Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 2/8/13

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on during warm ups against the Baltimore Ravens during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Once upon a time in New England, it was a common phrase to say the Patriots had a strong middle class. The thought was to slightly overpay for players who would sign elsewhere due to lack of opportunities to start, thus creating depth or a “strong middle class.” However, when looking over the Patriots salary cap, there is one glaring contradiction. Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork, and Logan Mankins make up for what is 35 percent of the salary cap. Bill Belichick didn’t go to a youth movement because he loved the kids, they are just cheaper. According to Tom Curran of csnnewengland.com, there is an inordinate amount of money going their way, and if they don’t restructure, there could be some restraints until the cap goes up (And that won’t be in 2013). Curran writes: ‘Brady's $21.8 million hit is bigger than the combined hits of Wilfork ($10.6 million) and Mankins ($10 million). With two years remaining on his deal, Brady is now into the heavy part of the contract he signed in September of 2010, according to the salary documents compiled at the end of the regular season. Teams have been told the approximate cap number for 2013 will be $121 million. Our friends at Pro Football Talk reported Wednesday night that the Patriots rolled over $5.6 million in unused 2012 cap space into 2013. As a result, the Patriots are working with about $126.6 million in cap space when the league year begins next month.’ var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
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