The New England Patriots need to make their offensive line a priority this offseason, and it appears the work has already begun on that front.
The Patriots and offensive tackle Conor McDermott have agreed to terms on a new contract, The Boston Globe's Jim McBride reported Saturday night.
New England signed McDermott essentially as an emergency pickup last season, scooping him off the New York Jets' practice squad on Nov. 22 after injuries to Marcus Cannon and Isaiah Wynn left the team without a starting right tackle.
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McDermott capably filled the void, starting the Patriots' final six games at right tackle and allowing zero sacks during that span.
"Thank God we have him," head coach Bill Belichick said of McDermott in late December. "He’s done a good job. He’s been dependable and tough. He’s been out there, been durable."
McDermott also played for new Patriots offensive line coach Adrian Klemm at UCLA when Klemm worked as the Bruins' associate head coach, run game coordinator and offensive line coach, so bringing the 30-year-old veteran back made plenty of sense for New England.
With Cannon and Wynn both entering unrestricted free agency, McDermott very well could be the Patriots' starting right tackle in 2023 unless the team adds a tackle via free agency or the NFL Draft.
Starting left tackle Trent Brown, offensive guards Michael Onwenu and Cole Strange and center David Andrews are all under contract for 2023.