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Nate Ebner receives $500k guarantee in two-year Patriots deal

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When the New England Patriots officially re-signed safety/special teamer Nate Ebner on Monday, it locked in the No. 2-rated free agent among their own players. Part of the reason Ebner was No. 2 is the projection of him being on the 46-man game-day roster as a core special teamer, which adds to his value.

Here is a closer look at Ebner's contract and how it fits into the team's salary-cap picture:

Terms: 2 years, $2.4 million

Signing bonus: $500,000 (paid out in two $250,000 installments)

2016

Base salary: $825,000

Roster bonus: $125,000 ($7,812 per game on 46-man game-day roster)

Cap charge: $1.19 million

2017

Base salary: $825,000

Roster bonus: $125,000 ($7,812 per game on 46-man game-day roster)

Cap charge: $1.2 million

ANALYSIS: Ebner is one of the Patriots' best special teams players, and this deal reflects how he isn't at the top of the special teams pay scale with captain Matthew Slater (averages $2 million per season), but still finds himself above the minimum level of a contract. With an overall adjusted salary cap of $159.6 million for the Patriots in 2016, these are easily absorbed cap hits for a core player in the kicking game. It doesn't appear that there was much competition from other teams for Ebner, who is now chasing the dream of playing for the United States Olympic rugby team. With the Patriots supporting Ebner's hopes of playing in the Olympics, that likely served as another form of motivation for Ebner to stay in New England.