Vollmer and OT market

March, 22, 2013
3/22/13
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Offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer is among the top remaining free agents, yet we've heard very little about the interest he has garnered from teams -- the Patriots included.

There was an early run on free-agent tackles that included Gosder Cherilus and Jermon Bushrod, who landed lucrative deals with new teams. The dust settled a bit, and there was a belief that the next run on tackles would come once Jake Long -- a top-rated free agent left tackle -- signed his deal.

That came on Monday, as Long landed a four-year deal with the Rams that could pay him up to $36 million.

Since that time, none of the remaining noteworthy offensive tackles has been signed, and many are wondering why.

That's a question we don't have a specific answer to, as Vollmer would seem to be one of several tackles drawing extensive interest.

Other tackles who remain on the market without a contract include Andre Smith, Eric Winston and Bryant McKinnie.

We've heard about Winston drawing interest from a handful of teams -- the Patriots included -- and it could be that most or all of these players find work soon.

As it relates to the Patriots and Vollmer, mutual interest in a return would make sense, as he performed at a high level for the team in 2012 and was part of what was one of the best offensive lines in football. Negotiations have likely taken place, and we'd argue that the longer Vollmer remains on the market, the better the chances are that he returns to the Patriots.

Why? Well, should the Patriots have an offer on the table for Vollmer, he's likely using that as a baseline in discussions with other teams. If a superior offer hasn't come his way as of yet and doesn't soon, a potential Patriots offer would seemingly grow in value. It only takes one team to make the right offer, so there's no telling exactly where he will land at this time.

Offensive tackle is one of a few positions that has a stagnant market right now despite the fact that established talent is available (defensive end is another), and we'll continue to monitor the activity in the coming days and weeks.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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