New England Patriots: Shaq Mason named a top value player by PFF
By Nick Ziegler
Recently, Pro Football Focus named 10 players who are a great value based on their contracts. Did someone make the list for the New England Patriots?
The New England Patriots are one of the best teams in the NFL at being careful and creative with their salary cap. Very rarely will New England overspend on a player, and frequently they are able to convince players to sign for cheaper than they would elsewhere.
So far in 2017, one of the issues early on for the Patriots was the play of their offensive line. Tom Brady might be having a great season, but he has been under a ton of pressure this season. Since the poor start to the season, the Patriots’ offensive line has been much better recently, with Nate Solder still being a bit of an issue at left tackle.
One of the players on the offensive line that has been solid for the Patriots this season is guard Shaq Mason. Since being drafted, Mason has been a starter for the Patriots. Even though he had some tough moments as a rookie, he has become a very reliable player.
Recently, Pro Football Focus named Mason one of the top values in the entire NFL. Here’s what they had to say about him.
"Essentially a starter his entire time in New England since being drafted out of Georgia Tech (74 percent of snaps in 2015, 92 percent in 2016, and 100 percent this season), Mason has developed from an overwhelmed rookie (43.8 grade) to a high-quality performer for the Patriots. While his passing block continues to improve each year (97.0 pass blocking efficiency – 13 total QB pressures allowed thus far, 24th among guards in 2017), he is an elite run blocker, proven by his 90.2 run block grade which is third among all guards."
With the way that Mason is playing this season once again, he is certainly deserving of making this list. As the 88th highest paid guard in the league, Mason is currently graded as the third best guard in the entire NFL according to PFF.
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Considering how little the Patriots pay Mason, he is proving to be an excellent value for the team. Having guys like Mason that are outperforming their salary is extremely important for the team. Also, it is one of the reasons why the Patriots have been able to be successful for so long. With Mason continuing his strong play in the middle, the Patriots’ offensive line should be in a position to play well for the second half of the season.