Rex Burkhead is taking a bit of a haircut to remain with the Patriots as he enters the final year of the three-year contract he signed with the club back in 2017. The 30-year-old running back has restructured his deal with New England as his base salary drops from $2.5 million to $1.05 million, according to Field Yates fo ESPN. Burkhead gets $550,000 to sign and his roster bonuses drop $100,000 to $400,000 for the 2020 season.
This moves creates just under $1 million in cap space for the Patriots, which is much needed. Even just that bit of wiggle room is substantial for New England as it entered the day with just about $260,000 in available space and have still have at least one roster move that needs to be addressed. The Cam Newton signing, in particular, has yet to be made official after the quarterback and the club agreed to a minimum one-year deal. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has reported that Newton's contract has a base salary of $1.05 million, which may now be available to the club (or close to it) thanks to this Burkhead restructure.
As for Burkhead himself, this deal further helps him solidify his spot on the 53-man roster for the 2020 season. When healthy, Burkhead has been a versatile figure in New England's backfield since coming over from the Bengals in free agency during the 2017 offseason. Over this three-season tenure, Burkhead has totaled 1,416 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns. In 13 games played for the Patriots in 2019, he rushed for 302 yards and three touchdowns and caught 27 passes for 279 yards. Burkhead was also with the Patriots during their latest championship, beating the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.