The New England Patriots continue to retain key free agents, as they re-solidified the right tackle spot on their offensive line on Monday morning.
Trent Brown is reportedly returning to New England on a two-year deal, which ties him to the team through the 2023 season. His return to New England in 2021 following a two-year hiatus proved good for both sides. He raised his level of play and New England solidified a right tackle spot that had given them fits in his absence. Now, being locked in for multiple years, the 6-foot-8, 380-pound tackle will enter his first non-contract year in New England.
More money and a multi-year deal is great for Brown, but what does it mean for the Patriots? Let’s find out.
The offensive line is starting to take shape
Following the departure of Ted Karras and trade of Shaq Mason, there was a good contingent of the New England fan base worried about how the Patriots would sure up their offensive line to protect Mac Jones in year two. A big part of the reason why was because Brown was also floating around as a free agent, taking visits with other teams. For about a week, there was a possibility that New England would be losing 60% of its starting offensive line from the 2021 season, the only group that played consistently from start to finish.
While it remains true that both starting guards from the teams stretch run last season are gone, former starter Michael Onwenu is slated to slide back into one of the guard spots to steady things up, while Brown will return to right tackle where New Englanders know he’s capable of doing great things. One week after the panic, New England is now in the relaxing place of knowing that they likely need to make just one more move to solidify their top unit.
Brown chose to remain in New England
Without knowing the full specifics of Brown’s deal, it’s safe to say that the tackle chose to remain in New England rather than finding a fourth home in the last five years.
The Seattle Seahawks made a push for Brown, flying him into the Pacific Northwest and keeping him their for a multi-day visit. Instead of signing with Seattle to take over one of their two open tackle spots, he returned to a familiar place to keep the job that he held last season. A small win for New England, who much like your dad after getting a compliment, still has it.
New England continues to offset their tackle contracts
It’s always interesting to see how a team maneuvers around finding replacements for current players on their roster. It’s no different in watching how the Patriots have played their cards around Isaiah Wynn’s contract. After tearing his achilles in his first ever preseason game, Wynn missed the entirety of his rookie season. This led to a breakout campaign from Brown on the way to a Super Bowl title. That campaign got Brown a big contract with the now Las Vegas Raiders and saw him leave for a couple of years. Wynn slid in to the left tackle spot, and when he’s been healthy, they’ve never looked back.
Now that they’re on the back end of Wynn’s rookie deal, New England has locked Brown into place as their right tackle for two more years which will give them time to focus on one tackle at a time, as has become custom. They did it when dealing with Sebastian Vollmer’s retirement, locking Nate Solder into an extension just one year before. When Solder departed following the 2017 season, they doubled up on replacements with Wynn and Brown. New England has made sure not to get caught in a spot without at least one starting level tackle.