Tommy Kelly’s deal was just structured and signed by both parties, here is the information:

It's a two-year deal with five million maximum value and one million of that five million is guaranteed. In 2013, his cap hit will be two million and in 2014 his cap hit will be three million. If Kelly shows up to all the workouts and stays healthy he will be walking away with five million from the Patriots.

Five million is a significant number because it shows that the Patriots still feel he’s got some gas left in the tank. Tommy Kelly has been in the league for nine years, but his play has remained consistent. In the last five seasons, Kelly has started in every game for the Oakland Raiders so all of his money is easily achieved in this deal.
The most recent update of the Patriots available cap space was 10 million and since Kelly will take two million away from that it will now leave eight (you like that math?). This signing does a few things, it adds depth at a thin position and adds an inside presence that can get to the quarterback. In 2010 and 2011, Kelly was able to sack the quarterback seven times and that is the kind of player we need on the defensive line. The lack of an effective pass rush was number two on my list of concerns going into next season and though it’s not what we all had in mind, Kelly is a great pickup.

Kelly’s statistics for sacks went down last season to just 1.5 sacks, but it might be worth noting his entire career has been spent with one of the worst franchises in the NFL of late. The Raiders have been a revolving door of players and coaches for recent years and in the midst of it all, they sucked. I think being on a team that will be in contention should result in an elevation of his game and bring him back to 2010 and 2011.

Kelly may not have been the big name fans were looking for, but that wiggle room he provides for our cap, matched up with his potential production makes him a great signing for the Patriots. Mark my words, Kelly will have an impact on the line this season.

Josh Brown
follow on twitter @TitleTownTalkSB

Joshua Brown 4/10/2013 12:02:00 PM Edit

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