Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/22/13
Sebastian Vollmer is expected to be one of the NFL’s  premier free agents this offseason. But before getting his next contract settled, Vollmer first had to square away some physical ailments, Vollmer underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Wednesday, according to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, which could explain the right tackle’s struggles toward the end of the season. The surgery usually involves a pretty short recovery time, which should see Vollmer ready in time for organized training activities (OTAs) this offseason. While the surgery is a positive step for Vollmer and a likely indicator for his production drop off late last season, it only raises more concerns for a player already riddled with injury history. Vollmer will be looking for a long-term contract, either from the Patriots or another team this offseason, and this newest issue paired with his history of knee and back problems could see his stock devalued on the market. When healthy Vollmer is arguably the best right tackle in all of football. He’s a stout pass protector and continue to improve with his blocking in the run game. His biggest downfall is his injury history. In his four seasons in the league, Vollmer has missed 13 of a possible 64 games and has been limited in a handful of others. Those injury concerns could be a hindrance to his anticipated big-money deal, too. The Patriots could still hit Vollmer with the franchise tag, but the offensive line carries a $9.6 million tag this year, which may be a tad pricey for the oft-injured tackle. This most recent development may also see the market develop a lot slower for Vollmer, which in turn could favor the Patriots if they do intend to re-sign him. Vollmer needs to prove his health issues won’t be a big factor moving forward, otherwise he will likely never see fair value from the Patriots or any other team. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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