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Breaking down Stephen Gostkowski's contract extension with Patriots

The following is a breakdown of the contract extension signed by New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski:

Terms: Four years, $17.2 million

Signing bonus: $6 million

Total guarantee: $10.1 million

2015

Base salary: $1.8 million (fully guaranteed)

Workout bonus: $100,000

Roster bonus: $200,000 ($12,500 per game if active)

Salary cap charge: $3.6 million

2016

Base salary: $2.3 million (fully guaranteed)

Workout bonus: $100,000

Roster bonus: $200,000 ($12,500 per game if active)

Salary cap charge: $4.1 million

2017

Base salary: $2.7 million

Workout bonus: $100,000

Roster bonus: $200,000 ($12,500 per game if active)

Salary cap charge: $4.5 million

2018

Base salary: $3.2 million

Workout bonus: $100,000

Roster bonus: $200,000 ($12,500 per game if active)

Salary cap charge: $5 million

ANALYSIS: This is a straight-forward deal that pays arguably the top kicker in the NFL at top-of-the-market rates. Gostkowski was scheduled to count $4.5 million on the salary cap this year as a franchise-tag player, so the Patriots gain about $900,000 in cap space with the extension this year. But more than that, the cap hits won't exceed $4.5 million until the final year of the deal, so by paying some well-deserved up-front money to Gostkowski ($8.1 million in cash in 2015 between signing bonus, base salary and workout/roster bonuses), the team also gains cap flexibility over the length of the deal. Thus, this is a situation where the player gets the desired financial boost, while it also helps the team from a long-range management perspective. It's the classic win-win situation.