Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/13/14
Editor’s Note: NESN.com will evaluate and analyze one potential Patriots free agent addition everyday from February 18 through the start of NFL free agency on March 12. The Patriots already have a franchise left tackle on their roster in the form of Nate Solder. But the future on the right side isn’t quite as certain. Sebastian Vollmer is headed toward free agency after four solid seasons in New England, and the Patriots are still deciding whether he will be part of their future plans. Vollmer might be the best pass protecting right tackle in the NFL today, but concerns over recurring back problems are keeping Bill Belichick from extending him the massive contract extension he’s earned. So, if Vollmer doesn’t return, the Patriots will have to look elsewhere for someone to protect Tom Brady‘s strong side, which is where a former local college product may come into play. Gosder Cherilus was a standout at Boston College throughout the mid-2000s, which allowed Belichick and company more than enough opportunity to see the 2008 first-round pick’s entire skill set. Now, after five stellar seasons in Detroit, Cherilus is staring down a trip to the free agent market, and the Patriots may be in need of his services. Cherilus has been durable through his young NFL career, missing just five games in five seasons and playing all 16 games three times. This would be highlighted in comparison to Vollmer, as the Patriots’ current right tackle has missed 13 games in just four seasons. He’s also developed into a very reliable pass protector, allowing just five sacks in 2012 which is slightly less than the 5 1/2 Vollmer allowed last season. He’s also a very high-character person, which would fall in line with “the Patriot Way.” The only real fault that Belichick and the Patriots might find with the 6-foot-7, 325-pound behemoth is his bloated penalty numbers. Cherilus notched career highs with nine penalties for 67 yards in 2012, which were six flags and 47 yards more than Vollmer received. Belichick doesn’t take kindly to unforced errors and while Cherilus had gone three consecutive seasons with five penalties or fewer, the enlarged figure from last season could raise a red — err, yellow — flag. His price tag would likely be lower than Vollmer’s but the production might not be quite the same either. Not to say there would be a significant drop off, but there would be a decline of some sort. As a free agent on the market — if he even gets that far — Cherilus would have suitors ready with cash to spend. The Patriots may not be willing to dish out a five-year deal worth upward of $30 million for a right tackle with penalty problems, but he’s at least a viable back-up plan. Cherilus offers plenty to desire and few concerns for the Patriots. But, in the end, if Vollmer does decide to walk at least they know there is a solid contingency plan available. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes (https://twitter.com/LukeFHughes) or send it here (http://nesn.com/authors/luke-hughes/). Photo via Instagram/Gosder Cherilus
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Peyton Manning sets NFL touchdown passing record

Report: CJ Spiller suffers broken collarbone

DeMarco Murray sets record with another 100-yard game

Report: Things got 'ugly' in Bears locker room after loss

Rams beat Seahawks thanks to gutsy fake punt call

Brian Kelly unloads on officials for pass interference call

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Redskins bench Kirk Cousins for Colt McCoy

Brett Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Joseph Randle partners with underwear company after arrest

Report: Seahawks asked about Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron

Florida fans chant for Will Muschamp to be fired

Gennady Golovkin scores second-round knockout win

Video: Alec Burks breaks Kobe Bryant's ankles

WATCH: Sean Payton tells reporter to 'be quiet'

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans with whiteboard

WATCH: Tony Romo nearly runs over Alex Rodriguez

WATCH: Prince Amukamara pulls Dwayne Harris' hair

What was the meaning behind Doug Baldwin's TD celebration?

Luke Kuechly ejected after questionable call

WATCH: Giovanni Bernard gets leveled by Vontae Davis

WATCH: Rams run awesome trick play for punt return TD

Kyle Orton shaves his epic mustache

Florida State beats Notre Dame 31-27 in thriller

LenDale White goes off on USC AD after being escorted out

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Report: Marshall calls out Jay Cutler

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans

Brian Kelly unloads on officials

WATCH: Rams run punt return trick play for TD

Joseph Randle now an underwear spokesman?

Ex-Trojans RB escorted out after USC game

FSU tops Notre Dame in thriller

Fans chant for Muschamp's head

Popovich zings Suns owner

Golden Tate reacts to Percy Harvin trade

N.J. gov signs sports betting bill into law

WATCH: Tulane QB Nick Montana spikes ball on 4th down

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.