Was the Trent Brown trade the first of two shoes to drop for the Patriots?
New England on Tuesday reportedly agreed to re-acquire Brown in a deal with the Raiders. The physically imposing offensive lineman won a Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2018 before signing a lucrative free agent contact with Las Vegas during the ensuing offseason.
While intriguing, the Brown trade creates more questions than answers: What are the new offensive line combinations? What does the future hold for Isaiah Wynn and Marcus Cannon? Is Joe Thuney now destined to leave? Does adding Brown indicate the Patriots are stocking the line in preparation for another run-heavy offensive approach?
Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard offered some potential answers first in a column, then in an episode of his “Patriots Podcast.” It’s worth noting Bedard, who openly wondered whether the Brown trade could be a precursor to a sign-and-trade involving Thuney, published both before news broke of the Patriots not tagging the free agent guard.
Here’s an excerpt from his column:
I have a lot of questions and consternation about this trade, which I aired to a trusted source. He didn’t necessarily disagree but then he said this …
“Wait to judge …”
That tells me a couple of things — and we’ll get into all the possibilities in a separate column — but this could be a pre-emptive move to another move, possibly connected to quarterback trade (Jimmy Garoppolo?) or a trade for another player.
And here’s additional context he offered during his podcast:
“So, (the text from the source) tells me that there are a lot of other balls in the air right now. And it could mean a whole bunch of things. Let’s just speculate for a second: It could mean the Patriots tag Joe Thuney to trade him. It could mean they take Isaiah Wynn, Joe Thuney, Marcus Cannon — I don’t know, whoever — … say they’re part of a trade for a Jimmy Garoppolo. Or another quarterback. … Basically, what I’m trying to say is Trent Brown could very well be here as a preemptive move for a bigger move where they’re going to lose offensive linemen and not Trent Brown is going to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
Later in the episode, Bedard added: “If my source is correct, and he usually does not text cryptically like that unless it means something, I’m ready to wait (to judge) this deal a little bit.”
Obviously, Thuney’s apparent exit changes some of the calculus for Bedard, who addressed the issue in an ensuing column. Nevertheless, the acquisition of Brown still could set up a related move involving players other than Thuney. We’ll just have to wait and see.
No matter which way you slice it, an offseason in which the Patriots reportedly plan to be “aggressive” is off to a curious start.