The Patriots very well could be bound for quite a bit of roster turnover this offseason.
New England is set to have 19 players hit free agency when the new NFL year kicks off in mid-March. That list, of course, is headlined by Tom Brady, but he’s hardly the only high-impact player who could relocate this spring.
Arguably the player most likely to flee Foxboro is Joe Thuney, who’s coming off a season in which he was named to the All-Pro Second Team. Thuney is primed for a monster payday.
As such, former Patriots offensive lineman Damien Woody doesn’t seem too optimistic about Thuney returning to New England.
“I just don’t know if he’s going to be in New England’s price range,” Woody told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “If he hits the open market, there might be a lot of money he might not be able to turn down.”
What kind of money could Thuney be looking at? For comparison’s sake, the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018 signed Andrew Norwell to a reported five-year, $66.5 million contract with $30 million guaranteed. Thuney, who never missed a game over his first four seasons in New England, likely will command similar figures, which could put the Patriots out of the running for his services given their tight budget. Seemingly the franchise’s only hope would be a hometown discount, but that’s a nearly impossible ask for a 27-year-old.
One also has to imagine losing Thuney wouldn’t help the Patriots’ chances of retaining Brady, who put together an underwhelming 2019 campaign behind New England’s inconsistent offensive line.