Trent Brown

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Gesicki, Lawson

Jake Bailey signed an extension with the Patriots earlier this month, and we’re now getting details on the punter’s new deal. According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe (on Twitter), Bailey earned a four-year pact worth $13.125MM, with $6.275MM of that deal fully guaranteed.

Bailey got a raise on his 2022 salary, jumping from $3.986MM to $4.5MM. The move lowered his cap number, however, reducing it from $4.058MM to $2.025MM. Next year, Bailey’s cap number will increase to $3.415MM before going to $3.79MM in both 2024 and 2025.

“I’m just so happy and blessed I get a few more years here,” Bailey said last week (via the team’s website). “I was just kind of on the phone with my agent and I was like, ‘Alright, that’s it. We’re good with that,’ and it wasn’t like a crazy big moment. But it was fine and a huge milestone in my life and just thankful God put me in this position.”

The 2019 fifth-round pick out of Stanford has spent his entire career in New England, including a 2020 campaign where he earned first-team All-Pro honors.

More notes out of the AFC East…

  • While you should never put too much stock into preseason depth charts, Volin points out on Twitter that the Patriots‘ initial depth chart shows that the team is committing to Trent Brown at left tackle and Isaiah Wynn at right tackle. The two offensive lineman are swapping positions following a 2021 campaign that mostly saw Wynn at LT and Brown at RT.
  • Mike Gesicki leads the Dolphins in receptions since the beginning of the 2019 campaign, but the tight end may find himself as a secondary target for Tua Tagovailoa in 2022. As Adam H. Beasley of ProFootballNetwork.com points out, Gesicki will likely be fourth in line for targets behind wide receiver Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Cedrick Wilson. As new head coach Mike McDaniel noted, the offense won’t try to force the ball to the tight end, but there will surely be situations where the team is counting on Gesicki to contribute. “It’s something that we’ve talked to the tight ends about at length — it comes in waves,” McDaniel told Beasley. “There have been practices where he’s got seven or eight … he had more targets maybe Practice 7 — it was 7 or 8 — than Tyreek had. It’s just one of those things that you try in the game of football, especially when you are a pass receiver at any position, to really focus on what you can control. You can’t control the defenses. You can’t control the progression. You can’t control the pass rush.”
  • Veteran defensive end Shaq Lawson is back in Buffalo after re-joining the organization this offseason. Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic expects Lawson to ultimately make the Bills 53-man roster, but he’s fallen behind the likes of A.J. Epenesa and Boogie Basham on the depth chart and will likely serve as the team’s fifth defensive end. The 28-year-old started seven games for the Jets in 2021, collecting 23 tackles and one sack.
  • If Tre’Davious White isn’t ready for the start of the regular season, then there’s a good chance the Bills will be starting a rookie cornerback opposite Dane Jackson. As Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports writes, first-round rookie Kaiir Elam would be a natural choice, but he’s struggled during training camp. As a result, sixth-round rookie Christian Benford could find himself in the starting lineup come Week 1.

Patriots Notes: Parker, Tackles, Cornerback

After seven years with the rival Dolphins, wide receiver DeVante Parker is set to be a difference-maker in the Patriots offense this season, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. With the early days of camp in New England focusing on the red zone, Parker’s 6’3″, 219 lb. frame has been on full display.

The Patriots don’t have a traditional No. 1 receiver this season. They return last year’s top-three receivers, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor, and they recently traded away former first-round pick N’Keal Harry. They also drafted Baylor wide receiver Tyquan Thornton in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Without a bona fide star in the receiving corps, they’ll count on each receiver to contribute their own versatile skills to the offense, and Parker’s, it appears, will come in handy in the restricted confines of the red zone.

