Patriots Could Pursue Veteran T Tyron Smith

With the seeming end to veteran offensive tackle Tyron Smith‘s time in Dallas, the 33-year-old is expected to hit the free agent market for the first time in his long career. One team expected to push for his services is the Patriots, according to Mark Daniels of MassLive.

With both of last year’s starting offensive tackles, Trent Brown and Michael Onwenu, bound for free agency, the position has become an immediate need. Pursuing a 13-year veteran who hasn’t played every game of a season since 2015 may not seem like the ideal solution to a pressing need, but with the options available in free agency, a short-term solution like Smith may be just what the doctor ordered.

This year’s free agent class won’t be especially strong in the offensive tackle position. Cincinnati’s Jonah Williams or Washington’s Charles Leno probably rival Smith for the top options available. Williams may draw the most interest of the three, since he’s only 26 years old, but he graded out much worse than Smith and Leno, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Smith, on the other hand, graded out as the fourth-best tackle in the league last year and earned second-team All-Pro honors.

Daniels pointed out two other players as focuses for New England, as well, these being players in the building set to depart in free agency. Daniels reported that the Patriots are interested in trying to bring back both tight end Hunter Henry and wide receiver Kendrick Bourne.

Henry and Bourne finished second and third on the team in receiving yards with 419 and 406, respectively, both behind rookie sixth-round pick Demario Douglas. One area in which they both outperformed the rookie was in the endzone. While Douglas failed to register a score in his first NFL season, Henry led the team with six touchdowns and Bourne was close behind with four.

While the team has hopes to extend both players, it sounds like landing either would be a long shot. Daniels reports that Henry and the team “are far apart on an extension,” while the Patriots and Bourne “aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on his market value.” Both players are sure to draw interest from around the league, so if New England isn’t willing to give up some ground, it could lose both Henry and Bourne.

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