In the unlikely event the Patriots try to re-sign Trent Brown this offseason, the veteran tackle probably wouldn’t want to return, anyway.

Brown was a healthy scratch for last Sunday’s road loss to the Buffalo Bills and wasn’t present at Wednesday’s practice despite Bill Belichick saying he would be. New England’s injury report said an “illness” was to blame for the no-show by Brown, whose poor effort reportedly has miffed players and coaches.

Maybe the illness is real, maybe it isn’t. Regardless, a wide-ranging story published by the Boston Herald on Thursday paints a picture of a player who’s over life with the Patriots.

“Brown had dealt with knee and ankle injuries in late October, and had his mind on free agency,” Andrew Callahan and Doug Kyed wrote. “After a surprising upset at Pittsburgh, Brown openly discussed plans to play for an NFC team in the team locker room.”

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A banged-up Brown didn’t start against the Steelers in Week 14 but still had a big role. He rotated with starter Conor McDermott while seeing 60% of the offensive snaps.

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Whether Brown was upset with something that happened in the game or the season as a whole remains unclear.

With the Patriots facing a likely rebuild and trying to develop young offensive linemen, they might not want Brown around any longer. And the feeling probably is mutual.

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images