Here are a few other notes from Patriots training camp, as reported by Reiss:

  • After spending last season with Isaiah Wynn at left tackle and Trent Brown at right tackle, spring ball saw the two swap sides. Head coach Bill Belichick downplayed it as a way to build versatility in his top offensive linemen, a worthwhile trait to shield from injury, but it may end up being a permanent change. As New England opened up training camp this week, Wynn and Brown remained switched at right and left tackle, respectively. Brown has even reportedly been “feeling (at) home” on the left side of the line.
  • According to Reiss, one of the biggest remaining question marks on the Patriots’ roster is at cornerback opposite Jalen Mills. The top-two options so far in camp have been veterans Terrance Mitchell and Malcolm Butler. Mitchell got the first opportunity of camp and received praise from Belichick in early practices. Butler returns to the team this summer after a three-year vacation in Nashville and a one-year retirement after signing to play for the Cardinals. He admits he’s still “getting in shape” after not playing at all in 2021. Reiss reports that rookie fourth-round pick Jack Jones is next in line, ahead of rookie third-round pick Marcus Jones, and returning backups Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Justin Bethel, and Shaun Wade.

Trent Brown At LT, Isaiah Wynn At RT, During Patriots’ Minicamp; Latest On Cole Strange

Could Isaiah Wynn‘s absence from Patriots OTAs, which compelled New England to deploy Trent Brown at left tackle in Wynn’s stead, have precipitated a permanent shakeup? Per Jeff Howe of The Athletic (subscription required), Wynn suited up at right tackle during mandatory minicamp last week, while Brown remained at left tackle.

Howe reminds us that, at the Patriots’ 2018 minicamp — during Brown’s first stint in Foxborough — Brown worked at LT while Wynn lined up at RT. The two players switched roles for that year’s training camp, but Wynn suffered an Achilles tear during a preseason game several weeks later, and he missed the entire season as a result. Following Wynn’s injury, Brown returned to left tackle and parlayed a strong showing at the position into a lucrative free agent contract with the Raiders the following offseason.

Still, there is precedent for the team to use Brown and Wynn at LT and RT, respectively, before training camp begins, only to have them flip-flop when the serious work gets underway in late July. On the other hand, 2018 was Wynn’s rookie season, so it could be that head coach Bill Belichick was simply easing him into the professional ranks during minicamp that year.

So there is no way of knowing what Belichick is currently envisioning with respect to his OL bookends, though he downplayed the significance of last week’s minicamp alignment. When asked about Wynn’s RT time, Belichick said it is in keeping with the team’s modus operandi for the last 20 years, thereby suggesting that he is merely trying to create positional flexibility (via Andy Hart of WEEI.com).

Wynn, who is entering a platform year and whose earning power could be seriously undermined if he were to remain at right tackle, is saying the right things at this point. “Do I like the change? It’s wherever they need me, player,” he said. When asked about his contract status, he replied, “I ain’t worried about no contract right now. I’m focused on being the best player I can be for the team so we can move forward to the season. … That’ll come when it comes.”

Another factor to consider is that Brown, not Wynn, has been the one developing chemistry with rookie first-rounder Cole Strange, the team’s presumptive LG. Although many pundits believed New England was reaching when it made Strange the No. 29 overall pick of this year’s draft, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com said the Chattanooga product looks like a plug-and-play starter, so the reps shared by him and whomever lines up to his left are especially meaningful.

On a related note, Strange is just one of two 2022 first-rounders who have yet to sign their rookie deals (Steelers QB Kenny Pickett is the other). As Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes, there are a few reasons for that. One, the Pats simply do not have enough cap space at the moment, which is a matter that can easily be resolved. Two, it could be that Strange is angling for larger roster bonuses and lower base salaries over the life of his rookie deal, just so he can get his money more quickly every year. And finally, while the top 28 picks of the 2021 draft received fully-guaranteed contracts, last year’s No. 29 selection, Eric Stokes, received a 96% guarantee for the fourth and final year of his rookie accord. Since Strange is this year’s No. 29 pick, perhaps a modicum of guaranteed money is at issue between player and team.

However, even the 30th-32nd picks in this year’s draft class received a 100% guarantee, so Strange has some leverage here if that really is one of the reasons for the delay.

Latest On Patriots LT Isaiah Wynn

June 5: Wynn is indeed expected to be present at the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp, which opens on June 7, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic (Twitter link). Howe tweets that Wynn’s absence was not related to a desire to be dealt.

