New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MA - NOVEMBER 15: Joe Thuney #62 of the New England Patriots looks on during the first half of a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots and guard Joe Thuney have reopened contract talks ahead of the start of NFL free agency, according to Albert Breer in his newest column for The MMQB.

As one of the top offensive linemen to be available on the open market, Thuney is going to be expensive. But it remains to be seen if the Patriots are willing to pay him at the top of the guard market, or convince him to stay in New England for a little less than that.

Here’s the full report from Breer:

Likewise, Washington taking Brandon Scherff off the market should really help New England’s Joe Thuney. It seemed the Patriots were resigned to Thuney’s 2021 departure after tagging him last March—they had very minimal discussions on a long-term deal with him thereafter, and no progress had been made right up to when the Patriots agreed to deal for Trent Brown last week. But since then, the lines of communication have reopened, and the Patriots have expressed that they’d like to keep Thuney. Whether the sides can meet on a price remains to be seen.

Monday on the NFL Network, Tom Pelissero said he expects Thuney to be one of the highest-paid guards in football wherever he signs and mentions the Packers, Seahawks, Vikings, Texans, and Bengals to be among the teams “lining up for him.” So while Breer’s report indicates they’re willing to consider giving Thuney a similar contract to his other suitors, it sounds like the Patriots’ final offer will have to be very competitive to retain Thuney’s services.

MORE: NFL Free Agency Tracker

Whether the Patriots end up keeping Thuney or not, they would still have work to do to improve the offensive roster. Scroll down for a bunch of free-agent options at receiver and tight end in free agency.

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 mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.