Why Britton fits: If Vollmer departs, and the Patriots bump Marcus Cannon up the fictional pre-draft depth chart at right tackle, a player like the 6-foot-6, 308-pound Britton could be a reclamation project worth exploring at a minimum-level type deal as a Plan B option (with more additions possible in the draft). Britton, a high second-round pick in 2009, lost his starting job last season and would represent a low-risk, high-reward situation. Put him in the Dante Scarnecchia School for Offensive Linemen and see what happens.
Why Thomas fits: He proved to be a solid fill-in at both guard positions, playing 48 percent of the offensive snaps in 2012 for the Patriots and holding his own. He could get starter-type consideration elsewhere, but if he doesn’t, the Patriots could address depth concerns by bringing him back with a bump in pay.
Why Vollmer fits: As noted by teammate Logan Mankins, when Vollmer is healthy he’s one of the best in the NFL at his right tackle position. The Patriots and Vollmer’s representatives aren’t aligned on a contract at this time, so the market will be a big factor in dictating his future.
Market conditions: A lot of good players available, which is rare to see. Teams looking to upgrade up front have a lot of options from which to choose. The draft is also considered deep.
Questions to answer at position: Will another team pay big money to Sebastian Vollmer? … Is Marcus Cannon ready to step up at right tackle if Vollmer departs? … What is the best avenue to build more depth – draft or free agency?
YOUR TURN:Which of these would you like to see in a Patriots uniform? Share your thoughts in the comments section of this blog entry.