Trent Brown appreciated the Patriots giving him an opportunity to bank some extra cash this season.

He’s also glad his reworked contract, which reportedly added an additional $2 million in incentives and raised the max value of his deal to $13 million, doesn’t tie him to New England beyond 2023.

“It was a nice raise, a nice gesture,” Brown said Monday in his first public comments since his new deal was announced last week. “And it still allowed me to be a free agent at the end of the year, so I’m appreciative of that. Now, it’s time to play ball.”

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That remark was notable, as it implied Brown is looking forward to testing the market this coming offseason. The veteran offensive tackle was asked whether he wants to hit free agency.

“I’m just trying to play football, really,” he replied. “I’m controlling what I can control in the meantime, and if God sees fit for me to be elsewhere, that’s just what it is.”

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Brown is in the third season of his second stint with the Patriots. Questions about his contract and buy-in swirled during the offseason when he skipped voluntary spring practices, arrived late to mandatory minicamp and was a limited participant in the opening stages of training camp.

When healthy and engaged, though, the 30-year-old is one of the Patriots’ best and most important offensive players. Brown missed New England’s Week 2 loss to Miami with a concussion but looked great Sunday in his return to action, allowing zero quarterback pressures in a 15-10 win over the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

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The Patriots will need a similarly strong performance from Brown this Sunday when they visit the Dallas Cowboys, who boast a defensive line that Bill Belichick called the NFL’s best.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images