The offseason is set to officially begin a couple weeks and the New England Patriots need to create cap space if they want to improve the roster with some new additions. A few that come to mind are wide receiver, pass rusher and defensive back — all of which are not cheap.
The best way for Bill Belichick and Co. to do that is by trading players. Yes, cutting some might help, but it won’t be enough with the amount of dead money that will be inherited.
As for players with actual trade value and a salary worth getting off the books, not many are attractive on the Patriots roster, which won’t make this an easy task. But there is one candidate that could be valuable to a number of other teams and wouldn’t be that much of a sacrifice for New England to part with.
It sounds a bit crazy because left tackle is such an important position, but we’ve seen the Patriots make do without Isaiah Wynn in recent years. He’s missed a ton of time since being drafted out of Georgia back in 2018 (he’s appeared in just 34 games after debuting).
In this scenario, perhaps Trent Brown is brought back to play left tackle and then Michael Onwenu slides to right tackle where he’s proven to be highly effective? That’ll save something and give the Pats more flexibility to address needs elsewhere. And it’s not like Wynn is a worthless commodity. He’s a solid left tackle that would be an upgrade for at least these teams we’re about to talk about.
Cutting Wynn would be a silly move and wouldn’t save the team much, but trading him clears nearly $10 million in cap space.
These 3 teams could call the Patriots about an Isaiah Wynn trade if they’re interested.
3. Chicago Bears
First and easiest. The Bears will have Justin Fields as the starting QB next season (hopefully for the entire year this time). Though Jason Peters, at 39 years old, filled in admirably at the left tackle spots for 15 games, it might be time for the Bears to consider a younger, more stable option for years to come. Peters will also be a free agent when the new league year opens.
Chicago drafted Teven Jenkins in the second round last year but he only saw six total games and started just two. Is he the answer at left tackle after what little the Bears saw of him? If the Bears don’t trust that, they won’t find a much better price for a left tackle than Wynn’s $9.7 million cap hit for the 2022 season.
Though Wynn is a free agent after next season, at the very least, the Bears can get an above average 26-year-old holding down the fort and can extend him if they like what they see. At this point, it’s fairly evident the Patriots probably won’t be investing in him long-term because they haven’t seen as much as they were hoping to and he’s proven to be a bit shaky at times.
Well, perhaps shaky for “Patriots standards.” The Bears can use almost any upgrade along the O-line that resembles youth and an uptick in play … and they have cap space. Maybe a third-rounder here?