At last week’s New England Patriots OTAs in Foxboro, a couple things became clear.
The team has a solid-if-not-spectacular stable of safeties.
Some players need to “arrive” in 2022. Some may wind up departing.
Others, like offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, are in limbo.
Wynn, 26, skipped the first week of voluntary offseason workouts, as the former first-round pick angles for a new contract despite being set to earn $10.4 million in 2022 after the Patriots picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract.
That move by the team seems to indicate its commitment to him, but is the feeling mutual?
New England signed veteran tackle Trent Brown during the 2021 offseason and could potentially move him to quarterback Mac Jones‘ blindside. In that scenario, this year’s seventh-round draft pick Andrew Stueber, Justin Herron or Yodny Cajuste would take over at right tackle.
A trade would have to come with an acquiring team agreeing to sign Wynn to a contract extension – lowering the dead cap hit New England takes if it trades him. If this is indeed the case, there would be a ton of interest in Wynn’s services.
He is, after all, a left tackle who started a career-high 15 games last season. Despite some struggles (28 quarterback pressures and six sacks allowed), Wynn oozes potential and upside.
Three logical trade destinations:
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General manager John Schneider took a lot of heat for failing to commit draft capital to help protect departed Russell Wilson over the past several seasons. After trading him to Denver this offseason, the team used one of the first-round picks it acquired for the quarterback on left tackle Charles Cross.
With more ammunition, could Seattle use a second-round pick to trade for Wynn and install solid book-end tackles to protect quarterback Drew Lock?
Las Vegas Raiders
New head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were, of course, members of the Patriots’ organization when they selected Wynn No. 23 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. So they know his talent and potential.
Vegas has also already dealt with Bill Belichick this offseason, trading for backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
As for a potential fit, the Raiders actually make a ton of sense. They signed quarterback Derek Carr to a massive contract extension. There’s also a need here with a below-average Brandon Parker set to start at right tackle. Despite Wynn’s struggles last season, he’d come in as an upgrade while knowing the Raiders’ offensive system.
LT of the Patriots’ future?
The days of them boasting the NFL’s best offensive line are gone, just a memory.
Sure they have a future Hall-of-Fame left tackle in Tyron Smith. But there’s not much behind him on the depth chart. If the season were to start today, the expectation is that Terence Steele would start at right tackle.
Despite Dallas’ questionable cap situation, making a move for Wynn would be significant upgrade in protecting quarterback Dak Prescott.