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Patriots boost pay of four practice squad players

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Geneo Grissom (Adam Richins for BSJ)

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The Patriots have a long history of paying some of their practice squad players more than the minimum salary. The Patriots continued this tradition recently by increasing the weekly pay of four practice squad players, according to league sources.

A little background first. The 2017 standard weekly pay for a practice squad player is $7,200. The 2017 standard weekly pay for an NFL rookie is $27,352.94. The 2017 standard weekly pay for a player with two years of NFL experience, like a Geneo Grissom, is $36,176.47.

The Patriots have 10 players on their practice squad. The following players are being paid more than the minimum weekly amount of $7,200:

DE Geneo Grissom: $36,176.47, or $615,000 a year. Grissom is being paid the same as if he were on the Patriots 53-man roster. This is the second-straight year Grissom has received more than the minimum pay while on the Patriots practice squad.

G Willie Beavers: $15,000, or $255,000 a year

RB DJ Foster: $15,000, or $255,000 a year. Like Grissom, this is the second-straight season Foster has received more than the minimum while on the Patriots practice squad.

WR Demarcus Ayers: $10,000, or $170,000 a year

The other six members of the Patriots practice squad are:

WR Cody Hollister
S David Jones
S Damarius Travis
C James Ferentz
DT Angelo Blackson
CB Jomal Wiltz

Why pay practice-squad players more than the minimum? It shows appreciation and encourages them to stay with the Patriots if offered a chance to sign with another team. Increasing the pay of a practice-squad player makes it more likely the player will sign a future contract with the team after the season ends.

In 2016, the Patriots paid 10 players more than the minimum during their time on the Patriots practice squad. The players, in addition to Grissom and Foster, were:

Darius Kilgo
Trevor Bates
Chris Barker
DeAndrew White
Tyler Gaffney
Woodrow Hamilton
Bishop Sankey
Anthony Johnson

The Patriots are using a total of $2,029,400 to pay their 10-man practice squad. The minimum is $1,224,000.

Please note that after accounting for these increased salaries I now have the Patriots salary cap space number as $5,050,339. That number will increase as we learn the details of four recent injury settlements (Josh Augusta, Woodrow Hamilton, Devin Lucien, and Corey Vereen). Also note this number will decrease if the Patriots are paying Andrew Jelks, Keonta Davis, or Chase Farris while they are on the non-football injury list. Until I learn otherwise I am presuming that they are not being paid. Per the CBA and the NFL bylaws, teams are not obligated to pay players while they are on the non-football illness lists. Please also note that Kyle Van Noy's extension will decrease the Patriots salary cap space number.

You can follow me on Twitter at @patscap