Trent Brown could be just the first domino to fall for the Patriots’ offensive line. And oh god it’s such a large, wide domino. Don’t stand under him.
But regardless of what happens moving forward, the 6-foot-9 Brown is back with the Patriots after playing two seasons and earning over $36 million with the Raiders. He’s also restructured his deal and moved his free agency up to 2022, so he’s on the books for one year and up to $11 million (implying that he’s likely to earn less than that). The move leaves the Patriots with still well over $50 million in cap space for the 2021 offseason.
What does the trade mean for the rest of the offensive line? The unit had its share of questions, both short-term and long-term, entering the 2021 league year. As of Tuesday, the Patriots have three starting-caliber tackles on the 2021 roster, assuming Marcus Cannon ends up returning at right tackle. Isaiah Wynn would be likely to kick inside after playing left tackle for the majority of his first three seasons. But that would leave stud lineman Michael Onwenu, a natural guard, without a clear position.
Elsewhere the interior, left guard Joe Thuney is likely to depart and cash in big-time elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent. Center David Andrews is also slated to be a free agent, but he’s much more likely to return than Thuney.
So it’s quite possible that there’s an odd man out situation on the Patriots’ offensive line. It could be as simple as Cannon deciding to retire. It could be as complicated as another big trade. Here are the possibilities to consider…
Brown is only the first shoe to drop for the Patriots’ O-line and for the entire 2021 roster. So be sure to keep checking back here for more continuing coverage of free agency and what promises to be a busy Patriots offseason.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.