May 29: Patriots left tackle Isaiah Wynn was absent for the team’s voluntary OTAs last week, and that has led Mike Reiss of ESPN.com to wonder if the club might consider an O-line shakeup. Trent Brown, who agreed to a two-year contract in March and who is currently penciled in at right tackle, took the LT reps in Wynn’s absence.

Though missing a series of voluntary May practices may not be significant for a more established player, one would think that a player in Wynn’s situation would want to take every opportunity to continue developing his game. For one, the Georgia product is eligible for free agency at the end of the season, and if he turns in a strong performance in 2022, he could set himself up for a massive payday in 2023.

Second, 2021 was the first time that Wynn had appeared in more than 10 games in a season. He missed his entire rookie campaign in 2018 due to a preseason Achilles tear, and a toe injury in 2019 and a knee ailment in 2020 limited him to a total of 18 games across those two seasons. Last year, he suited up for 16 contests, and while Pro Football Focus assigned him a strong overall grade of 74.9, Reiss suggests that New England might be regretting exercising his fifth-year option for 2022, which includes a fully-guaranteed $10.4MM salary.

Perhaps Wynn skipped OTAs because he does not believe his hold on the LT job is truly in jeopardy and because he wants to limit his exposure to another injury whenever possible. However, his decision opened the door for Brown — who parlayed a strong performance at left tackle for the Pats in 2018 into a lucrative free agent contract with the Raiders the following year — to begin building chemistry with first-round rookie Cole Strange, the club’s presumptive left guard.

Justin Herron, the 2020 sixth-rounder who has started 10 games for the Pats during his first two years in the league due to injuries to Wynn and Brown (among others), took over RT duties during OTAs. Brown himself appeared in just 14 games over the 2020-21 seasons, so the swing tackle role is an especially important one in Foxborough at the moment.

Given recent history, there is a good chance that Wynn, Brown, and Herron will all see time as Mac Jones‘ blindside blocker in 2022. Wynn, though, has the most upside and perhaps the most to gain, and he will begin his quest for a top-of-the-market deal — and perhaps to reestablish himself as the unquestioned starter at LT — when mandatory minicamp opens in June.

Contract Details: Brown, Mack, Woods

Here are some details on deals recently signed around the NFL:

  • Trent Brown, OL (Patriots): two-year, $11.5MM deal. Brown’s deal includes a $750K weight bonus in 2022 and 2023, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss. He’ll earn $150K if he shows up to the first day of offseason program at 385 pounds or less, another $75K if he’s at or under 375 pounds by June 1, another $75K if he’s at or under 365 pounds by July 15, and $25K weekly bonuses if he’s at 365 pounds or less each Thursday during the season.
  • Marlon Mack, RB (Texans): signed. It’s a one-year, $2MM deal, according to Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter). The deal includes a $250K signing bonus, a $1.25MM base salary, and $29K in per-game roster bonuses.
  • Auden Tate, WR (Falcons): one-year deal. The deal includes a $1.03MM base salary and only counts $930K against the cap, according to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein (on Twitter). Tate can also earn $5K per-game roster bonuses.
  • Xavier Woods, S (Panthers): three-year, $15.75MM deal. Deal includes more than $6MM in guaranteed money, per Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter). The deal includes a $5MM signing bonus. Woods can earn $250K for each Pro Bowl he makes. The safety will be owed a $1MM roster bonus on the third day of the 2023 league year.
  • Solomon Thomas, DL (Jets): one-year deal. The deal is worth $2.25MM, including $1.9MM in guaranteed money, tweets ESPN’s Rich Cimini (on Twitter). Thomas can earn another $2.5MM in incentives.
  • Will Hernandez, OL (Cardinals): one-year deal. The deal is worth $1.18MM, with $1.04MM in guaranteed money, according to veteran reporter Howard Balzer. The deal includes a $152K signing bonus. As a veteran qualifying contract, the deal counts $1.04MM against the cap.
  • Jesse Davis, OL (Vikings): one-year, $3MM deal. The deal includes a $1.5MM signing bonus, a $1.25MM fully guaranteed base salary, a $50K workout bonus, and up to $200K in per-game roster bonuses, tweets Ben Goessling of the Star-Tribune.. There’s also a void year in 2023.
  • Randy Bullock, K (Titans): signed. It’s a two-year deal worth $4.68MM, plus additional money for incentives, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

