Grading the Patriots’ offseason moves on offense so far
The Patriots’ offensive line has regressed
The Patriots inexcusably allowed Ted Karras, the versatile and almost indispensable starting guard/center to leave — again — in free agency. The team didn’t learn its lesson. This botched move caused all kinds of problems on an already weakened offensive line.
Further complicating things was the trade of Pro Bowl-caliber (if not named) guard Shaq Mason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the equivalent of a bag of footballs — a lousy fifth-round pick. That’s not the proper value for what Mason brings to the field with his cost-effective salary.
Let’s stop doing business with the Bucs, shall we? They’ve already taken Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski from us.
So, with both starting guards gone, the offensive line lost 40% of their star power. These are really good players. At that point, the Patriots’ grade was going to be straight F. That’s a complete disaster. But, just when you thought all was lost, they finally did something that made sense when they re-signed Trent Brown.
Brown is their best move of the offseason by far. It’s not even close. If they finally come to their senses and play him at the position he can add the most value to the team (left tackle), it will be an even better move. They need a strong left tackle to protect Jones’ blindside, and Brown would be better than incumbent Isaiah Wynn.
Move Brown to left tackle and Wynn to the spot vacated by Karras at left guard. Wynn is more guard-sized and is a terrific run-blocker. He’ll also be better in pass-protection on the inside.
Michael Onwenu can slot in at either right guard or right tackle, and with a draft pick tackle or guard (second-best option) in the second round (or the addition of a free agent), the starting offensive line will be set. Otherwise, things will still be in flux with the most important position group on the team.
Offensive line grade to date: C-
So that’s it, a subjective analysis here on the state of affairs of the Patriots offense at this point of the offseason. Please provide your comments on this analysis and how you’d rate the offseason thus far.