After the New England Patriots franchise-tagged Joe Thuney last month, they said in a statement their goal was to reach a long-term deal with their star offensive guard.

They apparently haven't made much progress toward accomplishing that goal.

ESPN's Mike Reiss reported Sunday the two sides haven't been close to coming to terms on a contract extension. With the 2020 NFL Draft approaching, Reiss notes Thuney could be dealt for picks if he and the Patriots remain far apart on an agreement.

"If a guard-needy team is willing to deal a second- or high third-rounder to help fill in the Patriots' draft board, that would have to be something Belichick seriously considers with the knowledge that the sides haven't been close to an extension," Reiss writes. "Thuney holds notable leverage because of the high franchise-tag figure."

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If Thuney remains on the Patriots' roster in 2020 without an extension, he'll cost them roughly $14.8 million. As important Thuney has been to the Pats' success over the last few seasons, it wouldn't make much financial sense to keep him on the franchise tag with the numerous holes on Patriots' roster and only about $1 million in cap space.

New England heads into the draft with the No. 23 overall pick, three third-round selections, one fourth-rounder, a fifth-rounder, four sixth-rounders, and two seventh-round picks. With rumors swirling about the Patriots using a "premium" pick on a quarterback, perhaps they'll considering moving Thuney to grab a QB in the early rounds.

 

The 2020 NFL Draft is set to begin Thursday night.