For the second consecutive offseason, the New England Patriots are revamping their offensive line.
With 2021 trade acquisition Trent Brown testing the market and unlikely (as of this writing) to re-sign, Ted Karras having already left to sign with the Bengals and the Patriots trading the ever-consistent Shaq Mason to Tampa Bay, the team could have three new starters up front.
When it comes to replacing the right tackle position (Michael Onwenu will likely slot in at one of the guard positions), New England has been linked with a potential move for former Cowboys RT La’el Collins.
Collins would quite clearly be a great fit with the Patriots, but the front office will seemingly be hard-pressed to compete with his market.
If the NFL Network’s Mike Giardi’s latest intel is accurate, it sounds like teams are willing to pay a second-wave premium for Collins.
It sounds like the Patriots won’t pursue free agent RT La’el Collins.
Yeah, Collins sounds like a pipe dream after reading that. The 2020 Patriots, which doled out $288 million in free agency last offseason, might have made a serious run at the recently-released lineman.
This offseason is a different story, however. Not only is the team short on cap space – just $10.7 million, per OverTheCap – but Bill Belichick and Co. have placed an emphasis on re-signing their own free agents as opposed to bringing in outsiders.
Belichick also isn’t one to get into a bidding war for an offensive lineman. As we’ve seen over the years, the de facto GM prefers to let the OL market set settled and he more often than not ends up finding a bargain.
Can we say for sure the Patriots are out on Collins? Well, team writer Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald understands New England is all but out of the running. At least, that’s how one of his sources put it.
That pretty much puts the nail in this coffin, folks. Barring some unforeseen change of heart at the eleventh hour by the front office, Collins will not be a Patriot. And to think they were said to be interested in trading for the six-year pro! Yeah right. That would’ve entailed absorbing Collins’ contract, which came with a reasonable (by market standards) $10 million salary over three years.
Apologies if you got your hopes up, but it would appear the Patriots are still shopping for a right tackle. Really makes you wonder if re-signing Brown, who’s not finding much luck on the open market, is Belichick’s ace in the hole.