The Patriots recently announced the return of offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer to the 2013 Patriots roster. The 58thpick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Vollmer has proven to be a versatile lineman, lining up at both the right and left tackle position throughout his tenure with the Patriots. Although he is no stranger to the injury report, Vollmer has been the cornerstone of the Patriots offensive line.
What does this mean for the 2013 Patriots?
Tom Brady restructured his contract at the beginning of the 2013 offseason to allow the Patriots to make moves like this one. Following the contract that Jake Long received from the St. Louis Rams, averaging out at $8.5 million a year, Vollmer was certainly in line for a raise come contract time. Although this deal took a little longer than I anticipated it is certainly a comfort to have Vollmer back. The Patriots took an interesting approach when hashing out this deal, utilizing incentives based on playing time to reach the maximum contract value (which is $27 million.) Given Vollmer’s history with injuries, this allows the Patriots to protect themselves financially if Vollmer winds up on the injury report for an extended period of time. As far as productivity is concerned, the Patriots boasted the 6th most effective offensive line in the NFL last season and Vollmer was a major contributor. The Chosen One only suffered 27 sacks and 67 hits last year while the revitalized rushing attack averaged 4.2 yards a carry. Needless to say in a free agency period filled with lots of movement, the extension of Sebastian Vollmer was a big win for the Patriots in 2013.