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New deal for Panthers DE Mario Addison to shed light on market for Patriots DE Jabaal Sheard

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We are just over a week away from the NFL legal-tampering period for free agents, but the market for edge defenders is already taking shape.

NFL: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

As reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Monday morning, Carolina Panthers edge rusher Mario Addison has inked a new three-year $22.5 million deal to stay with the 2015 NFC conference champs. The contract’s guarantees have yet to be released. At the age of 29, Addison tallied 9.5 sacks in 2016.

For those wondering the potential cost of re-signing unrestricted free agent Jabaal Sheard, this deal should provide a solid start point. However, Sheard is two years younger and possesses more versatility along the defensive line. Sheard and agent Drew Rosenhaus will surely be looking to top $7.5 million per year.

Some in New England would consider 2016 a down year for Sheard, who at one point in the season was left behind as a healthy scratch on the team's trip to San Francisco. He got the message, as his level of play seemed to rebound quickly after the discipline. He finished the 2016 season with five sacks, and was graded as the 36th best edge defender in the league last season by Pro Football Focus.

As the team’s second highest cap hit on the defensive side of the ball last year (behind Dont’a Hightower), Sheard played 55.45% of New England’s defensive snaps. He earned $10,942,960 of the two-year $11 million contract he signed with the Patriots in 2015.

Follow Brian Phillips on Twitter - @b7phillips