Davon Godchaux contract details: Patriots free up $1.5M in cap space

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How Patriots freed up cap space with hefty Davon Godchaux extension originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Davon Godchaux's lucrative contract extension with the New England Patriots was beneficial for both sides, it appears.

The Patriots handed Godchaux a two-year, $20.8 million contract extension Wednesday that included $17.85 million fully guaranteed. The contract raised a few eyebrows, as the 27-year-old veteran now ranks among the NFL's 15 highest-paid defensive tackles in average salary.

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According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, however, Godchaux's new deal actually helped the Patriots free up about $1.5 million in cap space.

Godchaux's 2022 cap number drops from $10.25 million to $8.75 million, as New England converted much of his 2022 salary to a signing bonus. He'll make just $1.5 million in base salary this season.

The Patriots now have $2.9 million in cap space following Godchaux's extension, per Patriots cap expert Miguel Benzan. That's still the least amount of cap space in the NFL, but it gives the team a little wiggle room while securing a player who head coach Bill Belichick called "one of the best defensive linemen in the league" on Thursday.

This kind of cap maneuvering is common practice for the Patriots, and it provides a little more insight behind the initial sticker shock of New England handing out more than $20 million to a defensive tackle who has yet to make a Pro Bowl.