Marred often by injuries, Isaiah Wynn‘s Patriots tenure looks to now include a position switch. Wynn has lined up at right tackle for most of this year, but his status as New England’s right-side starter may not be locked in.
The Patriots have taken calls on Wynn, according to Albert Breer of SI.com. The former first-round pick is going into his fifth-year option season. Being tied to a guaranteed $10.4MM salary will hurt Wynn’s trade value, but the Patriots are not averse to making moves involving contract-year players.
New England’s status near the bottom of the NFL’s cap-space hierarchy ($6.9MM in space; 28th in the league) is influencing trade interest, per Breer, who adds the Pats are interested in using one of their deeper positions to move money off their payroll. Nelson Agholor has come up here as well, but the former first-round wideout is tied to a $9MM base salary. And New England is now expected to be without second-round rookie wideout Tyquan Thornton for several weeks. Tackle might not qualify as a deep Pats position, however.
Wynn missed his entire rookie season, was out eight games in 2019 and six in 2020. Last season, Wynn suited up for 16 games. Pro Football Focus has consistently graded the Georgia product well when available, slotting him as a top-15 tackle in 2020 and a top-30 player at the position last year. Teams still view Wynn as a tackle-guard tweener, Breer adds. The Patriots have also seen some turnover on their O-line this offseason, having already traded a longtime guard anchor (Shaq Mason) and having let their other 2021 guard starter (Ted Karras) sign with the Bengals.
The Pats only picked up a fifth-round pick for Mason. A Wynn deal would seemingly not produce a great return, either, despite positional value. Moving Wynn would also be risky due to left tackle Trent Brown‘s injury-prone past. The Patriots have former third-round pick Yodny Cajuste (two rookie-year starts) and third-year blocker Justin Herron (10 career starts) as potential options if Wynn is not on the team. The Pats also have rookie Andrew Stueber on their NFI list; the seventh-round pick might miss his entire rookie year.