Nate Solder's contract extension secures key position

The Patriots' contract extension for Nate Solder, center, could offer the team a measure of salary cap relief. AP Photo/Matt Slocum

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A few follow-up thoughts on the two-year contract extension through 2017 signed by New England Patriots starting left tackle Nate Solder:

1. ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates relays that the Patriots were recently tight to the salary cap, with less than $500,000 in space. The specifics regarding the structure of Solder's extension are not known, but it likely will include some cap relief for the team in 2015. Solder was set to count $7.438 million against this year's cap in the last year of his contract.

2. The extension secures a key position on the roster for at least the next two years, as Solder is now signed through 2017 while starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer and swing tackle Marcus Cannon are inked through 2016.

3. The Patriots have two developmental tackles on the practice squad in Blaine Clausell and Cameron Fleming. Guard Chris Barker, who has also taken some reps at tackle in the preseason, is also on the practice squad.