Left tackle is one of the most important positions in the NFL today, tasked with the tough job of keeping elite pass rushers from getting to franchise quarterbacks.
Nate Solder has held that role in New England since sliding into Matt Light's big shoes in 2012. Since then the 2011 first-round pick has been the man covering Tom Brady's valuable backside.
Now, as first reported by ESPN, Solder has signed a two-year, $20-plus million extension to remain with the Patriots through 2017.
In fantasy football news, ESPN says that Rob Gronkowski is the most valuable Patriots player heading into 2015.
Looking at the opener, ESPNBoston.com predicts the potential inactives against the Steelers, a list that includes center Bryan Stork.
Relating to ESPN and* Sports Illustrated *recent rehashing of Spygate, former Patriots player Tedy Bruschi urges the team's fans via ESPNBoston.com to refuse to be brainwashed by the media.
The Boston Globe also notes that Stork missed yet another practice as he deals with a concussion suffered in training camp. The Globe looks at the most important notes form the latest Spygate stories.
As for the Steelers, the Herald looks at Brady's dominance over Pittsburgh through the years. The Herald notes that New England's players had little to say about the latest Spygate retellings, while the team's rookies are ready to debut against Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
Boston.com has an interesting, detailed profile of Brady's right-hand-man off the field – Ben Rawitz.
WEEI.com passes along a report that the Patriots have applied with the NFL to reinstate suspended staffers John Jastremski and Jim McNally. The site also looks back on when Aaron Dobson lit up the Steelers during his rookie season of 2013.
CSNNE.com has five thoughts heading into the Patriots season opener.