The New England Patriots re-signed right tackle Sebastian Vollmer on a four-year deal, which was news reported on Sunday by ESPN Boston’s Field Yates. The contract details were unknown at the time, but I speculated that the deal likely came on the cheap for the Patriots. Vollmer never received much interest on the free agent market, and the Pats likely would have given Vollmer a one-year deal if he wanted a lucrative pay-day. For the injury-prone tackle, long-term security is more important than doing what Aqib Talib did and signing a one-year deal.
Both Talib and Vollmer had similar free agencies, because both “Big Three” free agents received much less interest than initially anticipated. Talib ended up taking a one-year deal with the Patriots in order to prove himself in 2013 with a big year and set himself up for a lucrative contract in a better market in the 2014 offseason. Since Vollmer had a softer market than anticipated, several people speculated that Vollmer would go the same route.
Instead, he signed a four-year deal with the New England Patriots and took the long-term security instead, and it is a deal that works out well for both sides. According to Pro Football Talk, Vollmer will receive $17 million in base salary over those four seasons with incentives that could push the deal up to a total of $27 million.
This is a great situation for the Patriots, because they will be able to secure their elite right tackle and free agent priority for four seasons on a team-friendly deal. $17 million in base salary for four seasons is quite cheap, and only $8.25 million of the contract is guaranteed. That’s significantly less than what the other tackles who hit free agency made this offseason, and Vollmer was better than almost all of those tackles. Injuries led to a lower base salary and less guaranteed money, but Vollmer can put himself in a position to make money if he stays healthy.
$27 million over four years equates to roughly $8 million per year, which is about the going rate for tackles like Vollmer. So if he can stay healthy and, thus, effective, the top three RT will play under a deal that exactly fits his value for the Patriots. If he does that, then it’s a good deal for the Patriots- no doubt about that. They will be getting an elite right tackle on fair value. If he isn’t able to stay healthy, then the Patriots have a way out. Vollmer is slated to have $9 million of that $27 million (one-third of the pie) as roster bonuses or playing time incentives added to the deal.
Chalk this up as another shrewd contract made by the New England Patriots, and Sebastian Vollmer gets the long-term security he covets. It was also clear that Vollmer wanted to stay with the New England Patriots, and he will get to stick around with this team for the near future on a deal that pays him exactly what he puts in. There is no question that Vollmer will be effective, but Vollmer’s health is the big question there. The Patriots answered that question with this deal, and there are very little qualms that could be made about this deal.
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