TUESDAY, 9:50am: The initial NFLPA records for Wendell’s contract had a misprint, adding an extra zero to his annual roster bonuses, according to Field Yates of ESPN Boston. Rather than receiving annual $2MM roster bonuses, Wendell is eligible for annual $200K roster bonus, says Yates. As such, the two-year deal is actually worth significantly less than initially reported — it has a base value of $3.25MM ($850K guaranteed) and can be worth up to $4.55MM with incentives.
FRIDAY, 2:18pm: The Patriots have re-signed center Ryan Wendell, according to Tom Curran of CSNNE.com (via Twitter). Field Yates of ESPN Boston, citing NFL records, tweets that it’s a two-year, $6.85MM contract.
Wendell, 28, has started every one of the Patriots’ regular season contests over the last two seasons, and figures to enter 2014 as the team’s center. As I noted when I examined the free agent market for centers last month, Wendell had a poor 2013 season following a very good 2012. The Fresno State product ranked as the league’s worst pass-blocking center in ’13, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), and received a negative pass-blocking score from PFF in ’12 as well, even though he ranked fourth overall among centers.
While Wendell’s poor pass-blocking grades may be a cause for concern for Tom Brady and New England’s passing attack, it appears the team is confident enough in the veteran center to commit to him as the starter in 2014 and perhaps 2015.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links), the deal includes an $850K signing bonus, base salaries of $1MM in both seasons, roster bonuses worth $2MM in both years, and up to $1.3MM in playing-time incentives for 2015.