Longtime Patriots guard Joe Thuney is set up to cash in on the open market this offseason.
Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson, however, can’t help but wonder if the veteran guard actually is worth monster money.
Thuney, who played under the terms of the franchise tag in 2020, is likely to leave the New England through free agency. The Patriots have the salary cap space to retain the 28-year-old, but New England also has plenty of other needs, potentially putting the franchise not in a position to give Thuney a lucrative, long-term deal.
Monson apparently believes other teams should be wary about issuing a hefty contract to Thuney as well. The PFF analyst in a recent column published to ESPN.com identified the most overrated and the most underrated impending free agent at each position group and hailed Thuney as the most overrated offensive lineman.
“Thuney is likely to be one of the most coveted linemen available this offseason, given the profusion of lineman-needy teams. But while he is undoubtedly a very good player, it’s fair to ask whether he is a great one,” Monson wrote. “Thuney has never broken a PFF grade of 80.0 for a single season, coming closest in 2019.
“His run blocking has typically been solid but unspectacular, and while his pass-blocking grades had been approaching elite levels, he dropped back down to 73.1 in 2020, allowing 17 total pressures and two sacks on the season. Thuney has an extremely high floor for any prospective team, but he could earn monster money on the open market, which is hard to justify given his career thus far.”
Thuney might not post off-the-charts marks when it comes to advanced metrics, but he’s proving to be one of the most surehanded interior O-linemen in football. He rarely — if ever — was exposed dating back to his rookie season in 2016 and he’s yet to miss a game at the professional level.
Sure, you can argue giving Thuney a massive deal is a roll of the dice, but that can be said for the majority of the players in the league. The fact of the matter is, any team looking to bolster its offensive line should kick the tires on Thuney.