<
>

Markus Kuhn's 1-year contract with Patriots includes $140k signing bonus

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Let's take a closer look at the contract signed by defensive tackle Markus Kuhn with the New England Patriots, while analyzing what it means for the player and team:

Term: 1 year

Signing bonus: $140,000

Base salary: $760,000

Roster bonus: $300,000 ($18,750 per game if on 46-man game-day roster)

Incentives: $300,000 (classified as not likely to be earned)

Split salary: $428,000

Salary-cap charge: $1.08 million

Kuhn's signing reflects how the Patriots have been willing to pay a six-figure signing bonus to lower-level, free agents with starting experience this offseason to build depth and competition on the roster. The $140,000 signing bonus is the lone guarantee in the deal and both Kuhn and the Patriots are "protected" in the pact. For Kuhn, if he stays healthy and produces, he can earn up to $1.5 million. But if he gets hurt in training camp and lands on injured reserve, the Patriots would pay him a split salary of $428,000, reducing the club's financial risk in that scenario. This is likely similar to the deal that the Patriots offered defensive tackle Sealver Siliga before Siliga signed with the Seahawks earlier in the offseason. Kuhn is vying to fill Siliga's role as the No. 4 option on the depth chart among big-bodied defensive tackles (which doesn't include interior sub rusher Dominique Easley).