There is a chance the Philadelphia Eagles could be the first team to kick the tires on the concept. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer looked ahead and made some reference to knowledge of the team’s mindset or the situation surrounding the Eagles’ O-Line situation:
And I don’t think if they get through a couple of weeks of camp, and Matt Pryor, Nate Herbig, and Jack Driscoll aren’t where they should be, that Roseman will hesitate to pick up the phone. Would they take a big swing on someone like New England’s franchise-tagged All-Pro guard, Joe Thuney? Based on what I know … I think they’d at least explore it. But, again, that’s probably more of a down-the-road contingency thing for now.
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Patriots’ Motivation to Move Thuney
As of right now, the Patriots are cash-strapped. They don’t currently have enough cap space available to make it through the season. Because of this, everyone knows some sort of transaction is coming to remedy the situation.
It’s possible the Patriots could trade someone else besides Thuney to create room. J.C. Jackson, Mohamed Sanu, Marcus Cannon, Deatrich Wise, Joejuan Williams, Ja’Whaun Bentley, and even Julian Edelman’s name has been mentioned as a potential trade chip.
There’s also a chance a few of the players in that group could be released along with long-time fan-favorite Rex Burkhead. However, simply extending Thuney would clear up more than enough space for the Pats to work through the season with little worries about this until next offseason.
Can the Patriots’ O-Line Absorb this Departure?
It’s possible, but losing Thuney in any way would severely handicap the team’s to continue its mastery of the AFC East for a 12th consecutive season. A much-less talented and seasoned player like the recently re-signed Jermaine Eluemunor would be pressed into action and a starting spot.
While the Patriots obviously like Eluemunor, starting the 25-year-old probably isn’t ideal for a team hoping to contend, and one that also has some uncertainties across most of the offensive line. However, if something goes wrong with talks of an extension, perhaps moving Thuney would be the best scenario for the Patriots when it comes to clearing cap space.
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