Patriots Watch Key Deadline Pass With No Action

Getty Joe Thuney

The July 15, 4 pm ET deadline for signing franchise-tagged NFL players to an extension has passed without an extension between the New England Patriots and Joe Thuney.

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What it Means for the Patriots and Thuney

This means the standout guard will play the 2020 season at the franchise-tagged salary of $14.7 million. There were some hopes the team could extend Thuney which would have given him a little more security, and saved the Patriots some money against the cap this year. However, there wasn’t likely enough motivation on Thuney’s part to sign such a deal considering his 2020 salary is already a handsome one, and he’s positioned to better than heading into the 2021 campaign if he continues to play at a high level.

Thuney has been a workhorse for the Patriots since he arrived in 2016. Per Forbes’ Oliver Thomas, Thuney has been on the field for more than 99 percent of the snaps over the past four seasons.

To put his time on the field in a better perspective, over the last two seasons, Thuney has allowed just one sack, per Pro Football Focus.

The extension became less of a pertinent issue for the Patriots as the offseason rolled on. The team was able to convince Rex Burkhead to restructure his deal, and they also collected payment for grievances related to Antonio Brown and Aaron Hernandez which equated to a replenishment of the team’s salary cap space. In a week, the Patriots went from having just under $700K space to a little below $8 million. They have enough space to chase free agent Jadevon Clowney with an incentive-laden one-year deal, or to go after two lower-cost, high-reward options on defense like Timmy Jernigan and Markus Golden.

Another Important Date in the Books

While it might have been nice for the Patriots to free up a little more cash by inking Thuney to an extension, the team is still in a pretty good place, and it’s nice to have a definitive answer to one of the offseason’s most pressing questions.

As it stands, the Patriots’ O-Line looks strong, especially considering center David Andrews appears to be healthy. He has been seen working out with Jarrett Stidham and other teammates during the offseason.

These offseason workouts have been commonplace for the Patriots and other NFL teams as we all wait to see what will come of the 2020 season. One thing is for sure, Thuney will almost certainly be a Patriot–barring some unlikely trade–and his side of the O-Line will be secured.

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