New England Patriots sign Shaq Mason to five-year contract extension

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback Tom Brady
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback Tom Brady /

The New England Patriots lock-up their best offensive lineman, Shaq Mason.

The New England Patriots have signed offensive guard Shaq Mason to a five-year contract extension, per NFL Network’s Herbie Teope and Mike Garafolo. The deal is reportedly worth $50-million with $23.5-million guaranteed and will keep Mason under contract with the Patriots until 2023.

Mason started all 16 games at right guard for the Patriots last season, along with the playoffs, and is set to enter the final year of his rookie deal. He joined the team as a fourth-round draft pick in 2015 and has played in 46 games over his first three seasons, including 41 starts.

The 24-year-old was regarded as New England’s most valuable impending free agent, heading into the season, and the deal makes him one of the highest-paid guards in the league. The guard position has been paid well this offseason and there is a good chance the Patriots would have been outbid if they had let him reach the free agent market.

Mason has been a consistent cog in the Patriots’ offensive line, playing over 90% of the team’s offensive snaps in each of the last two seasons, per Pro Football Reference. The team now has four offensive linemen under contract through the 2020 season, including Mason, tackle Marcus Cannon, center David Andrews, and 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn.

It is wise of the Patriots to invest and maintain their offensive line. Not only is it responsible for keep Tom Brady upright, it has helped the offense rank top ten in rushing yards per game and rushing touchdowns in each of the last two seasons.

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With Mason’s contract taken care of, the Patriots can now focus on extending their other impending free agents, such as defensive end Trey Flowers and wide receiver Chris Hogan. Flowers, who leads the team with 13.5 sacks over the past two seasons, is entering the final year of his deal and should be made a top priority to lock-up. As for Hogan, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported earlier in August that negotiations are ongoing.