5 free agents with links to the Patriots who could replace Trent Brown

Dec 10, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New England Patriots offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor
Dec 10, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New England Patriots offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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 If the Patriots are in the market for a potential Hall of Fame left tackle, they could go after Tyron Smith. But he'll be looking for a pay rise on the $12.2 million he earned last time around. And he's 33 years old; as much as he'd be a valuable piece in a team with so many young players, he may get injured. Smith started 13 games last season, playing an impressive 847 snaps.

But in 2022, he only played four games.

Jason Peters hit free agency in March, too. But as much as everyone loves him, (he's one of the few to unite Eagles and Cowboys fans) spending money on a 42-year-old former Bill would cause a bit of a quarrel.

Some free agents with links to the current Patriots setup are available, though.

Tyrone Wheatley Jr. 

He was a Patriot last season (and that may make him want to leave), but he didn’t play a single snap with the offense. He just played five snaps on the kicking unit in the two games he was featured in. Wheatley Jr. Arrived in New England when Pierre Strong was traded to Cleveland at the end of the preseason.

The Patriots needed a tackle with three injured, and the Browns were willing to let Wheatley Jr. As he only had one year left on his contract. But Wheatley Jr. Landed on IR on the 14th of October, just five weeks into the season. 

Usually, you’d think that if someone hadn’t been featured on the offense right away, they weren’t very good. But the Patriots’ 2023 offense was no normal offense. Adrian Klemm was trying to bed in a new blocking system. And Bill O’Brien was trying to force the round peg of Mac Jones into the triangular hole that is his offensive scheme.

So, Wheatley may have just needed time to adapt to the craziness that was going on around him; with Alex Van Pelt arriving in New England, that shouldn’t be an issue in 2024. 

Wheatley Jr. Is 27 and he only made $750,000 last year so he could sign a very team-friendly deal.