The New England Patriots reportedly are planning to address their need for proven depth at offensive tackle this week.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday the Patriots intend to sign veteran tackle Jared Veldheer to a one-year contract worth up to $6.5 million after hosting him for a free agent visit last week.
New England likely will wait until Wednesday to sign Veldheer, as any players signed after May 7 will not factor into the 2020 compensatory pick formula.
Veldheer has started 113 games since entering the NFL as a third-round pick out of Division II Hillsdale in 2010, spending time with the Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos. The 31-year-old has experience at both tackle spots — he was Denver’s starting right tackle last season — and also played some center early in his career.
Adding Veldheer addresses a need for the Patriots, who were without an established swing tackle after losing LaAdrian Waddle to the Buffalo Bills in free agency. Beyond starting right-side pillar Marcus Cannon, no tackle on New England’s current roster has started an NFL game. That includes projected starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn, who missed his entire rookie season with a torn Achilles.
Rounding out the depth chart are Cole Croston, Dan Skipper, Cedrick Lang, 2019 third-round pick Yodny Cajuste and undrafted free agents Tyree St. Louis and Calvin Anderson.
The Patriots entered Tuesday with a full 90-man roster after signing undrafted wide receiver Xavier Ubosi, meaning they will need to release a player to make room for Veldheer.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images