Could the Patriots Be Entertaining an Isaiah Wynn Trade?
Starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn has been a no-show at voluntary workouts and his absence has some speculating the 26-year-old is angling for a new contract. ESPN’s Mike Reiss discussed a potential position change that could be in store for Trent Brown if Wynn’s absence goes into training camp.
“With starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn not at voluntary offseason practices last week, veteran Trent Brown flipped to that side, with swing tackle Justin Herron elevated as the top right tackle,” Reiss wrote. “Brown was excellent at left tackle in 2018, before playing right tackle upon his return to the team in 2021. Could Wynn’s absence be the opening to return Brown to left tackle permanently, especially when considering the valuable chemistry he’s developing with left guard/first-round pick Cole Strange? At the least, it’s a question [Bill] Belichick and O-line coaches [Matt] Patricia and Billy Yates are probably asking.”
Herron would be the third new addition to the Patriots’ projected starting offensive line including rookie Cole Strange and Mike Onwenu, who was more of a utility guy in 2021. Onwenu is a starting-level offensive lineman. Having him in a reserve role was a luxury New England enjoyed most of last season, especially considering Brown missed eight games in 2021.
Herron has had his ups and downs as a starter, including being benched in Week 1 of the 2021 season after struggling mightily against the Miami Dolphins. He has started 10 games in his NFL career, but wouldn’t ideally be put into a position to play major snaps.
Unfortunately, if the Patriots part ways with Wynn they may need to plug Herron in full time.
The Patriots Will Have Multiple Suitors For Isaiah Wynn
Wynn is scheduled to make $10.4 million this upcoming season and the Patriots have already picked up his fifth-year option. Still, it is possible Wynn could be eyeing an extension and/or raise, which might be the fuel for his no-show at voluntary workouts.
If the Patriots are unwilling to budge, they could explore trading Wynn, who is believed to have multiple suitors. Vincent Frank of Sportsnaut discussed the Seattle Seahawks, Las Vegas Raiders, and Dallas Cowboys as teams who might be willing to part ways with draft assets to acquire Wynn.
Frank mentioned a potential second-round pick in exchange for Wynn.
“We’re openly wondering whether Seattle could then use some more of the capital it acquired for Wilson to find an upgrade at right tackle,” Frank wrote. “The team could offer up its second-round pick from Denver and change to bring Wynn into the mix — creating a potentially stellar pair of young tackles in front of either Drew Lock or Geno Smith.”
Any team envisioning moving forward with Lock or Smith as their starting quarterbacks would seemingly be operating with lower expectations. However, pairing Wynn with the team’s current left tackle Charles Cross is intriguing.
The Raiders, with former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their head coach, has become the landing spot for several New England players and coaches. The two teams recently completed a trade that sent Jarrett Stidham to the Raiders and multiple coaches, such as Mick Lombardi have also followed McDaniels to Las Vegas.
Because McDaniels has been the only offensive coordinator Wynn has known in the NFL, it is easy to see a potential connection between the 26-year-old tackle and the Raiders.
Frank also mentions Wynn being an upgrade over what the Raiders currently have at right tackle.
“As for a potential fit, the Raiders actually make a ton of sense,” Frank wrote. “They handed Derek Carr a massive contract extension during the spring. There’s also a need here with a below-average Brandon Parker set to start at right tackle. Despite Wynn’s struggles last season, he’d come in as an upgrade while knowing the Raiders’ offensive system. It almost makes too much sense.”
For the next few years at least, the Raiders will be mentioned as potential suitors for several Patriots players rumored to be on the move. Whether this becomes the latest example remains to be seen, but it may make the most sense of any of the mentioned scenarios.
The Dallas Cowboys aren’t usually considered a team in need when it comes to the offensive line, but the unit isn’t as complete as it has been in the past heading into the 2022 season. Aside from the left side of the line, Dallas has some room for improvement.
“Sure the Cowboys have a future Hall of Fame left tackle in Tyron Smith,” Frank wrote. “But there’s not much behind him on the depth chart. If the season were to start today, the expectation is that Terence Steele would start at right tackle. That’s a less-than-ideal scenario. Despite Dallas’ questionable cap situation, it could make a move for Wynn work. Perhaps, the team offers up someone like backup cornerback Jourdan Lewis to entice New England. It would then add a mid-round pick to make this deal work.”
The Cowboys haven’t traditionally been shy about acquiring salary if it would theoretically help them create a stronger roster, but the proverbial juice may not be worth the squeeze when it comes to Wynn.
Follow Wynn’s story as it might be one of the more important storylines during this offseason.
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