The New England Patriots have been lucky enough to employ one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL in Joe Thuney, who is set to become a free agent.
The New England Patriots drafted Joe Thuney in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Thuney graded out as the second-best offensive guard in the NFL this season, and he’s an important part of the offensive line that stands in front of Tom Brady every game.
Thuney is also headed towards free agency – and he could have a ton of suitors on the open market.
A lot of the success of the New England Patriots in regards to their offensive protection over the last few seasons has been dependent in large part on Joe Thuney. Since being drafted in 2016, Thuney has started all 74 games (including playoffs) for the Patriots.
Whether the plans are for Tom Brady to remain in New England or go elsewhere, it’s still vital to the offense to re-sign Thuney this offseason. Thuney is set to become arguably the top free agent guard in the NFL this offseason.
It seems important to re-sign a player who is in the top percentile of his position and who is coming off the best season of his career, especially as the Patriots move forward with their franchise in regards to the quarterback position (one way or another).
It’s important to understand that Tom Brady won’t be here forever, and the Patriots desperately need to find a player they like enough to bring in and mold into their system.
Whoever the quarterback is, he’s going to love playing behind Thuney. Thuney is the most consistent player on the offensive line, and having his presence for years to come is important.
According to ESPN and NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Thuney has a 97% block win-rate in 2019, which ranks him second in the NFL among guards (behind only Baltimore’s Marshall Yanda at 98%). Thuney would go on to be a Second-team All-Pro and lead the New England Patriots O-line with over 1,000 snaps, zero penalties, and only one sack this season.
Also, Pro Football Focus has rated Joe Thuney as a top-10 left guard in the NFL for the last three seasons, and he has also been a top-five player at his position for the last two seasons. Thuney easily could have been named a First-team All-Pro solely based on his production this season.
With a resume like his, Thuney is going to be in for a big payday as he enters free agency. The New England Patriots are notorious for allowing their players to test the open market, as it gives the Pats a sense of where the financial market currently is for that particular player.
I believe Thuney is a necessity to this franchise’s success next season and beyond, and that the New England Patriots need to re-sign this man.