Patriots Rumors: Veteran OT Jared Veldheer to Retire from NFL After 9 Seasons

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2019

Denver Broncos offensive tackle Jared Veldheer (66) looks on against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

New England Patriots tackle Jared Veldheer has reportedly informed the team he plans to retire, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com.

Veldheer signed with the Patriots this offseason and was expected to provide depth behind presumed starters Marcus Cannon and Isaiah Wynn.

His retirement would be a tough blow for New England's depth at tackle after Trent Brown (Oakland Raiders) and LaAdrian Waddle (Buffalo Bills) departed in free agency this offseason.

That leaves unproven players like Cole Croston, Yodny Cajuste, Cedrick Lang, Dan Skipper and Tyree St. Louis to battle for the swing tackle role. Cajuste, a rookie, will be the favorite to earn the job if the Patriots don't bolster the position in free agency, though at this point of the offseason, the pickings are a bit more slim.

Veldheer, 31, started 113 games in his nine-year career, previously playing for the Raiders (2010-13), Arizona Cardinals (2014-17) and Denver Broncos (2018). He started 12 games for the Broncos last year, earning a grade of 62.4 from Pro Football Focus, 58th among offensive tackles.

His signing wasn't a high-profile move, but it was a vital one for depth. The Patriots now have major question marks at tackle. Wynn didn't play last year after tearing his Achilles, Cajuste is a third-round rookie and the rest of the options besides Cannon have little to no experience.

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