The Patriots took care of a little business during the bye week, inking free-agent-center-to-be Dan Koppen to a contract extension on Thursday. Details of the contract were not released, but according to ESPN.com it's a 5-year deal worth between $19-20 million that includes $7.5 million in bonus money.
Koppen is a fourth year veteran and former 2003 fifth-round pick out of Boston College. The 27-year-old missed the final seven games a year ago with a shoulder injury, but returned to the starting lineup this fall. Earning $1.573 million this season thanks to escalators reached for the final year of his rookie deal Koppen could have tested the open waters this spring, but chose not to go that route.
"I didn't want it to get to that point," Koppen said in a radio interview with ESPN 890 Boston. "I feel very comfortable here. I love the guys I'm playing with and the organization. I just feel very comfortable to be in the position I'm in. I'm happy to be here."
With Koppen's extension New England now has the entirety of its offensive line under contract for the foreseeable future, including left tackle Matt Light ('10), left guard Logan Mankins ('09), Koppen ('11), right guard Stephen Neal ('09), rookie right tackle Ryan O'Callaghan ('09) and even top reserves Nick Kaczur ('09) and Russ Hochstein ('08).
"I like the guys we have on our line," Koppen said. "They just go out and work and try to do the right things. You can't ask more of a line than that. We've got the guys in place. We'll try to grow together and become a better line as time goes by."