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Marcus Cannon signs five-year extension with Patriots

According to ESPN, the New England Patriots struck a deal with pending free agent offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, signing him to a five-year, $32.5 million extension. The deal comes with $14.5 million guaranteed and marks a terrific improvement for the sixth-year veteran.

Cannon, 28, was another late round Patriots draft success story, going in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Texas Christian University. The 6-foot-5, 335 lbs. tackle had been shuttled around the line throughout his career, playing both right and left tackle, and even getting time at the guard positions.

However, Cannon was able to turn around the shaky start to his career when the Patriots brought back offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, and has settled into the right tackle position nicely.

The signing now provides the Patriots with much-needed stability on the offensive line. Left tackle Nate Solder is under contract through 2017, while David Andrews, Joe Thuney, and Shaq Mason are all under long-term contracts. The team could also bring back Sebastian Vollmer, who is currently on injured reserve, and may be the best of the group of lineman, despite being a pending free agent as well.

The move also runs parallel to the Jamie Collins’ trade earlier this year. Collins was also a pending free agent and would have commanded a large sum of money on the market. That money can now be distributed elsewhere, with Cannon becoming the first benefactor of this extra money.

The Patriots can now turn their attention to re-signing top pending free agents like Vollmer, Martellus Bennett and Jabaal Sheard among others.