The New England Patriots have been relatively quiet on the free agency front ever since re-signing punter Ryan Allen on March 19. While there have been rumors about a possible reunion with kicker Stephen Gostkowski, concrete news about the Patriots and their seven players remaining on the open market did not get reported — until today: according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, Ulrick John will visit the Seattle Seahawks on Friday.
Three Patriots offensive tackles hit the open market last month, and John is the last one still available after Trent Brown signed a record-breaking deal with the Oakland Raiders and LaAdrian Waddle joined the Buffalo Bilks shortly thereafter. Despite the two departures and the seemingly uncertain situation at starting left tackle — Isaiah Wynn is coming off a year-long stint on injured reserve — and top swing backup, however, New England has not yet brought John back into the fold as additional depth.
One reason for that might be his own injury situation: like Wynn, John missed the entire 2018 season due to injury after hurting his foot in the preseason finale. The 26-year-old did show some promise before his injury during both the Patriots’ exhibition games and their training camp practices, but apparently the team has been in no rush to bring him back yet. This, in turn, now creates an opportunity for other teams like the Seahawks to add him.
If Seattle indeed opts to sign the five-year veteran who joined New England late during last year’s free agency, he could factor into the compensatory draft picks formula for 2020 — depending on when he gets signed: players signed before May 7’s deadline will still be part of the calculations. That being said, it seems unlikely John’s potential contract would be of any substance to tip the scales one way or the other.