The New England Patriots and the Las Vegas Raiders may do a lot of business together over the next few years. On Wednesday, the Patriots and Raiders reportedly agreed to a trade that will reunite 2020 sixth-round pick Justin Herron with his former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
McDaniels spent more than a decade in two stints as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator and is off to an 0-2 start in his second attempt at head coaching. The Raiders are searching for offensive tackle depth, which Herron can provide.
Patriots and Raiders Tackle Turnover
The Patriots seemingly uncovered a diamond in the rough when they selected Herron in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Herron played in 12 games as a rookie, including six starts. In 2021, Herron played in 16 games with four starts. He won’t start immediately for the Raiders, but seems like a plug-and-play option for McDaniels should there be injuries or poor play at either tackle spot.
The Raiders cut former first-round pick Alex Leatherwood before the start of the season, which created a bit of a gap in depth at tackle. Leatherwood was quickly claimed off waivers by the Chicago Bears. Herron could potentially slot into the kind of role the Raiders hoped Leatherwood would occupy, even after it seemed clear to them that he wouldn’t live up to his first-round billing.
The benefit for the Patriots is mostly financial, and they seemingly have a familiar face slotting in as a replacement for Herron from a depth standpoint. On Wednesday morning at practice, Bill Belichick asked if he could confirm the reported trade. Belichick said: “No. But when we can, if we can, we will.”
An hour later, Belichick was spotted talking with Marcus Cannon, the former Super Bowl champion who rejoined the Patriots via the practice squad last week. Cannon was a part of three Super Bowl champion squads with the Patriots before being dealt to the Houston Texans last year.
The 34-year-old, who opted out of the 2020 season, appears to be slated to take the place of a player who may have been drafted to replace him two years ago.
The Patriots Involved in a Flurry of Moves
It was a busy day for the Patriots. On Wednesday, New England also lost veteran cornerback Terrance Mitchell to the Tennessee Titans. Surprisingly, the Patriots had been able to stash Mitchell on the practice squad through the first two weeks of the season.
The Titans, dealing with some depth issues at corner, plucked the 30-year-old from the practice squad. The Patriots didn’t allow that spot to stay vacant for long. They quickly brought back former star college kicker Tristan Vizcaino and added him to the practice squad to replace Mitchell, per his management group, Black Label Sports Group.
Vizcaino had been with the Patriots through training camp and the preseason, but he did not make the 53-man roster, nor was he initially retained for the practice squad. New England may not be done with player-movement deals.
On a free-agent visit on Tuesday, the Patriots hosted former linebacker, Jamie Collins. If New England signs Collins, it will be his fourth stint with the team.