Joe Thuney

No Progress For Patriots, Joe Thuney

The Patriots aren’t expected to hammer out an extension with Joe Thuney before this afternoon’s deadline, according to Ian Rapoport and Michael Giardi of NFL.com (on Twitter). With that, the offensive guard is set to play on a one-year, $14.78MM deal. 

[RELATED: Patriots Open Cap Space After Settling Grievances]

The Patriots caught everyone off guard in March when they applied the franchise tag to Thuney. Even after that point, many believed that the tag was Step One towards a tag-and-trade. Instead, the Patriots tagged Thuney with the intention of keeping him and they had some talks with his camp about a multi-year arrangement.

Lately, there hasn’t been much momentum on that front. Frankly, it would be off-brand for the Patriots to pay top dollar for players as they approach free agency, and the current climate doesn’t help matters.

Thuney, 28 in November, has started in all 64 of his games for the Pats over the last three seasons. And, over the last two seasons, he’s graded out as one of the league’s five best offensive guards in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Status Of All 15 Tagged Players Prior to July 15 Extension Deadline

The clock is ticking for tagged players to sign extensions with their teams, per the league calendar.

July 15: At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2020 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.

With less than nine days remaining until the deadline, let’s take a look at where each of the 15 tagged players stand.

Already Signed Tag

*Received transition tag (vs. franchise tag)

Haven’t Signed Tag, Won’t Hold Out

Haven’t Signed Tag, Threatening Hold Out

Extra Points: Patriots, Jets, Carson

Denard Robinson is back in the NFL, this time as a coach. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that the Jaguars have hired Robinson as an offensive quality control coach.

Following a standout career as Michigan’s quarterback, Robinson was selected by the Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. The organization ended up transitioning him into a running back, and he ultimately spent four seasons with Jacksonville. His best season came in 2014, when he had 706 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns.

The 29-year-old spent the 2019 season as an offensive analyst for the Jacksonville University football team.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • While the Patriots would presumably like to sign Joe Thuney to an extension, ESPN’s Mike Reiss opines that the offensive lineman will end up playing next season on the franchise tag. As Reiss explains, Thuney has the leverage in negotiations, as he should be more-than-satisfied with his current one-year, $14.78MM deal. The reporter could see a scenario where the lineman signs a two-year deal that would buy the Patriots a bit of cap space for 2020, and Reiss believes that’s more realistic than Thuney getting traded or signing a long-term pact.
  • While Jamal Adams may already be saying farewell to some of his teammates, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport believes the Jets will “stand pat” and let the situation play out (Twitter link). The safety has two years remaining on his contract, and that’s part of the reason why New York hadn’t felt any urgency in signing the former first-rounder to an extension.
  • Seahawks running back Chris Carson has signed with Octagon Football for representation, tweets Liz Mullen of Sports Business Daily. “From our perspective, he’s an elite running back in this league,” said agent Casey Muir. After averaging 1,190 rushing yards and eight touchdowns between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Carson is set to hit free agency following the 2020 campaign.

Dolphins Rumors: Herbert, Tagovailoa, Thuney

With ~24 hours to go until the NFL Draft, the Dolphins have succeeded in their mission to confuse everyone in the football world. Here’s the latest on what the Dolphins might be thinking at No. 5, plus more from South Beach:

Patriots’ Joe Thuney Signs Franchise Tender

Done deal. On Thursday, offensive lineman Joe Thuney inked his one-year franchise tag tender with the Patriots, according to agent Mike McCartney (on Twitter).

For weeks, we heard that the Patriots were unlikely to retain Thuney. Then, this week, they threw everyone a curveball by assigning him the franchise tag. Initially, many speculated that Thuney would be a tag-and-trade candidate, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The Patriots are already discussing a long-term deal with the 27-year-old, so it sounds like he’s in their plans for 2020 and beyond.

With the deal signed, Thuney is slated to earn $14.8MM in 2020. The two sides can continue talks on a potential extension up until the summer deadline for franchise tagged players. If they can’t reach an accord by then, they’ll have to wait until after the 2020 season to pick things up again.

