Patriots: 3 players Bill Belichick must trade if they sell at deadline
2. Joe Thuney
The Patriots could get a lot in return for Joe Thuney.
It’s rare we’d advocate for trading offensive linemen, but if the Patriots aren’t contending and there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to keep Joe Thuney beyond this season after the two sides failed to agree to an extension this summer, then why keep him when you can probably get a high draft pick in return?
Plus, if the Patriots were never keen on paying him in the first place, they won’t be this offseason, considering his value continues to skyrocket. Thuney, after mostly playing guard for his first four NFL seasons, is now playing center and tackle in 2020, and he’s doing a damn good job. His agent will certainly be using that as a bargaining chip in free agency.
By the time the deadline arrives, the Patriots should have the necessary reinforcements returning to action to absorb a potential Thuney trade. David Andrews just returned. Jermaine Eluemunor could be back in three weeks. And Mike Onwenu has been a revelation.
New England has been playing with a makeshift offensive line for a good portion of the season, so this won’t be anything new anyway. You have to think Belichick has a couple of solid guys on the practice squad ready to contribute if things get really bad, too.
Also, getting rid of Thuney’s big salary (over $14 million) could give the Pats an excuse to spend more this coming offseason.