Tom Brady isn’t the only Patriot in line for a hefty payday this offseason.
Joe Thuney also is expected to cash in in free agency and could become one of the NFL’s highest-paid interior offensive lineman. Thuney, a third-round pick by New England in 2016, is coming off a stellar 2019 season for which he garnered second-team All-Pro honors.
Given the Patriots’ current salary cap situation, it’s tough to imagine the 27-year-old continuing his career in Foxboro. As far as potential landing spots for Thuney, NFL analyst Gil Brandt likes the idea of the four-year pro staying in the AFC East.
“Thuney and Washington’s Brandon Scherff are the highest-rated pending free agents at a position where the Jets — who ranked fourth in the NFL with 52 sacks allowed — could desperately use an upgrade,” Brandt wrote for NFL.com. “(Coincidentally, this problem also dogged Adam Gase when he was coaching the Dolphins.) Thuney has proven versatile and dependable, having played 99 percent of the Pats’ offensive snaps over the past four seasons while only allowing one sack in 2019.”
Ironically enough, Brandt could see the Patriots poaching a player from the Jets this offseason as well. He believes wide receiver Robby Anderson could help alleviate New England’s pass-catching woes.
As far as how the Patriots might replace Thuney, they might already have an option on the roster with Hjalte Froholdt.
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