not healed by training camp, he could be cut with very little penalty.
Kelly can earn a maximum of $2.5 million this season, but $1.445 million is based on him staying healthy and on the field.
Kelly can earn $800,000 in roster bonuses ($50,000 per game that he’s on the active game-day roster) and up to $645,000 if he plays 60 percent of defensive snaps. Kelly will earn $95,000 for playing 20 percent of the defensive snaps, $195,000 for 30 percent, $345,000 for 40 percent and $495,000 for 50 percent.
Spotrac.com lists the Patriots as having $10.9 million in cap space before Kelly’s restructure, tight end Michael Hoomanawanui’s contract and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork’s likely release. The three changes would give the Patriots a little less than $19 million in cap room.