The NFL’s legal tampering period is not even 15 minutes old and the New England Patriots’ first big free agency domino has already fallen. According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the team will lose starting left tackle Trent Brown to the Oakland Raiders on a massive four-year contract, worth $66.0 million — including $36.75 million in guarantees. On a per-year basis, the deal is the largest for an offensive tackle in NFL history.
New Raider LT Trent Brown's deal: 4 years, $66 million. He gets a staggering $36.75 million over the first two years. All of that, save for a workout bonus, is fully guaranteed. $14 million on the books in '21, $15.25 million in '22.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 11, 2019
Brown joined the Patriots via trade on the second day of the 2018 draft. The team dropped 48 spots — from the end of the third to the early fifth round — to acquire the San Francisco 49ers’ former starting right tackle. Brown was asked to switch positions from the right end of the line to the left in New England, but performed admirably and ultimately won the job previously held by long-time starting tackle Nate Solder.
All in all, the former seventh-round draft pick had a very good first season protecting Tom Brady’s blindside and blocking in the running game. Along the way, Brown proved to be a nimble yet powerful player that generally moved well despite his enormous 6’8, 380 lbs frame. Furthermore, he was a reliable option at Solder’s former spot: Brown started all 19 of New England’s games and also saw plenty of playing time in the kicking game en route to winning his first ever Super Bowl.
Now, his performance turned him into the highest-paid offensive tackle in NFL history — and leaves the Patriots without a left tackle for the second straight year, all while the club will get another high compensatory draft pick in return.
Brown’s probable replacement, Isaiah Wynn, was notably excited for Brown’s new deal.
BROKE THE F***ING BANK!!!!— Isaiah Wynn (@iwynn77) March 11, 2019
He earned EVERY last cent. Proud af of big bro. Def paved the way ✊— Isaiah Wynn (@iwynn77) March 11, 2019
Big Trent Yessuh!!!!!— Ja’Whaun Bentley (@NVBentley33) March 11, 2019