The New England Patriots offensive line wasn’t in very good shape at the end of last season, but it’s rebounded under new former offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia in 2016. Now, the organization wants to make sure the line remains strong for the foreseeable future.
New England took a major step Tuesday in ensuring that goal. The Patriots and offensive tackle Marcus Cannon have agreed to a five-year extension worth $32.5 million, including $14.5 million guaranteed according to NFL media insider Ian Rapoport.
Cannon, who was set to be a free agent this offseason, will see his new deal kick in next year.
The 28-year-old tackle struggled to find a permanent role on the line last season, but he has risen to become one of the most under-appeciated offensive tackles in the NFL this year. With the return of Nate Solder at the other tackle position, the Patriots have one of the best offensive tackle tandems in the league.
New England selected Cannon in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL draft, and he initially played well under Scarnecchia at the beginning of his career, but once the offensive line coach retired after the 2013 season, Cannon’s play fell on hard times.
After a two-year absence, Scarnecchia returned to the Patriots sideline this year to coach the offensive line again, and Cannon returned to his strong form.
This deal could mark the end of Sebastian Vollmer’s time with the Patriots. The former second-round pick will turn 33 and will be a free agent this spring. He is out the rest of this season with a hip injury.