NFC South Notes: Falcons, Suh, Panthers

Prior to the Browns coming in with their stunning offer, Deshaun Watson was speaking with veteran free agents about teaming up with the Falcons. Watson spoke with Leonard Fournette and Jarvis Landry about playing with him in Atlanta, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes (ESPN+ link). By the evening of March 17, the Falcons believed they had won the Watson sweepstakes, Fowler adds, and the quarterback was attempting to upgrade the team’s pass-catching corps. Cleveland’s fully guaranteed $230MM proposal changed everything, and Landry is now a possibility to return to the Browns. The eight-year veteran wide receiver visited the Falcons previously, but the team’s outlook has changed considerably since. Fournette re-signed with the Bucs this week.

Watson is a Brown, and Matt Ryan is now a Colt, leaving the Falcons with a record dead-money total and a rebuild to orchestrate. “We’re taking it on the chin this year,” Falcons GM Terry Fontenot said of the $40MM Ryan cap hit (via ESPN’s Michael Rothstein, on Twitter), but noted that the outlook will brighten in 2023. Here is the latest from the NFC South:

  • Despite the Buccaneers bringing back William Gholston, Ndamukong Suh is likely still on the team’s radar. Suh has discussed a Tampa return with Bucs coaches, Fowler adds, viewing another year with the team as a good way to strengthen his Hall of Fame resume. The All-Decade defensive tackle has played with the Bucs for the past three seasons. Suh re-signed with Tampa Bay on March 24, 2021, and played for $9MM last season. The Bucs now have Vita Vea signed to a more lucrative deal, but the team is likely amenable to keeping Suh around, as it has continued to re-sign key vets.
  • Logan Ryan spent the bulk of his pre-New York days as a cornerback, but Jason Licht said (via The Athletic’s Greg Auman, on Twitter) he will play safety for the Bucs. Licht said the Bucs pursued Ryan during his lengthy free agency bid in 2020; the Giants signed him late that summer and extended him before the 2020 season ended. Ryan became a Giants cap casualty earlier this month and will join a Bucs team that lost starting safety Jordan Whitehead to the Jets.
  • The Panthers have struggled for years to lock down their left tackle position. They are still pursuing an answer here, per Fowler, who adds Carolina looked into Trent Brown‘s market. It does not appear Carolina wants to spent too much at the O-line’s most expensive position, with Fowler also noting the team viewed $10-$12MM per year as too rich for Brown, who re-signed with the Patriots for a deal that did not hit that price range. Brown’s deal is worth $6.5MM a year (base value). Panthers target Duane Brown remains on the market.
  • The Falcons hosted former Bengals, Bills and Jets tight end Tyler Kroft on a visit recently, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Not known for his receiving prowess, Kroft has topped 200 receiving yards in just one of his seven seasons. The Falcons lost Kyle Pitts complement Hayden Hurst to the Bengals last week.
  • Former QB T.J. Yates will shift from Falcons passing-game specialist to their wide receivers coach, while Mario Jeberaeel is the team’s new assistant offensive line coach. Formerly an Abilene Christian assistant, Jeberaeel joined the Falcons as an intern in 2021. Former Bengals cornerbacks coach Steve Jackson will join the Falcons and make an interesting transition, signing on as a senior offensive assistant. An ex-NFL cornerback, Jackson has coached in the NFL for 21 years but has done so consistently on the defensive side.

