When assessing a player’s value, teams can sometimes turn to playing-time statistics. The more valuable the player, the more he plays.
With this in mind, the following is a breakdown of playing time for Patriots offensive linemen in the 2012 regular season (not including special teams or as eligible receiver):
LT Nate Solder – 99.8 percent
C Ryan Wendell – 99.5 percent
RT Sebastian Vollmer – 88.6 percent
RG Dan Connolly – 71.8 percent
LG Logan Mankins – 60.5 percent
RG/LG Donald Thomas – 48.9 percent
G/C Nick McDonald – 19.8 percent
RT Marcus Cannon – 13.6 percent
G Mitch Petrus – less than 1 percent
Quick hits: Two of the biggest pre-season questions were answered with authority. The transition from Matt Light to Nate Solder at left tackle was almost seamless. Solder had a solid season (his second in the NFL) making the permanent move to the left side. … The four-pronged training camp competition at center between Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly, Nick McDonald and Dan Koppen went to Wendell. Not many saw that coming, and part of that was uncertainty with veteran right guard Brian Waters (which moved Connolly out of the center mix to right guard). Wendell had a solid year, and when including his work on the kickoff return team (wedge) and field-goal protection unit, he played more snaps than any player in the NFL. ... Sebastian Vollmer was eased into the mix the first two games of the season after missing most of training camp, and outside of missing the Nov. 22 game against the Jets with a knee injury, was a fixture at right tackle. That’s the type of season he wanted to have entering unrestricted free agency. … Left guard Logan Mankins missed six games because of injury, and Donald Thomas proved to be a solid fill-in for him, as well as right guard Dan Connolly at times. Thomas turned out to be a key piece for the line, which wasn’t what some expected coming out of training camp.