The New England Patriots need to bring in a veteran guard to help out with the interior line in 2016. The team relied heavily on young players like then-rookies Tre Jackson and Shaq Mason, as well as third-year player Josh Kline, and quarterback Tom Brady paid the price.
While the team can and should hope that Jackson and Mason make considerable strides entering their sophomore seasons, it would be wise for the team to bring in an additional veteran to stabilize the line.
Keep in mind that players like Jackson and Mason are not roster locks, even though they were drafted in the 4th round. Head coach Bill Belichick has no problem cutting fourth round picks in their second season (see: Josh Boyce, Cameron Fleming).
Here's a short list of offensive guards that could interest the Patriots.
6. Texans OG Brandon Brooks; 27 years old. Coming off rookie contract. Could receive ~$5 million APY. Brooks should have an easy adjustment after playing well in the Texans scheme under former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.
5. Lions OG Manny Ramirez; 32 years old. $1.6 million APY contract in 2015. Ramirez is a veteran with experience in multiple systems, include time with the Broncos. He'd be a cheap option to function as a band-aid.
4. 49ers OG Alex Boone; 29 years old. $3 million APY contract in 2015. Boone is a high quality guard that could be looking for a way out of San Francisco.
3. Vikings OG Mike Harris; 27 years old. Coming off restricted free agent contract in 2015. Could receive ~$5 million APY. Harris emerged after converting from tackle and he could hold down the guard position for years to come.
2. Patriots OG Ryan Wendell; 30 years old. $1.6 million APY contract in 2015. Wendell is a team captain and knows the system. Wendell can play all three interior positions. What better veteran could there be?
1. Chiefs OG Jeff Allen; 26 years old. Coming off rookie contract. Could receive ~$5 million APY. Allen emerged in limited time this season and there could be multiple teams bidding for his services.