For the second time in his career, Trent Brown dipped his toes into the free agency pool. As opposed to his first trip to the open market which ended with him becoming the highest-paid offensive lineman in football, however, the 28-year-old eventually decided to stay put this time around: Brown re-signed with the New England Patriots.
Returning on a two-year, $11.5 million contract, Brown will keep playing with the team that was able to get the best out of him. He acknowledged as much himself in a recent open letter to Patriots fans shared by Uninterrupted:
Dear @Patriots Nation, ✍— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) March 31, 2022
For as long as I can remember, this place has felt like home. I've spent 7 years in this league and no place has brought me more joy or more success.
Let's make the next 7 the best 7. That's the Patriot Way.#SincerelyYours,@Trent pic.twitter.com/4NYHFdNw4h
“Through my first seven years in the league, there’s no doubt where I’ve enjoyed my time the most and had the most success,” Brown noted.
A seventh-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2015, Brown was traded to New England in 2018 and promptly earned the team’s starting left tackle job. He won a Super Bowl in his first year with the team, and turned his impressive performance into a record-breaking four-year, $66 million deal with the then-Oakland Raiders.
After two mostly disappointing seasons with the Raiders, Brown was dealt back to New England (all while restructuring his contract to limit his salary cap impact). While he did miss some time in 2021 due to injury, the veteran lineman returned to his high level of play as the team’s starter at the right tackle position.
As such, he entered free agency in mid-March but eventually returned to the Patriots.
“We all know free agency is part of the business, and we all hope to attain the most we can to support our families in a career that goes by all too fast,” Brown pointed out. “But what was most important to me was to be somewhere that felt like home, which is why I was grateful that the team and I could agree to terms that would solidify my return and get to the mission of winning more championships.”
With Brown back in the fold, the Patriots were able to keep three-fifths of their starting O-line from a year ago. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn and center David Andrews will also be back, while starting guards Ted Karras and Shaq Mason left via free agency and trade, respectively.
Despite the departures, New England’s offensive line is projected favorably in terms of pass protections heading into 2022.
Brown’s full open letter reads as follows:
Dear Patriot Nation,
It seems like for as long as I can remember, I’ve been a Patriot. My high school team and colors were the same red, white and blue, and in a unique way, being here has always felt like home. Through my first seven years in the league, there’s no doubt where I’ve enjoyed my time the most and had the most success. I couldn’t have done that without you. You’re more than fans to us. You’re family.
From Foxborough, to Boston, and all over Massachusetts, you provide us all with an energy that I don’t think any of us could ever put into words. Coming out of that tunnel at Gillette, seeing you all out in the community, even seeing how you support us on the O-line on social media.
We all know free agency is part of the business, and we all hope to attain the most we can to support our families in a career that goes by all too fast. But what was most important to me was to be somewhere that felt like home, which is why I was grateful that the team and I could agree to terms that would solidify my return and get to the mission of winning more championships.
I plan to make my next seven my best seven, and just like before, I need you to help me do it. That’s the Patriot Way. See you soon.
Sincerely yours, TB77.