The New England Patriots traded for left tackle Trent Brown in a deal with the San Francisco 49ers last April, and it turned out to be one of the best moves off the entire NFL offseason.
Brown had a very good year for the Patriots, and Pro Football Focus graded him as the fifth-best offensive tackle in the AFC East during the 2018 season. The veteran offensive lineman was excellent in the playoffs, too, and he played a key part in Patriots quarterback Tom Brady being sacked only once in three playoff games.
Brown is eligible for unrestricted free agency in March, but he recently said on ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter's "The Road Less Traveled" podcast that he is open to returning to Foxboro.
“That’s definitely something I would love," Brown said when asked if there's any chance he comes back to New England. "But hey, we’re going to cross that bridge when we get there."
It's hard to blame him. Who wouldn't love coming back to a team that has been to three consecutive Super Bowls and won two of them?
Making the money work for both sides can be a challenge. Left tackles are highly sought after, and the Patriots (wisely) let starting left tackle Nate Solder walk in free agency last year. New England has shown a willingness not to overpay to keep free agents throughout the Bill Belichick era, but protecting Brady obviously is very important.
Brown earned a little less than $2 million in 2018 and should get a massive raise in free agency. Whether the Patriots will be the team giving him that raise remains to be seen.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.