FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After a summer of negotiating, training camp sounds pretty good to Matt Light right now.
Light had a double load of stress during the lockout. He was the Patriots player representative and a free agent who couldn't negotiate with New England or any other team during the stoppage.
Light agreed to a two-year deal with the Patriots this week, ensuring he will be back protecting quarterback Tom Brady's blind side at left tackle.
"I'm excited for all these guys out here, for all the work that both sides did to get this deal done. This is a heck of a time. We've been sitting around waiting around for this moment," Light said before the Patriots held a workout Wednesday night. "There has not been a time in my life that I've been more ready to play the game of football."
Unfortunately, Light had to wait another day before he could join his teammates on Thursday afternoon, when players who signed new contracts can practice.
"There's always doubt, unfortunately, because it's a business," he said. "I think throughout the whole process, we were hopeful this would be the outcome. We're happy to be here."
This will be Light's 11th season in New England.
Brady has made it clear he wants the three-time Pro-Bowl selection protecting his back again.
New England selected tackle Nate Solder with the 17th pick in the draft, but he has not signed yet.
Light, 33, said he wasn't too worried about the Patriots letting him go and throwing a rookie at left tackle. But as an unrestricted free agent in the turmoil of post-lockout signings, he wasn't sure.
"There's always going to be guys, pushing everybody at every level," Light said. "We're out here to compete — compete against each other, compete against the opponent. Drafting a guy that will come in and fill in for these old bones, it was inevitable. Hopefully we'll have some fun teaching him a thing or two out here."