Patriots Discussing Long-Term Deal With Joe Thuney

The Patriots caught many off guard by assigning the franchise tag to offensive lineman Joe Thuney on Monday. Many (including yours truly) speculated that the tag could be step one towards a tag-and-trade scenario, but that might not be the case. The club has discussed a long-term deal with the 27-year-old, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB (Twitter link).

With that, it’s at least possible that the Patriots will lock Thuney down for the long run. Still, it’s not in the Patriots’ nature to pay top dollar for players who are on the road towards open market riches. Even though Thuney will not get to explore his options this year, he’ll enter negotiations with plenty of leverage. If he were to stay with the team on the one-year tag, he’d either be in line to go into free agency unfettered next year, or force the Patriots to bump up his pay even further with a second tag.

The Patriots have a few months to hammer out a long-term deal with Thuney and ample time to explore trade scenarios. In the meantime, they’re feverishly at work to try and replace Tom Brady, who announced his departure from the team on Tuesday morning. Soon after his announcement, owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick issued statements to thank Brady for their many years together.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Tag Joe Thuney

The Patriots will use the franchise tag on offensive lineman Joe Thuney, as agent Mike McCartney tweets. It’s a stunning move – few expected the Patriots to cuff Thuney given their tight cap situation and reluctance to spend on their own free agents.

The tag does not guarantee that the Patriots will keep Thuney. Instead, this could be step one towards a tag-and-trade scenario. The left guard is a four-year starter who has never missed a game. He also just turned 27 in November – other clubs would love to have an elite interior protector in his prime.

It’s important to note that the franchise tag is the same for all offensive linemen, meaning that Thuney is now slated to make $14.8MM for the 2020 season. That’s the kind of compensation that goes to top offensive tackles. Then again, the guard market is rapidly rising – former Giants draft bust Ereck Flowers, for example, could be in line for an incomprehensibly lucrative pay day. Better options, like Redskins standout Brandon Scherff, have already been spoken for.

Meanwhile, the Patriots are working to keep franchise star Tom Brady in New England. The Titans, thought to be one of his biggest potential suitors, exited the sweepstakes by extending Ryan Tannehill. The Niners, meanwhile, are likely to stand pat with his one-time backup Jimmy Garoppolo.

Jets Targeting Pass Rushers

The Jets are seeking some pass-rush help, and they’re eyeing some of the top names on the market. Sources tell Connor Hughes of The Athletic that “the Jets are doing their homework on Jadeveon Clowney” and are among the teams “in on him.” The Jets are also planning to “actively pursue” Rams pass rusher Dante Fowler.

The team could alternatively look to the trade market for help. Hughes writes that the Jets are expected to make a call on Ravens defensive end Matt Judon, who is expected to receive the franchise tag after finishing 2019 with a career-high 9.5 sacks. However, Hughes cautions that the organization may be wary to give up too much draft capital, especially when they’re looking to fill holes via the draft.

Hughes also expects the Jets to be in on a number of offensive lineman, including Joe Thuney and Graham Glasgow. We heard yesterday that the organization was planning on pursuing Redskins lineman Trent Williams. The front office could even pursue cornerback James Bradberry, according to the writer.

The Jets will have a whole lot of money to throw at a pass-rusher, as they’re currently sitting with more than $60MM in projected cap space. Hughes notes that the organization could easily move on from the likes of cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson, lineman Brian Winters, and others, which would open up an additional $20MM to $27MM in cap space.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Fins, Tua, Peters, Anderson

We heard back in January that the Dolphins may pursue some of the Patriots’ top FAs, and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the ‘Fins are indeed expected to go after guard Joe Thuney. Miami also has interest in Devin McCourty, Ted Karras, and Kyle Van Noy, though the extent of that interest is unclear.

