One of the top right tackles in the National Football League is staying put, as Field Yates of ESPN Boston reports that Sebastian Vollmer has agreed to terms with the New England Patriots.
Terms of the new contract were not disclosed.
Vollmer has started 44 of 51 regular season games and all five game postseason games he's been active for the Patriots, who selected the Dusseldorf, Germany native in the second round (No. 58 overall) of the 2009 NFL draft out of the University of Houston.
The 6-foot-8, 314-pound Vollmer started eight games as a rookie before earning second-team All-Pro honors as a 16-game starter in 2010. Vollmer was limited to just seven regular and posteason games in the 2011 regular season by a back injury, but did start 15 regular season games and both of New England's playoff games in 2012.
Health may have been one factor in why Vollmer remained on the free agent market for nearly two weeks.
The time Vollmer missed with a back injury in 2011, along with a knee scope following the 2012 season, may have prevented other teams from committing big dollars this offseason. Another factor in the delay in a contract offer was the lengthy courtship between the St. Louis Rams and Jake Long, the premier offensive tackle on this year's free agent market. Long did not officially sign his contract with the Rams until last Friday and teams and agents may have wanted to see the structure and terms of that deal before making significant offers to players like Vollmer and Andre Smith, a 2009 first-round pick who played right tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals and remains on the free agent market.