FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Veteran offensive tackle Jared Veldheer, who had signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots on May 13, has informed the team of his intention to retire, according to a source.
The 31-year-old Veldheer had participated in the Patriots’ voluntary organized team activity on Monday, according to video posted on the club’s official website. He had been expected to provide experienced depth behind projected starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn, who is attempting to return from a torn Achilles.
Barring a change of heart, Veldheer will conclude his career having played in 118 regular season games, with 113 starts.
He entered the NFL as a third-round draft choice of the Oakland Raiders out of Division II Hillsdale College, playing for Oakland (2010-2013), the Arizona Cardinals (2014-2017) and Denver Broncos (2018).
Veldheer, who was acquired by the Broncos in March of 2018, was a steadying influence for a Denver offensive line beset by injuries and lineup changes during the 2018 season. He started 12 games at right tackle for the Broncos, but he also didn’t escape the team’s rash of injuries. The 10-year veteran left one game with a concussion and missed four games with a knee injury.
The Patriots have a notable history of signing late-career veterans who might be seeking a final chance to win their first Super Bowl ring, and the team’s hope was that Veldheer would fall into that category. The club had a need at the position after Trent Brown (Raiders) and LaAdrian Waddle (Bills) departed in free agency.
Veldheer could have provided insurance behind Wynn, the Patriots’ top 2018 draft pick, in addition to being an option at right tackle in the event of an injury to starter Marcus Cannon.
The Patriots selected West Virginia offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste late in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft, and he is among a handful of younger players who will compete for a role as a swing tackle. That group also includes former practice-squad player Cole Croston (Iowa), Dan Skipper (Arkansas), Cedrick Lang (Texas-El Paso) and Tyree St. Louis (Miami).
ESPN’s Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.