Contract Details: Miller, Robinson, Reddick, Mariota, Jensen, Collins, Brown, Norwell

Here are the latest details from contracts recently agreed to across the league, starting with the Bills’ big-ticket deal for a future Hall of Fame edge rusher:

  • Von Miller, LB (Bills): Six years, $120MM. Miller’s deal includes $51.44MM guaranteed. The Bills will keep Miller’s early base salaries low; he is tied to $1.1MM (2022) and $1.3MM (’23) salaries, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. Miller has a $13.34MM roster bonus due in 2023, and Albert Breer of SI.com tweets his deal includes $50MM over the first two years. His $17.1MM, $19.6MM and $29.6MM salaries from 2025-27 are nonguaranteed.
  • Allen Robinson, WR (Rams): Three years, $46.5MM. Robinson is attached to guaranteed base salaries of $1.5MM and $10MM in 2022 and ’23, respectively, per Wilson (on Twitter). The contract includes a $5.75MM roster bonus on Day 5 of the 2024 league year. If Robinson surpasses 2,200 receiving yards in the regular season and playoffs during the 2022 or ’23 seasons, Wilson adds his 2024 year will void (Twitter link). Only Cooper Kupp has accomplished that feat in a season.
  • Haason Reddick, DE (Eagles): Three years, $45MM. Reddick, who is guaranteed $30MM, is tethered to base salaries of just $1MM and $1.1MM in 2022 and 2023, per Wilson (on Twitter). His $13.75MM 2024 salary is nonguaranteed. The Eagles tacked three void years onto the deal for cap purposes. Reddick will collect a $13.7MM roster bonus in 2023.
  • Ryan Jensen, C (Buccaneers): Three years, $39MM. Jensen’s deal includes $26.5MM guaranteed. The Bucs center is tied to a $1.5MM base salary in 2022 and a $12.5MM base in 2023, Wilson tweets. Jensen’s 2023 salary is partially guaranteed at signing; it will become fully guaranteed if he is on Tampa Bay’s roster by Day 5 of the 2023 league year. A $1.5MM 2024 roster bonus resides in this deal as well. The Bucs included two void years here for cap purposes.
  • La’el Collins, T (Bengals): Three years, $30MM. The contract is closer to a two-year, $20MM pact, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, with Year 3 being included for cap purposes (Twitter link). It appears Cincinnati has dipped into the void-year realm, though is not clear just yet how this contract is structured.
  • Marcus Mariota, QB (Falcons): Two years, $18.75MM. This deal veers closer to a one-year pact. Mariota is due $6.75MM in 2022, but NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero notes (on Twitter) a $12MM 2023 option is included in this contract. A key point for Mariota’s Atlanta future will arrive on Day 5 of the 2023 league year, when a $3MM roster bonus is due.
  • Trent Brown, T (Patriots): Two years, $13MM. Brown will see $4MM guaranteed, Pelissero tweets. The veteran right tackle can earn up to $22MM on the contract.
  • Andrew Norwell, G (Commanders): Two years, $10MM. Norwell will collect $5.7MM guaranteed, Wilson tweets. He is set to earn $1.2MM and $3.54MM in base salary, with Wilson adding Washington added three void years onto this deal.

Patriots To Re-Sign Trent Brown

Trent Brown will be continuing his second stint in New England. The veteran offensive tackle is signing a two-year deal with the Patriots, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). Brown signed a two-year, $11.5MM deal that offers an additional $10.5MM via incentives. The lineman will receive $4MM in guaranteed money, per Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (on Twitter).

Brown, who will be 29 at the beginning of next season, returned to New England one year ago when he was traded from the Raiders. That ended a two-year stint in Oakland/Vegas, including the 2019 campaign in which he earned his only Pro Bowl nod.

That time was preceded by a single year spent with the Patriots, where he served as the team’s left tackle all season. Prior to that, he was the starting right tackle for the 49ers, who drafted him in 2015. The six-foot-eight, 380 pounder’s performances have fluctuated over the years, but he has generated notable interest for himself during his career. That was especially true after the 2021 campaign, in which he earned a PFF grade of 78.7.

It was reported last week that the Seahawks were interested in the former seventh-rounder. However, Brown himself made it clear he was still open to staying in New England. With this new deal, he is in line to remain a Patriot for multiple years, unlike his first go-round with the team. His deal is also a reaction to La’el Collins signing with Cincinnati; Rapoport’s colleague Mike Garafolo reports (on Twitter) that New England was among the teams “making a push” for the former Cowboy.

The Patriots have seen two significant losses to their offensive front recently. They lost Ted Karras to the Bengals in free agency, and traded Shaq Mason to the Buccaneers. With Brown under contract, however, they have a familiar face in place to provide some continuity along the o-line.

