New England Patriots Links 1/21/10 - Possible New Look For O-Line in 2010

Steve Grogan signs autographs at the second annual Patriot Place Cares about Kids Day at The Hall at Patriot Place.

Erik Scalavino takes a top-to-bottom look at the New England roster to see where the most pressing needs may be. Today's snapshot: the offensive line.

One gets the sense, however, that change is coming to an area that has remained unusually consistent over the past several years.

Depending on what happens with the upcoming labor negotiations between the NFL and the players' union, Mankins could become an unrestricted free agent. The possibility of an uncapped year, though, leaves his status in limbo at the moment. His counterpart on the right side, Stephen Neal, openly discussed the idea of retirement following the loss to the Ravens. And Vollmer's emergence raises questions about the future of both Matt Light and Nick Kaczur.

Vollmer isn't the only young player on New England's offensive line who appears to have a bright future either. Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, and Rich Ohrnberger all appear to have found their niches with the Patriots. But this is clearly a position that the team could target for an upgrade or two once the current uncertainty surrounding free agency is settled.

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