A mainstay on New England's offensive line for the majority of this decade, Sebastian Vollmer's football career is in jeopardy.
The Patriots will release Vollmer, who is contemplating retirement due to lingering hip pain, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
Vollmer was scheduled to reach free agency this offseason, but his 2016 contract "tolled" to 2017 because he spent all of last season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list with the hip injury.
"There was no way he was really a second-round pick," coach Bill Belichick explained in Michael Holley's book War Room.
"He should have been a fourth- or fifth-round pick, by the film, by his performance. But you saw him as an ascending player and he had rare size, and there were a lot of things that you had to fix and all that. But it was clear that the league liked him. ... We just said, 'Look, we really want this guy. This is too high to pick him, but if we wait we might not get him.'"
Vollmer went on to start 80 of 88 games over eight seasons in New England, emerging as one of the premier right tackles in football from 2010 through 2014.