Things have been pretty dead on the free agency front for the Patriots since they resigned cornerback Aqib Talib to a one year deal. There were talks between the Pats and John Abraham, and for awhile it seemed as though a deal was imminent. However for whatever reason, talks have broken off and Abraham is now drawing interest from other teams in the league.
Over this whole free agency period, there have been no reports of any talks between any team in the league and offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer. I really want Vollmer back with the Pats, and I think he is a huge key to the Pats having success offensively in 2013. The way I see it, since there literally have been no talks with Vollmer thus far in the offseason, this is a good thing for the Patriots. There has already been a run of offensive lineman in the free agency period as Jake Long, Jermon Bushrod, and Gosder Cherilus have all been picked up by the Rams, Bears, and Colts respectively. Offensive tackle was one of the biggest needs for all three of these teams and since Vollmer made the “first cut” I think the Pats will have a really good chance of bringing Vollmer back.
Another reason I think Vollmer will be back is because of Jake Long. Long took a very long time to get a deal done with the Rams. A lot of NFL analysts thought that a lot of the offensive tackles were just waiting for Long to get a deal done, so they could see how the best player on the market was going to be paid. However that has not been the case so far. No offensive tackles have been signed, and the longer things are just “dead” the better chance the Pats have of getting Vollmer back.
The last reason I believe the Pats will sign Vollmer is because they have a solid amount of cash to work with. According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the Patriots have about $11 million left in cap space. That is a good deal of money in the NFL. I think we can thank Wes Welker for that, as the Pats let him go to the Broncos and saved themselves some dollars. The market is pretty weak this year for offensive lineman, and I think Vollmer may want to sign a one year deal just like Talib did. Vollmer may do this to improve his stock for next year’s free agency market. If this were the case, $5-6 million would be the price range in my opinion. Bushrod got around $7 million a year and Long got around $9 million a year. I think Vollmer’s talent level is just under Bushrod’s talent level and now that the “elite” offensive tackles are gone, signing Vollmer at $5 or 6 million would be reasonable for the Pats.
With that being said, I also think that the Pats should try as hard as they can to lock Vollmer up to a multi-year deal. Signing him to a one year deal would be just fine, but if they do that, then the chances of losing him after the 2013 season would increase greatly. Vollmer is a very good offensive lineman, and one of the most underrated in the NFL in my opinion. The Patriots need him on their offense, and no matter how long of a contract they sign him to, they will have to get him signed to have an elite offense in 2013.