Amid their busy training camp schedule, the New England Patriots have restructured the contract of veteran right tackle Marcus Cannon and are expected to negotiate a contract extension with offensive lineman Joe Thuney. According to Michael Silver of NFL Media, the Patriots have restructured the contract of Cannon by converting $4.57 million of his 2019 salary into bonus. The move also gave the Patriots additional cap space as it created around $3 million worth of wiggle room to acquire another key piece that would help them in their quest to win a seventh Super Bowl ring.

Aside from the increase in guaranteed money for 2019, the Patriots also added some incentives that could increase the value of the remaining three years in Cannon’s deal to $24 million. In 2016, Cannon signed a five-year extension worth $32.41 million with the Patriots. The 31-year-old Cannon, who started in 13 games last season, has emerged as a key player for the Patriots with the departure of offensive tackle Trent Brown in the offseason. Brown signed a massive four-year deal with the Oakland Raiders worth $66 million. In 2019, Cannon is expected to remain as right tackle alongside 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn as left tackle.

Patriots eyeing contract extension for Thuney

Also, the Patriots are also negotiating a contract extension for Thuney, their star offensive lineman who is in the last year of the four-year, $3.21 million deal that he signed in his rookie year.

According to Matt Verderame of Fansided, the Patriots want to sign Thuney to a long-term deal as they see him as a core piece. The 26-year-old Thuney talked about his contract extension during Thursday’s training camp, saying he won’t be distracted by the negotiations. “I love New England, it’s been awesome here and just trying to improve, get better and get ready for the season,” said Thuney.

The Patriots are determined to keep the core of their offensive line, which recently saw the retirement of veteran linemen J.J. Dielman, Brian Schwenke and Jared Veldheer. Dielman announced his retirement on Monday three days after signing a contract with the Patriots as Schwenke’s replacement. Schwenke retired on Wednesday while Veldheer announced his retirement in May, less than two weeks after signing with the Patriots.

The Patriots have yet to sign Brady to a contract extension.

Stidham draws praise from Belichick

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said he’s impressed with the performance of rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham in training camp. The Patriots drafted Stidham in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft as a possible successor to Brady. When asked about Stidham’s development, Belichick said the young quarterback is a smart kid that has good skills and is a hard worker. Belichick said he’s excited to give Stidham more reps to hasten his progress. On Saturday, Stidham went 5-of-5 with a touchdown pass to running back James White. Stidham still has a lot of time to learn as Brady plans to play until he's 45 years old.