Pats should be well under cap when lockout ends

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Pats should be well under cap when lockout ends

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
The owners' last proposal before the lockout began proposed a 2011 salary cap of 114 million per team. Since that fateful day in March, the number has no doubt risen and the manner in which the cap will be calculated has as well. Best guess? If the players are getting 48 percent of 9.3 billion, the cap will be around 115 million per team. How do the Patriots project to stack up against that as of right now? We would not be able to tell you without the indispensable resource that is Miguel. Miguel Benzan, a resource for Patriots fans and media alike compiles the salary and bonus info for the Patriots on Patsfans.com. He has a disclaimer on the page that clearly states the info provided is done so to the best of his knowledge and the reports we in the media present on contract particulars. With that out of the way, I added up the projected 2011 cap hits for the Patriots and - including Logan Mankins' franchise tender and workout bonus dough of 10,518,120 - the Patriots are at 98,699,105. Now, will players get credit for workout bonuses in 2011? Doubtful. So you might be able to lop a couple million off the projected figure. And you have to allow for restructures or releases (Nick Kaczur at 4.383? Ohhh, I don't think so). Cutting to the chase, it would appear- from these very approximate figures - that the Patriots will be about 18 to 20 million under the cap when the lockout ends. So there.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)