New England Patriots right tackle Sebastian Vollmer, an impending free agent next month, recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. Vollmer is considered one of the Patriots top free agents this offseason, along with wide receiver Wes Welker and cornerback Aqib Talib. A little over a week ago, I explained why Vollmer should be the Patriots top priority this offseason, but this knee scope will certainly add a different perspective to his free agent status.
Vollmer is regarded as one of the right best tackles in the NFL when healthy, excelling particularly in pass protection. He battled through back and knee injuries during the year, missing just one regular season game. Still, injuries have been a concern for Vollmer, who has missed 13 of a possible 64 games in his career.
Given his health concerns, Vollmer may be a risk to sign to a hefty long-term contract. The Patriots will likely not use the franchise tag because it would cost $9.6 million to do so. Also, the recent news of cornerback Alfonzo Dennard’s conviction, could in my opinion, pressure the Patriots into using the franchise tag on cornerback Aqib Talib.
The knee scope surgery, piled on with Vollmer’s constant injuries, will hurt his free agent value. This could actually be a good thing for the Patriots because even with all the ailments, Vollmer is considered a premier free agent this off-season. The Patriots know that Vollmer possesses an impressive skill set and is a core pierce in its dominant offensive line. Thus, the Patriots should re-sign Vollmer to a contract that is fair to both sides in terms of years and salary.