BOSTON SPORTS WAVE

What The Trent Brown Reunion Means For The Patriots

Former Patriots Offensive Tackle Trent Brown is headed back to Foxboro on a trade that no one truly saw coming. The Patriots had been quite silent prior to trading for Brown, leaving fans wondering what the team’s plans were heading into Free Agency.

While some may wince at the idea of adding to the Offensive Line as opposed to Wide Receiver and Tight End, let Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson serve as reminders as to why protection matters in the NFL.

With plenty of cap space left, Bill Belichick is unlikely finished with making changes to this roster, but trading for Trent Brown is a crucial start to an already hectic offseason. Here’s why New England made the right move:

  1. Flexibility at the Tackle and Guard position

Heading into the 2021 season, New England likely had to choose from Michael Onwenu, Marcus Cannon, or Justin Herron at the right tackle position. By signing Trent Brown, the Patriots can keep Onwenu at his natural position at guard while allowing young guys like Yodny Cajuste and Justin Herron to serve as viable depth pieces.
This move also gives New England leverage over Marcus Cannon, who could restructure his deal or become a cap casualty for the franchise. Instead of relying upon the health of Isaiah Wynn, who has yet to play a full season in the NFL, the tackle position improved substantially from a depth perspective.
 

2. The Offensive Line remains dominant despite a probable Joe Thuney departure:

With the Franchise Tag deadline already passed us, it’s more than likely Joe Thuney will be taking his talents elsewhere after the Patriots chose not to tag him, after franchise tagging him last year.

With the emergence of very versatile rookie Michael Onwenu, along with the cost retaining Thuney, it’s probably not in New England’s best interest financially to extend him to a long term deal. Thuney is going to get big money and free agency, as he’s by far the best O-Lineman in the Free Agency Class.

Assuming the Patriots can resign Center David Andrews, New England’s offensive line Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season could potentially look like…

LT: Isaiah Wynn, LG: Michael Onwenu, C: David Andrews (If he returns), RG: Shaq Mason, RT: Trent Brown

That would be in contention for one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. An enticing pitch for incoming free agents, especially Quarterbacks.

3. Flexability in the draft

This year’s tackle class is deep. Although Patriots fans would sour over the idea of spending a high end draft pick on a tackle, it looked very likely to occur inside the top 50. While that is not totally out of the cards, perhaps New England will wait until later in the draft to address the offensive line.

While the team could look to other positions of need in round two, it is possible that Bill Belichick would greatly consider packaging pick #46 for Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

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