Marquice Cole's new contract in focus

While no player wants to be cut, veteran defensive back Marquice Cole actually came out in front, financially speaking, by being released and subsequently re-signed by the Patriots a day later this week.

Cole was re-signed by the team in free agency to a one-year, minimum-salary contract that paid him a base value of $715,000.

Cole's newest deal, again for one year, will pay him $715,000 in base salary, but he now has the right to earn up to $1 million for the season through playing-time incentives.

The following are his benchmarks:

25 percent of defensive snaps: $95,000

35 percent of defensive snaps: $190,000

45 percent of defensive snaps: $285,000

Cole played just fewer than 18 percent of the defensive snaps last season, and with a role that projects to be similar in 2013, it's unlikely he'll reach the 35- or 45-percent plateau. That being said, if an injury ahead of him on the depth chart takes place, the 25-percent marker is not out of reach, which would reward Cole handsomely.