The New England Patriots will sign free agent offensive tackle Jared Veldheer to a one-year deal worth up to $6.5 million later this week, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.
According to SiriusXM NFL, the minimum value will be $3.5 million, with up to $3 million in additional escalators.
The delay in the signing likely has to do with the compensatory pick formula, as any signings after Tuesday won’t count in the league’s system for awarding compensatory picks. The Patriots are currently expected to receive two third-round and two sixth-round picks next year, according to OverTheCap.com.
Veldheer, who turns 32 in June, started 12 games at right tackle for the Denver Broncos last season after being acquired via trade, allowing just one sack but being flagged for seven penalties.
He spent the previous four years with the Arizona Cardinals, playing primarily left tackle before moving to the right side in 2017. A third-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2010, Veldheer has 113 starts in 118 games through nine seasons, with the majority at left tackle.
Incumbent left tackle Trent Brown left for the Oakland Raiders in free agency, though 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn is expected to get the first shot at starting on Tom Brady’s blind side. New England also lost swing tackle LaAdrian Waddle to the Buffalo Bills in free agency.