98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
Despite their intentions, the New England Patriots’ attempts to work out a long-term deal with franchise-tagged left guard Joe Thuney haven’t led to any real progress between the sides, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. To the point where the Patriots may have to entertain the idea of moving Thuney by next week’s 2020 NFL Draft.
If a guard-needy team is willing to deal a second- or high third-rounder to help fill in the Patriots’ draft board, that would have to be something Belichick seriously considers with the knowledge that the sides haven’t been close to an extension. Thuney holds notable leverage because of the high franchise-tag figure.
Tagged at a whopping $14.78 million, the idea of trading Thuney goes beyond’s Belichick’s lack of a second-round pick and New England’s 64-pick gap between their first (No. 23 overall) and second (No. 87 overall) picks of this year’s draft. It really may come down to the Patriots’ cap issues, as New England currently has just over a million in available cap space, and will most definitely need more to sign their entire draft class, which is currently projected to welcome 12 new talents.
Thuney, who was a Second-Team All-Pro in 2019, played in over 99 percent of the Patriots’ offensive snaps last year (the most on the team), and was the fifth-highest graded guard on the Pro Football Focus Top 101 players list for 2019.
The 6-foot-5 Thuney, drafted with the 78th overall pick in 2016, has started all 64 games in his NFL career.