Patriots, Thuney
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots surprised the masses earlier this week when they placed the franchise tag on starting guard Joe Thuney. It flew somewhat under the radar due to the entire Tom Brady situation. But retaining the 2016 third-round pick was a necessity.

In turn, Thuney has now become the first player to sign said tender. He will earn $14.78 million in 2020.

No matter who is under center for the Patriots next season, retaining Thuney is going to be absolutely huge moving forward. The 27-year-old former North Carolina State star has started all 64 games over the course of his first four NFL seasons.

According to Pro Football Focus, Thuney graded out as the fifth-best guard in the NFL last season.

Vincent Frank
Editor here at Sportsnaut. Contributor at Forbes. Previous bylines include Bleacher Report, Yahoo!, SB Nation. Heard on ESPN Radio and NBC Sports Radio. Northern California native living it up in Las Vegas. The Keto lifestyle. Traveler. Reader. TV watcher. Dog daddy. Sam Malone = greatest TV character ever. "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary," John Keating.