Bill Belichick on Marcus Cannon: 'It's always good to have him on the field'

Mike Petraglia
December 12, 2014 - 6:00 am

[caption id="attachment_79090" align="alignright" width="150"]Marcus Cannon Marcus Cannon[/caption] FOXBORO -- The way Bill Belichick sees it, a two-year, $9 million extension for Marcus Cannon is money well earned. The Patriots coach made that much clear Friday morning, hours after the extension was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter. Cannon showed his biggest value in 2013 when Sebastian Vollmer went out with a broken leg against the Dolphins in October. He took over at right tackle and helped stabilize the offensive line. "Last year, he had an opportunity to play a lot," Belichick said of the 26-year-old offensive lineman out of Texas Christian. "I thought he played well. This year, he gives us a lot of depth at a key position. It's always good to have him on the field. "He works hard and is very athletic guy, tough." This year has been a bigger challenge for Cannon, who has struggled at times on the left side of the offensive line. He started the first three games at left guard, as the Patriots searched for a replacement for the traded Logan Mankins. But he seemed to find a more comfortable role in the tackle-eligible role when the Patriots went with their jumbo sets. "Marcus works hard. He's done a lot of different things for us. He's improved a lot," Belichick said. Belichick would not specifically confirm the new deal for Cannon, focusing instead on the upcoming opponent this weekend at Gillette Stadium. "I don't really talk too much about contracts. Just right now worried about Miami," Belichick said. Cannon was due to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season after signing his four-year, $2.338 million rookie contract with New England in July 2011. Cannon's deal gives the Patriots some tackle insurance on the offensive line as Nate Solder is facing an upcoming fifth-year option of $7.43 million. With Cameron Fleming having missed eight of the last nine games with finger and knee injuries, that role has fallen primarily to Cannon.