Patriots: What does the Trent Brown trade mean for Isaiah Wynn?

Shortly after the 2020 regular season ended, reports indicated that the New England Patriots were planning to be “uncharacteristically aggressive” this offseason. Well, if their first move was any indication, it’s that de facto GM Bill Belichick is feeling the pressure to improve his roster.

In a surprising move that surfaced Tuesday morning, the Patriots acquired offensive tackle Trent Brown and a seventh-round draft pick from the Raiders in exchange for a fifth-round pick.

When you consider that Brown is one of the most bruising tackles in the league, this is a fantastic deal for the Patriots. What’s even more impressive? The fact that Brown restructured his contract to a one-year deal worth up to $11 million, so they’ll still have ample cap space to work with.

As loaded as this deal makes the Patriots’ offensive line, however, it does give the coaching staff a headache in terms of where to play everyone. More specifically, it’ll be interesting to see where left tackle Isaiah Wynn ends up when the dust settles.

What does the Patriots’ acquisition of Trent Brown mean for LT Isaiah Wynn?

Brown, of course, spent the 2018 season with the Patriots and played 97% of the offensive snaps at left tackle protecting Tom Brady’s blindside, and he excelled at doing so, logging a respectable 69.7 blocking grade from Pro Football Focus, while conceding just three sacks.

However, the 27-year-old star has played right tackle every other year of his career, so fans should expect him to slot right in there next season. The Patriots really don’t have a reason to move Wynn, who has showcased incredible promise at left tackle over his first three seasons despite injury concerns.

In an ideal world, Brown would serve as extra injury insurance for Wynn should he go down at some point during the 2021 campaign. We hate to even bring that up as a possibility, but it’s certainly possible given that Wynn’s appeared in 18 of a possible 48 games thus far in his career.

Not that he needed motivation to perform well with the deadline approaching for the Patriots to make a decision make a decision on his fifth-year option, but this trade should further incentivize the former first-rounder to deliver the goods next season.

However, if Wynn fails to impress and Brown flourishes in his return to Foxborough, there’s reason to believe that the Patriots will let Wynn leave in free agency (assuming his option isn’t picked up) and consider signing Brown to an extension.

While this trade doesn’t have an immediate impact on Wynn’s future, it could make right tackle Marcus Cannon, who opted out of 2020 due to health concerns, really expendable. If New England was to move on from the 32-year-old vet, they would save a healthy $6.3 million in cap space.

There are a lot of tentacles attached to this deal, like what it means for Joe Thuney’s future, but we wouldn’t be overly concerned about how it effects Wynn in the short term … at least not yet.