Having lost both Cameron Fleming and Nate Solder during free agency, the New England Patriots’ depth a long the offensive line will be tested once Week 1 comes calling.
Fortunately, New England made the wise decision to lock up young guard Shaq Mason on a lucrative long-term deal. According to various reports, the Patriots have signed the 24-year-old standout to a five-year, $50 million extension with $23.5 million guaranteed.
The deal makes Mason one of NFL’s highest-paid guards.
Patriots signed G Shaq Mason to a 5-year, $50 million contract extension with $23.5 million guaranteed, source tells @MikeGarafolo and me. Mason, who will earn close to $30 million over first three years of new deal, now among highest-paid guards in NFL. Key OL piece staying put.
— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) August 27, 2018
A fourth-round pick of the Patriots back in 2015, Mason has started 41 games over the past three seasons. He turned in a Pro Bowl-level 2017 season and is seen as one of the best young interior linemen in the game.
It’s a move New England needed to make, as Mason was set to hit free agency following the 2018 season. Given the Pats’ unwillingness to pay their own free agents this past March, that likely would have led to Mason departing for greener pastures.