After the 2019 draft is over, we'll hear the exact amount allocated for the Patriots' 2019 rookie pool. This is an oft-misunderstood number, because while it is part of the team’s salary cap, it doesn't have a dollar-for-dollar impact on the team’s overall salary cap.
The rookie cap is often referred to as “a cap within a cap” because it limits the amount teams can allocate to their rookies in the year they were drafted (and over the life of the rookies’ contracts). There is a lot of confusion about the rookie cap and how it works.
Here's a breakdown of why there are misconceptions.