One of the top stories coming out of the New England Patriots’ mandatory minicamp was a switch-up at the offensive tackle position. Isaiah Wynn, the starter on the left side for the last three years, was moved to the right end of the line, with incumbent right tackle Trent Brown going to the left side in his place.
Whether or not that change will be a permanent one remains to be seen, but the Patriots using Brown to protect his quarterback’s blindside would be nothing new: the 29-year-old already did that during his first stint in New England back in 2018.
Brown turned his performance that year into a massive four-year, $66 million contract with the Oakland Raiders, but last season returned to the Patriots via trade. He started at right tackle in 2021, and after re-signing on a two-year, $11.5 million projects as a starter along the team’s offensive line yet again — either on the left or the right side.
Regardless, Brown has a lot to feel excited about heading into his eighth NFL season. He said so himself during a recent appearance on the Pat McAfee Show.
“We had a great offseason program and I’m excited about this fall, honestly,” Brown said.
“We worked our asses off together, we made sure we hung out outside of the building, and we’ve just been supporting each other overall in whatever each guy individually had going on. I’m really excited about what we have going on coming into this fall. I really, truly, believe that our love for one another has grown tremendously.”
One of the biggest reasons to feel good about in New England is the state of the quarterback position. Mac Jones already showed plenty of promise during his 2021 rookie campaign, and is in line for a major second-year leap.
When asked about the sophomore QB, Brown had nothing but praise.
“Mac is always the first one in the building, last one out,” he said. “For him to be so young and have a lot of weight on his shoulders, you wouldn’t even be able to tell. The way he carries himself, he’s a fun guy.
“He can shoot the s--t from time to time, but he can really handle his business day-in and day-out. I respect the kid as much as anyone else in the locker room.”
As for Brown himself, he is finally experiencing some stability again. Originally joining the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2015, he was traded to New England during the 2018 draft and quickly earned the starting left tackle job.
Brown helped the Patriots win the Super Bowl that year, but his subsequent two-year stint with the Raiders was a disappointment marked by injuries and uneven play. And even though he returned to New England last offseason, his long-term outlook was an uncertain one: Brown restructured his contract, setting himself up to enter free agency again in 2022.
He did just that, but despite drawing some interest from the Seattle Seahawks eventually returned to the Patriots. If things go his way, Brown will not leave anytime soon.
“Here we are, going into Year 8 back with the Patriots,” he said. “Hopefully, this can be my final home.”