Just when you think the New England Patriots’ roster is somewhat settled after Saturday’s roster cuts and the subsequent practice squad building process, the team goes ahead and surprises us all.
According to Adam Schefter and Mike Reiss, the Patriots have made a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles:
Eagles are trading CB Eric Rowe to Patriots for OL Josh Kline and a draft pick, league sources tell @MikeReiss and me.
The details of the trade look as follows, via Ian Rapoport:
The #Patriots traded for #Eagles DB Eric Rowe in exchange for OL Josh Kline and a 4th rounder in 2018 that can become a third, source said.
More details on the #Eagles/#Patriots trade: The 4th rounder in ’18 can become a 3rd based on Eric Rowe’s playtime in 2016 or 2017
The 23-year old Rowe, whom the Eagles selected in the second round of the 2015 draft out of Utah, appeared in all 16 games his rookie season, registering 30 tackles, five passes defensed and one interception. He has experience at both cornerback and safety – two positions that are rather deep on New England’s roster and seemed set in stone prior to today’s trade.
The same cannot be said for the team’s interior offensive line. While rookie Joe Thuney and second-year player David Andrews are penciled in as the starters at left guard and center, respectively, the right guard spot is a question mark. The projected top contestants for the starting role – Jonathan Cooper and Shaq Mason – have battled injuries, which made veteran Josh Kline a logical replacement.
Now that both Cooper and Mason are apparently close to a return, the Patriots obviously do not feel they need Kline any longer. The 26-year old, who was originally signed by New England as an undrafted free agent in 2013, appared in 33 games for the team, starting 18. He became a fixture along the offensive line last season when he was the most consistent player on a shaky offensive line. As a result, he signed a two-year contract extension in November.
The Patriots have to hope that the remaining interior offensive linemen will find a similar level of consistency moving forward without their most experienced player.