Eagles Rumors: NFL Insider Proposes Trade for Patriots All-Pro Guard

Joe Thuney, Rob Gronkowski

Getty Trading or extending Joe Thuney could create cap space for the Patriots, but would they commit or move Thuney?

Perhaps the messiest scenario for replacing Brandon Brooks is the best one. Especially since it involves throwing the New England Patriots into disarray.

Joe Thuney is considered one of the best left guards in the NFL, a 308-pound athletic freak who can play all five spots on the offensive line. Pro Football Focus ranked him a top-five player at his position over the past two seasons while calling out his insane pass-blocking, with a pressure rate allowed of 2.5-percent. He’s also in the middle of a stalemate in New England after the team placed the franchise tag on him.

Thuney wants a lucrative long-term contract and the Patriots are reportedly negotiating with him. But, New England fully expects the 27-year-old guard to play on the one-year franchise tender — valued at $14.78 million — if contract talks wane. The NFL deadline for tagged players to sign multi-year deals is July 15. It’s a volatile situation and Thuney’s camp may decide to force a trade out of Boston.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentioned the Eagles as a potential trading partner if things sour between Thuney and New England. Breer wrote:

And I don’t think if they get through a couple 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.

Here’s the problem with the Eagles trading for Thuney: it’s going to cost a lot of money and assets. The Patriots aren’t likely to give a borderline Pro Bowl guard away for free. Philadelphia would have to relinquish high draft picks (think: first- or second-round) and then sign him to a contract in line with the top offensive linemen in football. This move only makes sense if the Eagles feel Thuney is part of their long-term plans since they would essentially be paying him Brandon Brooks’ kind of money.

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Thuney Can Play All Five Positions on the Offensive Line

Thuney has mainly played left guard in New England, save one start at right tackle in 2019 due to injury. He has made 64 total starts since being taken in the third round (78th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. He’s a beast who could slide over to right guard in Philly and the Eagles’ offensive line wouldn’t skip a beat.

“I’m an offensive lineman, and I just love playing the game,” Thuney told ESPN in 2019.

Thuney has the hardware and accolades to back it up, too. He was named second-team All-Pro by The Associated Press in 2019 and Pro Football Focus ranked Thuney No. 91 on their list of the best players in the entire league. Here is what the website wrote:

The Patriots’ offensive line took a major step back this season, but one player who went in the other direction was left guard Joe Thuney, who built on a couple of solid seasons to post the best overall PFF grade of his career. Thuney narrowly missed out on topping the 80.0 threshold in terms of overall grade and had the best single-game of his season in the playoffs as the team fell to the Titans in the wild-card round. Thuney was excellent as a pass blocker, allowing just one sack all season, his only one over the past two seasons combined.

One more note on Thuney: he played right guard during his redshirt sophomore season at North Carolina State. So, yes, he does have familiarity on the right side of the line.

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