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Report: OL Matt Light back with Patriots for two years, $12M

  • By Associated Press
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots have agreed to terms with offensive lineman Matt Light on a contract that would keep him protecting Tom Brady's blind side for two more years, a person familiar with the deal said Monday.

Light would earn up to $12 million, with $7 million guaranteed, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.

A Patriots spokesman did not respond to an inquiry about Light. Nick Caserio, the director of player personnel, said Sunday that "conversations are ongoing."

"Matt's been a good player for us for a long time," he said. "Matt's made a lot of contributions to this team. He's been a good player for us, so we'll see what happens."

A three-time Pro Bowl selection in 10 seasons with the Patriots -- including three Super Bowl victories -- Light started every game last season at left tackle. Brady called Light "one of my favorite players that I've ever played with."

"He's a great guy, great for this team, great in the community," Brady said. "I can't say enough about Matt. I hope he's back but those decisions aren't up to me. Matt's performance speaks for itself."

The Patriots' offensive line is in flux after a decade of consistency.

Guard Stephen Neal retired after nine seasons. Guard Logan Mankins was designated as the franchise player, one year after he held out seven games rather than accept the tag; he reported on time this year. Tackle Nick Kaczur, who spent last season on injured reserve, was cut.

The Patriots took Nate Solder, a first-team All-America selection from Colorado, with the 17th pick in the draft, and coach Bill Belichick said he would keep him at left tackle.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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