Sebastian Vollmer‘s impending free agency has left many wondering about the Patriots’ right tackle entering next season, but not much consideration has been given to the guard working alongside him.
Dan Connolly filled the interior lineman slot quite well in 2012, taking over as the full-time starter when Pro Bowler Brian Waters never reported to the team. Connolly held down the fort on the right side, but that doesn’t mean the Patriots won’t be looking for a replacement.
Assuming Waters doesn’t decide to make a miraculous and unexpected return to the team soon, the Patriots will likely be peeking at potential upgrades on the free-agent market this offseason. If so, Brandon Moore seems like their best option.
Moore is most famously known, at least in and around New England, as Mark Sanchez‘s butt (fumble) buddy, which would make him more infamous than famous. But the former Jets guard has actually been one of the better guards in the NFL over the past half decade or so.
Moore has been reliable, healthy and consistent over each of the past nine seasons, asserting himself as one of the, if not the, best offensive lineman on the Jets’ roster. He has started all 128 games that the Jets have played over the past eight seasons, making him one of the most durable players in the NFL.
At 32, Moore won’t be a long-term answer for the Patriots, but, much like Waters’ role in 2011, he would offer a solid stopgap at the position for at least a few seasons.
Tom Brady just signed an extension to lead this offense for the next five seasons, so the least Bill Belichick and the staff could do is provide him with an offensive line capable of protecting him. Moore wouldn’t solve the problem at right tackle, but his addition would be a giant step in the right direction.