Per Jackson, the Dolphins are also high on former Patriots CB Logan Ryan, who spent the last three years with the Titans. And Ryan would seriously consider joining up with Miami if the club does make an effort to sign him.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions, starting with another item out of South Beach:

  • Recent reports have suggested that the Dolphins are cooling on Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and that the team is resigned to the fact that he will be off the board by the time they’re on the clock with the No. 5 overall pick. Jackson says Miami gave Tagovailoa the cold shoulder at the combine, but that was likely just a ploy to suggest that they’re not interested when they really are, and draft gurus Todd McShay and Daniel Jeremiah still expect the Fins to land Tagovailoa.
  • Eagles head coach Doug Pederson may want LT Jason Peters back, but the team’s brass as a whole is split as to whether to re-sign Peters or move forward with 2019 first-rounder Andre Dillard, as Albert Breer of SI.com reports. The money they save on a new Peters contract could be re-invested in the rest of the O-line, so Philly could choose to move on from the 38-year-old free agent.
  • Although Robby Anderson may find himself as the best receiver on the free agent market, the Jets are still expected to try to re-sign him. But according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, New York will not pursue a re-up unless Anderson’s price goes no higher than $10MM per year.
  • John Keim of ESPN.com takes a stab at how the Redskins will spend their money in free agency. Unsurprisingly, he believes Washington will target CB, TE, WR, and RB.

AFC East Notes: Jets, OL, Patriots, Kilgore

Add the Jets to the teams in the James Bradberry market. Cornerback resides among the many needs in New York, and the Jets are “very interested” in the Panthers starter, Connor Hughes of The Athletic reports (subscription required). Twenty-two teams have expressed some degree of interest on Bradberry, per Hughes. This includes the Redskins, now run by longtime Panthers coach Ron Rivera. The Giants are interested, but Hughes notes the No. 1 cornerback price tag will likely push them out of the running.

Here is the latest from the AFC East, first moving to other Jets rumors from Indianapolis:

  • A high probability exists the Jets will be the rare team to replace its entire starting offensive line. Week 1’s front five — Kelvin Beachum, Kelechi Osemele, Ryan Kalil, Brian Winters and Brandon Shell — are either unlikely to be back or certainties (in Osemele’s case) not to return, and Hughes notes that the Jets are eyeing four new O-line starters. Alex Lewis, a 2019 trade get who took over after Osemele’s injury, is a free agent but could be the player from last year’s front retained. The Jets are eyeing guards Joe Thuney and Graham Glasgow, per Hughes. While the Jets want to come away with a high-end free agent — they are also in on Jack Conklin — GM Joe Douglas will look to the draft to fill much of the O-line needs, Hughes adds. This points to Gang Green being in the market for this atypically stacked tackle class at No. 11.
  • Thuney is expected to cost at least $14MM, with Jeff Howe of The Athletic adding his bidding could push a guard-high $15MM. The Patriots have seen Nate Solder and Trent Brown sign O-line-record money the past two offseasons; they are not expected to try to keep Thuney. Even Thuney’s backup could have a big market. Ted Karras, a full-time starter only in 2019, may be set to earn command a near-$10MM-AAV deal, per Howe. That would be a good indication of the recently seller-happy O-line market hitting another level.
  • The Jets have also been in the market for edge rushers for years, finishing second in 2018’s Khalil Mack sweepstakes and seeing a player they wanted to turn into an edge defender — Anthony Barr — renege on a deal at the 11th hour. League sources expect Gang Green to target Dante Fowler, Hughes notes. The Rams’ bevy of big contracts will likely limit them from franchise-tagging Fowler. The Jets are also interested in Matt Judon, though the Ravens are likely to tag him. He could be a tag-and-trade option, however.
  • Despite their desperation for edge help, the Jets are not expected to be in the Jadeveon Clowney market. An issue with what some Texans sources described as a “cavalier attitude” made Douglas leery of pursuing a Clowney trade last year and has him looking elsewhere for outside linebacker aid, per Hughes. Clowney’s price tag figures to be immense. The Jets hold $49MM-plus in cap space but have many needs.
  • Optimism exists Devin McCourty will be back in New England on a third contract, Howe adds. McCourty and the Patriots are expected to meet before week’s end. The standout safety has spent all 10 seasons of his career in New England. With Jason McCourty still under contract, Devin returning to the Pats should not exactly surprise.
  • Like the Jets, the Dolphins could have a retooled offensive front. They are looking around for centers to replace Daniel Kilgore, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Kilgore has started 17 games since signing with the Dolphins in 2018. Releasing him in the final year of his contract would save the Dolphins $4MM.