New England Patriots guard Joe Thuney signed his offer as a franchise player for the 2020 season, guaranteeing him $ 14,781,000, according to his agent Mike McCartney.
The Patriots and Thuney have until July 15 to continue negotiating a long-term contract. By signing the offer, Thuney could also now be traded to another club.
Thuney was expected to generate significant interest in free agency because of his combination of age (turned 27 in November), durability, and front-line performance as a left guard.RELATED
It’s the ideal trifecta and why Thuney, who started every possible game over the past four years – 74, including the playoffs – was one of the best players in the free-agent market.
The reason Thuney signed the offer is that the Patriots could have rescinded the franchise player designation, leaving Thuney with nothing, as happened with the Carolina Panthers and cornerback Josh Norman in 2016. Had it happened, with the teams having already committed large amounts to free agency, they could have put Thuney in a position where he doesn’t take full advantage of unrestricted free agency.
In 2019, Thuney had a 97 percent earned pass blocking percentage, according to the ESPN-generated metric that employs the NFL’s Next Gen Stats to determine which offensive linemen can hold their blocks for at least 2.5 seconds. He was the second-best mark among all guards, behind the perennial Baltimore Ravens All-Pro, Marshal Yanda (98 percent), who just announced his retirement.
The Patriots selected Thuney in the third round of the 2016 draft from NC State, moving him from tackle to guard. The team – No. 78 overall – was ultimately part of the compensation received by the team for trading with Pro Bowl defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals.
Thuney became the first player in NFL history to start in the Super Bowl for the first three years of his career, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Information from Mike Reiss was used in the writing of this note.