If the Patriots wish to open the 2018 preseason with between $8 million and $10 million in cap space, they'll need to create cap space in 2018 by releasing veterans or renegotiating existing contracts. There are plenty of opportunities to do both, thereby opening up millions of cap space which should allow the Patriots to once again build a Super Bowl contender. While this is primarily a 2018 Patriots salary cap preview, this article will also demonstrate the impossibility of building a 2018 Super Bowl contender with a tagged Jimmy Garoppolo.
Sorry, Ben Volin, this informed opinion is not "nonsense."
Let's list my working presumptions:
In 2018, they'll need to obtain or retain a couple of offensive tackles, a couple of running backs, and several special-teamers while also needing to improve their front seven on defense and find a replacement for Malcolm Butler.
They will not move away from their proven philosophy of building a 90-man roster (1 through 90).
They won't move away from their proven philosophy of building a strong middle class.
It's also reasonable to expect they will extend a couple of players in their last year of the deals.
Why do I think that the Patriots would like to enter 2018 training camp with between $8 million and $10 million in cap space? Their past history and these seven reasons: