Why Patriots-Bucs Shaq Mason Trade Might Not Be Finalized Soon

He's on a boat, man


Mar 16, 2022

Waiting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ announcement of their Shaq Mason acquisition? Don’t hold your breath.

The New England Patriots reportedly agreed Tuesday to trade Mason to Tampa Bay for a fifth-round pick, but the deal won’t be finalized “for a while,” according to a report Wednesday from The Athletic’s Greg Auman.

Mason must pass his Buccaneers physical first, Auman reported, and that can’t happen until he returns from his cruise vacation next week.

That delay could have implications for the Patriots, as Mason’s contract seemingly won’t come off New England’s books until the trade is made official. Moving Mason — one of the NFL’s best guards and one of the Patriots’ top offensive performers in 2021 — will clear roughly $7 million in much-needed salary cap space for his now-former club.

Some of New England’s newfound cap room will need to be devoted to the offensive line, as the Patriots already have lost two O-line starters this week (Mason and left guard Ted Karras) and could lose a third if right tackle Trent Brown does not re-sign. Brown reportedly is scheduled to take a free agent visit with the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Patriots had agreed to terms with just one external free agent: former Houston Texans cornerback Terrance Mitchell. They also swung a trade for Browns linebacker Mack Wilson, sending outside linebacker Chase Winovich to Cleveland as compensation.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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