Seahawks To Meet With T Trent Brown; Patriots Remain In Mix

5:03pm: Brown is still considering a return to the Patriots, according to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson, who relays Brown’s comments about his free agency (Twitter link). The mammoth tackle said he is open to signing with another contender as well. The right tackle market is especially thin, giving Brown some value as one of the best linemen still available. New England’s line will look a bit different next season, with starters Shaq Mason and Ted Karras departing. Brown’s decision will determine if the Pats need to replace two starting blockers or three.

3:36pm: After agreeing to terms with interior offensive lineman Austin Blythe, the Seahawks are eyeing a bigger (in every sense) fish on their line. Free agent tackle Trent Brown is planning to meet with the team Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Brown has spent time in the NFC West, beginning his career with the 49ers, before relocating via a 2018 trade. Brown’s value has yo-yoed in the years since that deal, but he played well when healthy in New England last season. The Seahawks are also short on tackles presently, having lacked a right-side option for a bit and having Duane Brown in free agency.

Trent Brown set an offensive lineman record when he signed a four-year, $66MM deal with the Raiders in 2019. That partnership proved effective for one season, when Brown became the rare right tackle invited to the Pro Bowl in 2019, but various 2020 setbacks led to the Raiders trading him back to the Patriots. Brown ran into more injury trouble in New England, missing eight games last season, but the 6-foot-8, 380-pound blocker was a key part of one of the NFL’s top O-lines when on the field.

With Duane Brown in free agency, the Seahawks only have one notable contract on their O-line — ex-Trent Brown Raiders teammate Gabe Jackson. The Seahawks acquired Jackson via trade last year. One year remains on his contract.

Trent Brown has played both left and right tackle in his seven pro seasons, though most of that work has come on the right side. Brown played left tackle for the Super Bowl-winning 2018 Patriots but has been a right-side fixture in every other season.

Trent Brown Considered Retirement After 2020 IV Incident

Trent Brown considered retirement after what he described as a near-death experience last season. An IV mishap before Raiders-Browns game last season led to the then-Las Vegas tackle being hospitalized.

The 380-pound offensive lineman was on track to play last season in Cleveland, after a bout with COVID-19 previously sidelined him. But the hospitalization, compounded with the coronavirus contraction, led to Brown experiencing issues for several months into the offseason.

To actually fully recover, it probably took about eight months to feel normal again,” Brown said, via NFL.com. “And to actually start making steps, as far as improvement, to feel like myself again on the field after eight months.”

In his second Raiders season, Brown suffered a calf injury in Week 1 — a pattern that recurred this season — and returned on time a month later. But an October COVID-19 contraction sidelined him again. After the IV incident, when air was accidentally introduced into Brown’s bloodstream, the mammoth blocker passed out at a Cleveland hospital. He was shelved — via a second stint on the Raiders’ reserve/COVID-19 list — for another five games after missing the Browns contest on Nov. 1, 2020. Brown spent three days in the hospital before returning to Las Vegas.

That was different. Coming off of COVID and then just expecting to play a game, and then make it all the way to the city, to the game, to the locker room,” Brown said. “And I’m going through my normal routine, getting an IV, and to just pass out and almost going into cardiac arrest was crazy.

To kind of come back and play against the Browns [last week], I thought was pretty cool, because I almost died before we played them last year. When I was laid out on the floor, I definitely thought about my kids. I even thought about retiring, honestly. It was that scary. I was about to be done with it. Then after it kind of settled down a bit, I was fine.”

The Raiders traded Brown back to the Patriots in March, but the seventh-year tackle has played fewer than 100 snaps this season. Brown was ready to go by Week 1, but seven snaps into New England’s opener, the first-string right tackle suffered a new calf injury. He did not return until Week 10. Brown did play 69 snaps in the Pats’ win over the Browns upon returning, however.

Although Brown signed a four-year, $66MM deal with the Raiders that ran through the 2022 season, he and the Patriots agreed on a restructure that has the 6-foot-8 lineman on track for free agency in March.