Patriots

As Trent Brown departs for Oakland, remember: Patriots wanted Isaiah Wynn at tackle last year

As Trent Brown departs for Oakland, remember: Patriots wanted Isaiah Wynn at tackle last year

Less than a year later after acquiring Trent Brown on the cheap — New England got its starting left tackle in 2018 by moving from pick No. 95 to No. 143 in a deal with San Francisco last year — they're looking at facing life after Brown, who will be the highest-paid tackle in free agency this offseason.

Brown has reportedly agreed to a four-year, $66 million deal with $36.75M guaranteed with the Raiders, making him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. Things weren't always easy for Brown as a member of the Patriots, but he parlayed his one season with the team to a big-time contract. 

So what's next for the Patriots at that spot? The most logical answer would be for Bill Belichick, Dante Scarnecchia and Josh McDaniels to lean on their first first-round pick from last spring.

When Isaiah Wynn was drafted with the No. 23 overall selection last year, many figured he projected as a guard at the NFL level because he stands at 6-foot-3 with 33.5-inch arms.

But not long after Wynn was drafted, Scarnecchia scoffed at the notion that Wynn couldn't play tackle because of his length.

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"That [expletive] is way overrated," he told reporters back in May.

The 71-year-old offensive line coach added: "He's played left tackle in the best conference in America. Played it pretty good. We're going to take a look at it, and see how it goes."

Wynn saw snaps at left and right tackle in training camp practices, and he played nine snaps at right tackle in a preseason game against the Eagles before tearing his Achilles. And therein lies the source of some uncertainty if the Patriots want to make Wynn the next in line to protect Tom Brady's blind side. 

Can the team trust a red-shirted rookie with one of the most valuable positions on the field? And can they trust a player whose effectiveness is largely dependent on his agility when that player is a year removed from a torn Achilles?

Unless they want to spend another top-end pick on a tackle in this year's draft — and there are several expected to go in the first round — their options are relatively limited.

If they went that route in the draft, then they could be effectively blocking Wynn from contributing through his first two years as a pro. The guard spots — manned by the well-compensated Shaq Mason and the incredibly durable Joe Thuney — are spoken for, as is Marcus Cannon's gig at right tackle.

Depth on the offensive line is critical, of course, and no one knows that better than the Patriots. So there's value in having the type of super-sub Wynn could be, thanks to his experience at the University of Georgia playing both guard and tackle. But that's something the Patriots typically try to find in players like Cole Croston (who has practiced at guard and tackle), Ted Karras (who plays all three spots on the interior) or LaAdrian Waddle (a free agent who has experience at right and left tackle). Not a first-rounder. 

Will Wynn definitely work out at left tackle? Impossible to say. Just as it was impossible to say last year when Brown — who played primarily right tackle in San Francisco — ended up being the choice a year ago. But the Patriots owe it to themselves to trust their initial assessment and try out Wynn on the edge. 

He's far from a sure thing. But right now — given the cost of keeping Brown, what little is available in free agency and the state of the offensive line as currently constituted — he's looking like their best bet.

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Marquis Flowers, Sterling Moore, Sealver Siliga among ex-Patriots taken in XFL draft

Marquis Flowers, Sterling Moore, Sealver Siliga among ex-Patriots taken in XFL draft

Former Patriots linebacker Marquis Flowers, ex-Pats Sterling Moore, a cornerback, and Sealver Siliga, a defensive tackle, were among the players with New England ties selected in the XFL draft.

The spring football league that played one season in 2001 is being rebooted and will begin play in February with eight teams. Its two-day draft concluded Wednesday.

Players were picked in five phases of the draft in the following order: skill position, offensive line, defensive front seven and defensive backs. An open portion concluded the draft.

Flowers, 27, who played for the Patriots in 2017, was selected with the Dallas Renegades' second pick of the open portion.

Siliga, 29, a Patriot from 2012-15, also went to Dallas with their second pick of the front seven phase.

Moore, 29, known for stripping the ball from Baltimore Ravens receiver Lee Evans in the end zone and denying what would've been a winning touchdown catch in the Pats' 2011 AFC Championship Game victory, was picked by the Seattle Dragons in the defensive back phase.

Other notable ex-Patriots, defensive end Kony Ealy, acquired in a trade by New England in 2017 but cut that summer in training camp, was the first pick of the Houston Roughnecks in the open phase. Running back Ralph Webb, an undrafted free agent who had a strong preseason opener in 2018 before being cut, was the first pick of the Tampa Bay Vipers in the open phase and linebacker Scooby Wright, who played for the Patriots this past preseason and was cut from their practice squad Oct. 1, was chosen by the DC Defenders in the front-seven phase. 

Former Boston College running back Andre Williams was selected by Houston in the skill position phase.

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Ex-Patriot Trent Brown denies domestic violence allegations in statement

Ex-Patriot Trent Brown denies domestic violence allegations in statement

Former Patriot and current Raiders offensive lineman Trent Brown was sued by his ex-girlfriend for domestic violence, and he responded to the allegations with a statement via Twitter on Wednesday.

“I am aware that my ex-girlfriend has filed a civil suit against me,” Brown tweeted. “I deny the claims. They are false. I believe in the court system where I will clear my name. I will not be making any further comment at this time.”

The disturbing acts Brown is being accused of allegedly took place over the spring and summer of this year. After helping the Patriots to their sixth Super Bowl title, the 26-year-old signed a four-year, $66 million deal with the Raiders in March.

The NFL is expected to investigate the civil allegations just as it investigated Antonio Brown's, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.

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