The New England Patriots have a couple important decisions to make on their offensive line with NFL free agency beginning later this week.
Ted Karras and Trent Brown are both unrestricted free agents. Karras is able to play guard and center, while Brown has seen snaps at left and right tackle throughout his career.
It would be wise of the Patriots to bring back at least one of Karras or Brown in an effort to bolster their offensive line depth for the 2022 campaign.
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Another player to keep an eye on is right guard Shaq Mason. Andrew Callahan of The Boston Herald reported Monday that Mason has drawn interest on the trade market.
Mason is a very good player. In fact, he has ranked among Pro Football Focus' top 10 highest graded guards in each of the last six seasons. He was PFF's top-graded guard in 2018 and placed fourth in 2021. Whether it's pass protection or run blocking, Mason consistently performs at a high level.
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The only reason to trade Mason is it would free up a good chunk of salary cap space -- which New England desperately needs. Mason has the fifth-highest cap hit ($10.75 million) of any player currently on the Patriots roster.
The best route is finding other ways to create cap space, either by restructuring contracts, releasing players or looking at the trade market. Mason is too important to get rid of just to open cap space.