Trent Brown can be one of two players. The 6-foot-8, 380-pound offensive tackle can be a dominant force as he was when the New England Patriots won their last Super Bowl title, or Brown can be the exact opposite, unmotivated to perform on the field like he was at times last season.

And with the way he showed up to minicamp — late and out of shape — it’s trending at the moment like the Patriots will get the latter version of Brown this season.

He could be disgruntled over the his contract, getting paid more right tackle money, where he played in 2021 when he got a two-year, $13 million deal with the Patriots, before getting switched back to left tackle last year.

It can be argued that Brown is not only one of the more important pieces on the offensive line, but in New England’s offense as a whole. With Mac Jones’ lack of mobility, giving him a clean pocket to work with is paramount. A good portion of that responsibility falls on Brown.

Story continues below advertisement

Keeping Brown engaged is easier said than done, though. And it seems like the only coach who has gotten through to the 30-year-old in recent years is former Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, who offered advice on how Brown should handle things moving forward.

“I would tell him, you signed that (contract), you have to honor it. You’re always judged on how you play now, not how you played before. So go out there and play,” Scarnecchia told MassLive’s Karen Guregian. “Play as good as you can possibly play, and if that’s good enough for the people here to say we’re going to rectify this thing, and make it better, great. And if not, do what you’ve done before. Move on to the next team.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

“But right now. You’re getting paid. And you’re probably getting paid pretty good money. So it is what it is. Go out there and sell yourself to your teammates, and the success of this team first, then worry about that later on. If you do what you’re supposed to do now, it’ll all take care of itself.”

Brown played 98% of offensive snaps last season — his third campaign of two separate stints with the Patriots — and surrendered eight sacks, per Guregian.

Story continues below advertisement

The Patriots need a more effective and productive Brown this season, like the one that played exceptionally well under Scarnecchia in 2018. Brown might be upset about his current contract but he can find incentive to perform with his next contract on the horizon.

Brown is in a contract year and will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. And Scarnecchia believes if Brown goes out and plays up to his capabilities, like he has shown in the past, everything will work itself out.

“If he plays like he’s supposed to, if he plays as good as he can play, he will get paid what he thinks he deserves,” Scarnecchia told Guregian. “And if it’s not this team, it’ll be another team. That’s how it works.”

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images