New England Patriots RB Rex Burkhead is taking a pay cut after arguably his best NFL season.
Rex Burkhead isn’t exactly a crucial cog in the New England Patriots machine, but, when healthy, he certainly executes his role well. In fact, 2019 might have been his best NFL season.
The 30-year-old logged a career high in yards from scrimmage (581), yards per reception (10.3) and yards per carry (4.6). He was already making very little for the 2020 season, and head coach Bill Belichick has somehow convinced him to take a pay cut.
Not only did his base salary significantly decrease, but he lost a significant amount in incentives.
We know the Patriots have a complicated salary cap situation, which is why they were only able to guarantee Cam Newton a measly $550K, but couldn’t they have asked someone else making a lot more money? Sure, Stephon Gilmore would’ve been a tough sell because he just won Defensive Player of the Year, but what about some other guys making big bucks?
Mohamed Sanu is guaranteed $6.5 million and had a terrible campaign in 2019. The Pats couldn’t shave $1.5 million off his deal and create some incentives for him?
Then again, we get it. The backfield is crowded and realistically this team does not need Burkhead. Plus, he could’ve been released, which would’ve saved the Patriots about $1.4 million. It’s obvious he had little leverage considering he’s sharing a position with Sony Michel, James White and Damien Harris.
Additionally, such is life in New England. Burkhead probably knew that when signing on with the team after the 2016 season and then inking an extension during the 2018 offseason.
Regardless of the circumstances, the Patriots have worked their magic yet again, convincing an impactful player to remain with the team at a discount despite his valuable contributions just last season.