Trent Brown Re-Signing With Patriots, Giving Massive Boost To O-Line

The Patriots have locked up their gargantuan right tackle

by

March 21

The New England Patriots lost two starting offensive linemen during the opening week of NFL free agency. They won’t lose a third.

Right tackle Trent Brown is re-signing with the Patriots on a two-year contract, his agents Drew and Jason Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report the signing.

Brown’s return comes after New England let starting left guard Ted Karras walk in free agency and traded starting right guard Shaq Mason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a cap-clearing move. Another departure would have forced the Patriots to replace three-fifths of their top-choice offensive line from 2021, with only only one desirable internal option (versatile third-year pro Mike Onwenu) for any of the three vacancies.

With Onwenu expected to occupy one of those guard spots in 2022, the Patriots now must find just one new starter through free agency or the draft.

Brown always has spoken fondly of his appreciation for the Patriots, with whom he won a Super Bowl in 2018, starting every game at left tackle. He did not enjoy his two seasons with the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders (2019-20) and was overjoyed when he was traded back to New England last March.

“I’ve worn a lot of jerseys in my life,” he said at the time, “but I’ve never been more proud than when I put on the Patriots jersey.”

Both sides considered other options before Monday’s agreement, however. Brown took a free agent visit with the Seattle Seahawks, and the Patriots reportedly made a push for Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle La’el Collins, who eventually was released and then signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. Brown also said before free agency that he was seeking a long-term contract, which he ultimately did not receive.

Injuries have nagged the 6-foot-8, 380-pound Brown, with a calf issue limiting to just seven snaps over the first nine weeks of this past season. But when healthy, the soon-to-be 29-year-old is a physically dominant blocker capable of excelling both in pass protection and in the run game.

Retaining Brown and maintaining some O-line continuity will be a major benefit for rising sophomore quarterback Mac Jones, about whom Brown has raved since last spring.

“I think he’s already a heck of a quarterback,” the veteran lineman said last week on the “Schultz Report” podcast, “and I think the way he works, the way he shows up to work every day, I think he’ll be a great quarterback in no time.”

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
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