Insiders Q&A: Six Hot Questions, Six Answers

A six-pack of burning questions: From the possibility of Tom Brady's salary restructuring to whether Jerod Mayo will get into camp on time. members asked NFL Insider Adam Caplan for the latest on what he's hearing.

Updated 7/11/08 7:18pm

NFL expert and SIRIUS NFL Radio host Adam Caplan responded to Patriots Insider subscriber's questions this week. Have a question, send it to us here: link or email us

How will the CBA affect signings for players in this Draft class or the next one?

Adam Caplan: The problem hasn't been with rounds 2-7 selections. From talking to some veteran agents, the problem exists on the backside of first-round picks for year four which would be in 2011 which is the lockout year. That's something that's being worked through on both sides.

What are the chances that Jerod Mayo makes it into training camp on time (Rookies report 7/21)? What would he gain by holding out?

Caplan: Mayo understands that there's a good chance that he'll start as a rookie so he needs to get in there on time or at the very worst by the time the veterans arrive.

Do the Patriots have enough cap space to sign their rookie draft pool AND still sign a free agent or two like Junior Seau or another offensive lineman?

Caplan: The rookie pool has nothing to do really with their cap space (it's money that is set aside by how many picks they had and that makes up the rookie pool-Patriots have $4.35 million for their pool), both are two separate issues. The cap space they have available is enough for them to sign a few veteran free agent for backup purposes.

Tom Brady has restructured his contract multiple times over his career in New England. Can he restructure again to free up cap space? At what point does it become a problem cap wise?

Caplan: I would have to have a look at his contract which I don't have access to at this point. [Editor's note: Brady's cap charge was $14.6 million last we looked. His 2008 salary is $5 million with roughly $16 million in unamortized cap charges to distribute over his remaining contract years including 2008. His current deal runs through 2010.]

Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Lito Sheppard wants out of Philly, but will he get his request?
(AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)

What do you see happening with Lito Sheppard? Will he stay in Philadelphia or are they going to trade him to another team?

Caplan: As I first reported from the owners meetings, he wants a new contract despite having four years left on his deal. That's what has been holding up a potential trade. And Philadelphia would want at least a high second-round pick in return for 2009 and the Patriots obviously aren't likely to have that being that they're one of the best teams in the NFL.

What is happening with the Patriots and their interest in free agent (RB) Kevin Jones?

Caplan: He still has to prove his surgically repaired knee is sound. That's why teams are only offering a one-year minimum type of deal. The Patriots could bring in another veteran in August should any of the top three backs suffer an injury.

[Editors note: Jones visited the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, and reportedly will meet with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.]


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Adam Caplan is's national NFL reporter. He is also a host/analyst on Sirius NFL Radio. Caplan specializes in free agency, player signings, and the NFL draft. You can read more of his articles on the NFL Experts site here: ( Link )

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