New England Patriots

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

The Patriots gave receiver Phillip Dorsett some added incentive to perform, and saved themselves a bit of cap space in the process.

ESPN’s Field Yates first reported on Tuesday that Dorsett has agreed to restructure his contract for the 2018 season. His roster bonus, which is due on day five of training camp, has been reduced from $450,000 to $150,000. Now, he can earn $100,000 in per-game roster bonuses and $150,000 in “reception incentives.”

It’s a similar, but less expensive, setup given to Rob Gronkowski in 2017. Dorsett now has a carrot dangling in front of him in the form of moneymaking production in the Patriots offense. With Brandin Cooks gone to the Rams, Dorsett could be first in line as the Patriots’ “deep threat” for Tom Brady in 2018.

Dorsett saw just 18 targets in 15 games for the Patriots, catching 12 of them for 194 yards. His big highlight came in the Patriots’ AFC Championship win over the Jaguars, making a 31-yard catch as part of a touchdown drive that sparked the Patriots’ fourth-quarter comeback in their 24-20 win that sent them to Super Bowl LII.

Phillip Dorsett of the New England Patriots makes a catch over Myles Jack of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Phillip Dorsett of the New England Patriots makes a catch over Myles Jack of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

As analyzed by the Boston Sports Journal’s Miguel Benzan, a.k.a. @PatsCap on Twitter, the Pats save $200,000 against the salary cap in the final year of Dorsett’s deal.

In the end, it could work out for both sides. Dorsett loses $50,000 at a minimum with the adjusted bonuses and incentives, but that is a drop in the bucket and would quickly become a distant memory if he plays his best football and cashes in as a free agent. If he can provide a facsimile of Cooks’ production in 2018, he could be in for a major payday. And for a Patriots team that’s going to need receivers to step up after the departure of Danny Amendola, some added incentive can only help Brady and Bill Belichick get the most out of Dorsett.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.


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