Patriots Slammed for Trading Top 50 Player for ‘Meager’ Draft Pick

Bill Belichick

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The New England Patriots have yet to receive high marks for their 2022 offseason. In fact, the team got a very low mark for after sending highly regarded offensive lineman Shaq Mason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a fifth-round pick.

According to Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay, the deal was one of the five worst of the offseason. The Patriots have yet to add a splashy name to their roster, making their deal to send Mason away even tougher to understand.

B/R Calls Mason Deal a Bad One for the Patriots

“The Patriots accepted a meager fifth-round pick for Shaq Mason, a bargain-bin price for a guard who earned a sterling 88.3 grade at PFF and rated as the site’s 35th-best player of the 2021 campaign,” Kay wrote in his April 12 story.

Kay seemed to be implying that the Patriots could have procured more draft assets for a proven performer like Mason, who was the league’s fourth best guard in 2021, according to PFF.

“Mason, fresh off a season in which he allowed just 16 pressures and one sack on 589 pass-blocking snaps while protecting rookie quarterback Mac Jones, is now joining a Bucs team that direly needed to boost Brady’s protection following Alex Cappa’s departure in free agency and the retirement of Ali Marpet,” Kay wrote. “New England may have received far more for Mason if it had shopped the 28-year-old a bit longer.”

Though Mason wasn’t a Pro Bowler, his value as an interior pass protector and run blocker was evident last season. Because of the turnover Tom Brady and Co. have experienced on the Bucs’ offensive line, they were likely thrilled to get a player of Mason’s caliber to help protect Brady.

Brady and Mason were teammates in New England from 2015-19, when they won two Super Bowls. In Tampa Bay, the duo will be in search of Mason’s third ring and Brady’s eighth.

Meanwhile, the Patriots still have some questions about the offensive line.

New England Has Some Depth Issues on the OL

David Andrews is a lock to come back and assume his role as the team’s starting center. His major injuries seem to be a thing of the past, so he should be able to anchor the Patriots’ O-line again in 2022. New England lost another starting guard this offseason when Ted Karras signed a free agent deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Patriots still have third-year guard Michael Onwenu, who had an excellent rookie season in 2020 before being pushed to the bench in favor of Karras. They shouldn’t miss a beat with Onwenu in at one starting guard position. However, it will be interesting to see what happens with the other guard spot.

Veteran James Ferentz will be an option, but the Patriots could look to the draft, a trade or the camp-casualty portion of NFL free agency to find a more solid starting option. New England appears to be set at tackle with Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown.

The latter just signed a deal with the Patriots to return after an injury-plagued 2021 campaign. If Brown and Wynn stay healthy, New England shouldn’t have much problem running the football or protecting Mac Jones.

While New England still appears to be in a position of power and depth across the O-Line, it seems hard to imagine the team won’t miss a performer as steady as Mason. If he remains healthy, he could be one of the Bucs’ unsung heroes.

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