In 2015, the New England Patriots invested considerable draft capital to solidify their trenches. Part of this investment was picking guards Tre’ Jackson and Shaq Mason in the fourth round. And while Jackson is currently out of the league, Mason turned into one of the NFL’s best interior offensive linemen over the last three years – one that apparently just signed a long-term contract extension to stay in New England.
As first reported by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Patriots and Mason have agreed to a five-year deal that will pay Mason as one of the best guards in the league:
The #Patriots have agreed to terms with G Shaq Mason on a five-year extension worth up to $50 million, sources informed of the agreement tell me and @HerbieTeope. Former fourth-round pick gets top-10 guard money.
In 2017, Mason played 1,136 of 1,139 snaps during the regular season (99.7%) before adding a perfect 221 of 221 in the postseason. Despite playing the majority of those snaps beside backup right tackles Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle, he did not skip a beat and continued his improvement and growth into a reliable, all-around interior offensive lineman for the Patriots – and one of the best guards in all of football.
Mason, who started 49 games over his three years with the team, was entering the final year of his original rookie contract on a modest salary cap hit of $2.02 million. A lock to make the team and again serve as its starting right guard, the main question this season was whether or not the Patriots would be able to lock him up to a long-term contract before he hit free agency next March. It looks like they succeeded.