Stephen Neal contract quick-hit

With the Patriots signing nose tackle Vince Wilfork and cornerback Leigh Bodden to lucrative contracts, the deal inked by offensive guard Stephen Neal has flown under the radar a bit.

That pact is for two years and totals $6.5 million. Between signing bonus and salary, it pays Neal about $4 million this season, with the remainder coming in 2011.

This looks like a win-win for both sides.

Neal was considering retirement after the playoff loss, but this is a nice final payday for him. He said that he doesn't envision playing once this contract expires.

Meanwhile, the Patriots retain a starting guard who is still playing at a high level. When considering that Titans starting guard Eugene Amano recently signed a longer-term extension that averages around $5 million per season, it looks like good value for New England on a short-term deal.