The Patriots first major move of the offseason involves trading away a player. According to Andre Callahan of the Boston Herald, the Patriots are sending guard Shaq Mason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In return, the team is getting a fifth-round pick per NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry.
It’s yet to be confirmed whether or not the pick involved is Tampa’s 2022 fifth-round pick. If it is, it’s projected to be the 170th overall pick in the draft (picks after the third round aren’t finalized until the league announces the comp picks, which should be happening in the coming days). The Patriots traded their original fifth-round pick in this draft to Las Vegas for Trent Brown last offseason, so acquiring this pick would close a gap between the 126th and 209th overall selections.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Mike Reiss confirms it is the Buccaneers’ 2022 fifth-round pick.
Mason had been a rumored trade asset since the start of the offseason. By trading the 29-year-old, the Patriots open up just over $7 million in cap space this year. He’s currently under contract through 2023.
Both of the Patriots starting guards are now set to play elsewhere in 2022. Mason’s departure follows the news of Ted Karras signing with the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday. Third-year lineman Michael Onwenu has proven to be a starting-caliber player, and likely will step into one of those roles in 2022 – although he could also be used as a starting right tackle if pending free agent Trent Brown signs elsewhere.
Shaq Mason of the New England Patriots gets ready for a play in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
This is the second trade of the day for the Patriots. Earlier on Tuesday, they acquired linebacker Mack Wilson from the Cleveland Browns in a player-for-player swap for defensive end Chase Winovich.
In Tampa, Mason will be reunited with former teammate and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Brady and the Bucs had lost both of their starting guards this offseason, with Ali Marpet retiring and Alex Cappa signing with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Mason was originally drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He started 98 games over seven seasons in New England, and was a part of three Super Bowl-winning teams.
This is a developing story and will be updated…
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