FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- On Monday, news was relayed that the New England Patriots and longtime offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia are far enough along in discussions to think there is a good chance Scarnecchia is back on the sidelines in 2016 after a two-year retirement.
That is obviously good news for the entire Patriots offensive line, as Scarnecchia's work in that area is well documented.
As for which player might benefit most, the thought came to mind that offensive tackle Marcus Cannon could be at the top of the list.
"Love his physicality. Love his passion for the game. He’s a smart kid, a great kid to coach, he’s driven to be very good. I think he’s a really good tackle," Scarnecchia said in 2013. "I like what he’s doing. I like how he’s doing it. Every day is a growth day for him. He’s a special kid. He’s a starting-quality player."
Many who follow the Patriots might argue with that, as Cannon's struggles have been hard to miss at times, such as in the AFC Championship Game. But at the same time, Bill Belichick mentioned multiple times how well he thought he thought Cannon played in the divisional-round win against the Chiefs.
Belichick and the Patriots have put their money where their mouth is with Cannon, signing him to a two-year extension in December of 2013 that could be worth up to $9 million. As part of that deal, Cannon is scheduled to earn $3.4 million in 2016 base salary and counts $4.75 million on the salary cap.
Is Cannon worth the contract?
Scarnecchia's expected return to the sidelines could be critical in answering that question when factoring in future performance, as he has spoken highly of Cannon in the past.