While the left tackle position is one of uncertainty for the New England Patriots heading towards the 2019 season — second-year man Isaiah Wynn is penciled in as the starter but coming off a torn Achilles; the backup options are question marks at this point — the spot on the other end of the offensive line remains in the steady hands of Marcus Cannon. The veteran is still under contract through the 2021 season.
Speaking of that contract: as first reported by NFL Network’s Michael Silver, the Patriots and their starting right tackle have agreed to a restructured contract. Cannon was originally scheduled to hit the Patriots’ salary cap with $7.47 million this year — making him the seventh most expensive right tackle in the NFL — consisting of a $5.5 million salary, his $1.4 million signing bonus proration and various roster bonuses.
While no further details are known at this point, Cannon’s new deal will turn $4.5 million of his originally scheduled compensation into full guarantees. That being said, his total salary cap hit for the 2019 season could decrease by up to $3.0 million (depending on whether or not any incentives are classified as ‘likely to be earned’ or not). In turn, the numbers for the remaining two seasons of his contract are expected to go up.
All in all, newly added incentives could boost the total value of the remaining contract to $24 million after Cannon was scheduled to hit the Patriots’ cap with $7.75 million and $6.35 million, respectively, in 2020 and 2021. Without full details, however, it is impossible to say a) how the restructure impacts the team’s salary cap structure in 2019 and beyond, and b) whether or not it guarantees that the 31-year-old will play out the remainder of his deal with the Patriots.
Cannon originally joined New England as a fifth-round draft pick out of Texas Christian in 2011. After starting his rookie season on the non-football injury — he was diagnosed with non-Hodkin’s lymphoma at the scouting combine and subsequently underwent treatment — he went on to become a valuable reserve option along the Patriots’ offensive line. His role on the team changed in 2016, however, when he succeeded Sebastian Vollmer as the starting right tackle.
Since then, Cannon has started a combined 41 regular season and playoff games for the Patriots (he has started a total of 58 games over his career) and helped the team win two Super Bowls. A second-team All-Pro selection in 2016, Cannon signed a five-year, $32.5 million contract extension with the club just eleven games into his first season as the regular starting right tackle — an investment that paid off for the club.
Entering 2019, Cannon is the most experienced offensive lineman on the Patriots’ roster and one of only two (the other being depth player Cole Croston) to appear in an actual non-preseason NFL game at the tackle position: Isaiah Wynn spent virtually his entire rookie campaign on injured reserve, while neither Dan Skipper nor Cedrick Lang have any snaps on their résumés.