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.