New England Patriots

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

  • One of the first big storylines of this Patriots season was the change the team made to the offensive line starting in spring practices. From the first practice on, Trent Brown has been the team’s left tackle while Isaiah Wynn lined up at right tackle. That alignment is the opposite of what the Patriots used last year, and has Wynn playing a position he’s never played in the NFL – when healthy he’s been the team’s starting left tackle since 2020.

    Now it looks like the Patriots could be considering another change up front. This one would also involve Wynn.

    In his Monday morning column on Sports Illustrated, SI’s Albert Breer has a section entitled, “The Patriots are probably going to trade…someone.” In that section, he includes this nugget…

  • “The one guy I know definitively that they’ve talked with other teams on is Isaiah Wynn, their first-round pick from 2018. Wynn, though, is on a $10.4 million fifth-year option, which has made it tough to move a guy who, four years after he was drafted, is still seen as a tackle/guard tweener.”

  • Wynn had been suggested as a potential trade candidate during camp, but this is the first time a major report has indicated the team has explored dealing the 26 year old. If the Patriots were to move Wynn, his entire contract would come off their salary cap number (although it would remain as dead cap if he were released).

    Contributing to Wynn’s potential availability is the fact that his backup – fourth-year tackle Yodny Cajuste – is having what Bill Belichick described earlier this summer as “the best camp he’s had.” Cajuste has gotten plenty of chances to prove himself with Wynn missing the last week and a half of practice for unknown reasons. Wynn did return to the field on Monday for the team’s practice in Las Vegas.

    If the Patriots did move Wynn and start Cajuste at right tackle, that would leave their backup tackle depth to Justin Herron, Yasir DurantWilliam Sherman, and Arlington Hambright. They could also move Michael Onwenu out to right tackle, which they did when Wynn didn’t play in Friday’s preseason game against the Panthers, and make the replacement at guard instead. The most logical candidates for that role would be Hambright or James Ferentz.

    The offensive line isn’t the only spot where Breer speculates the Patriots could make a move. He also names a pair of receivers in Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. This isn’t the first time those two have come up in trade rumors, including NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry discussion their situations on the Sports Hub Patriots Pregame Show last week.

  • When it comes to Agholor, he’s had a strong summer. That raises his trade value, but also may make the team less likely to part with him. His contract (an expiring deal with a $14.8 million cap hit) also could dissuade other teams from making a deal.

    As for Bourne, his contract is initially what made him seem untouchable. Coming off an 800-yard season, he’s under team control for two more years with cap hits of $6.4 million this year and $6.9 million last year. Assuming he maintains the level of production he did last year, his deal is one of the most team-friendly relative to production for a wide receiver in the NFL.

    However, recent issues may result in Bourne being more available than previously thought. As Breer points out, “he’d shown some frustration with the offensive changes over the last few months, and just got done with a weird week (fight in joint practices with Carolina, scratched for the game).” Reports had indicated Bourne’s benching on Friday may have been disciplinary in nature.

    Just a few days ago, a wide receiver trade seemingly made a lot of sense for the Patriots given their depth. However, with Tyquan Thornton’s injury and Bourne’s rough week, things have shifted. Of the three players mentioned by Breer, Wynn seems like the guy to watch right now.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.