New England Patriots agree to 5-year extension with guard Shaq Mason

The team is signing standout guard Shaq Mason to a five-year extension worth uip to $50 million, a source confirmed to The Herald.

A fourth-round pick in 2015, Mason has blossomed into New England's best all-around offensive lineman. "He came from an [option-based] offense that was quite different from ours and he adapted quickly. He's an athletic player, good strength, good balance, is an excellent run blocker".

Mason, a native of Columbia, Tenn., has good size (6 feet 1 inch, 310 pounds) and athleticism, is an absolute beast in the run game, and has improved significantly in pass protection since entering the league.

"Shaq has done a good job for us since the time he got here", Bill Belichick said.

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His $10 million average earnings make him the seventh-highest guard in the league, behind the Cowboys' Zack Martin, the Jaguars' Andrew Norwell, the Browns' Kevin Zeitler, the Raiders' Kelechi Osemele, the Panthers' Trai Turner, and the Raiders' Gabe Jackson. He's gotten better each year, and he's done a good job for us. Only six guards now earn more than $10 million per year: Zack Martin of the Dallas Cowboys ($14 million), Andrew Norwell of the Jacksonville Jaguars ($13.3 million), Kevin Zeitler of the ($12 million), Kelechi Osemele of the Oakland Raiders ($11.7 million), Trai Turner of the Carolina Panthers ($11.25 million) and Oakland's Gabe Jackson ($11 million).

Now, New England's interior offensive line is set, with center David Andrews and guard Joe Thuney also under contract for next year.

Still, this is a solid deal for the Patriots. He started 16 games last season, 15 the year before and 10 as a rookie. Mason was going to be a free agent after this season.

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