New England Patriots: internal free agent preview

Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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ATLANTA, GEORGIA – FEBRUARY 03: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots attempts a pass in the second quarter against Los Angeles Rams during Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Trent Brown

Position: Left Tackle

Overview: Trent Brown came to New England last year in a draft-day trade with the San Francisco 49ers. His arrival was met with very little hype and even lower expectations. Expected to be the back-up right tackle, Brown quickly established himself at left tackle when first-round draft pick Isaiah Wynn was placed on injured reserve in the preseason with a torn Achilles.

Brown stepped in and kept quarterback Tom Brady upright during the 2018 season. As good as he was during the year, he was even better in the playoffs, garnering national attention (and interest from other teams no doubt) for his strong play. As an unrestricted free agent, he was expected to cash in with the lack of quality tackles available on the open market.

Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia worked hard to mold Brown into a starting-quality left tackle, after years of Brown being dogged by effort and weight issues in San Francisco. Brown’s value may be limited due to concerns he can replicate his success outside of New England, but someone will be desperate enough to pay Brown more than he can turn down to return.

UPDATE: As of Monday, Brown has reportedly agreed to a four-year, $66 million deal to join the Oakland Raiders.

Expected Cost: $10-$12 million per season for four years, with at least $20 million guaranteed.

Keep or Cut Loose: CUT LOOSE