BOSTON (CBS) – New England Patriots right tackle Sebastian Vollmer is expected to hit it big when he hits the free agent market in the coming weeks.

But before he goes off to make his millions, he had to get healthy.

The Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian reports that Vollmer recently underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his knee. Vollmer, who battled both knee and back issues during the 2012 season but only missed one game, had the knee scoped earlier this week.

Vollmer’s knee is expected to be fine moving forward, though it likely means the Patriots won’t be placing their franchise tag on the third-year tackle (that, and the $9.6 million the tag would pay Vollmer).

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The 6-8, 320-pound Vollmer has been a key part to the New England offensive line since being drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft, but frequent back issues — and now the knee surgery  — are cause for concern when it comes to giving him a big-money deal this off-season.

But if it’s not the Patriots, someone is expected to give Vollmer the big bucks this off-season — knee surgery or not.


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