Patriots

Patriots

The New England Patriots may not pay up for Joe Thuney, but they still could see the talented offensive guard twice in 2020.

Several media outlets note the New York Jets as expected suitors for Thuney once he hits unrestricted free agency Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.

ESPN's Rich Cimini lists Thuney as one of the 10 players "on the Jets' radar" in free agency, while the New York Post's Brian Costello reports the Jets have "checked in on" the 27-year-old lineman.

New York's interest in Thuney makes sense: The Jets had the NFL's 28th-ranked offensive line in 2019, per Pro Football Focus, and desperately could use an upgrade up front for talented running back Le'Veon Bell.

Thuney wouldn't come cheap, however: A recent report suggested the second-team All-Pro could command $14 or $15 million per year, which would make him one of the league's three highest-paid offensive guards.

The Jets may have competition within the division, too, with the Miami Dolphins reportedly expected to make a run at Thuney.

Either way, it doesn't seem likely New England would break the bank to re-sign Thuney, considering the club just reached deals with Devin McCourty, twin brother Jason and Matthew Slater and owe a $13.5 million cap hit on Tom Brady's contract whether he stays with the Patriots or not.

 

It's possible Thuney stays in the AFC East, though, as the Jets and Dolphins both have plenty of cap space and plenty of reasons to use it.