Las Vegas Raiders right tackle Trent Brown was a prized free-agent acquisition the team poached from the New England Patriots in 2019, but after a couple seasons, he’s headed back to Foxborough.
The 27-year-old who made the Pro Bowl in 2019 and has unique size at 6-foot-8, 380 pounds is leaving Las Vegas after appearing in only five games last season and 11 the year prior.
Raiders trade Trent Brown to Pats, swap 2022 draft picks
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on the Brown trade, and added that the draft selections involved in the deal feature Las Vegas receiving a fifth-round pick, and New England getting a seventh-rounder:
Brown also had to rework his contract as part of the trade, as he’ll play for $11 million in 2021 and then become a free agent next offseason.
The Raiders made Brown the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL at the time when they signed him to a four-year, $66 million deal. Unfortunately, his injury-plagued 2020 campaign and the difficulties brought about by a shrinking NFL salary cap meant Las Vegas had to make a tough decision here.
Now, Brown gets to return to a winning culture with the Patriots and is sure to help out an already-stout offensive line.
What Trent Brown trade means for Raiders, Patriots
This is yet another personnel misfire for Raiders general manager Mike Mayock. That’s the bottom line. The load of draft picks he inherited upon taking the GM gig in 2019 haven’t panned out whatsoever, and his signature open-market signing is off the team after two years and 16 total games played.
With Brown out of town and Las Vegas off the hook for a prospective $14 million cap hit, the team still has a huge hole at right tackle. Kolton Miller is at least still in place to protect quarterback Derek Carr’s blind side, yet the rest of the Silver and Black’s men in the trenches on offense aren’t really anything to write home about.
Pro Football Focus ranked Las Vegas’ offensive line 24th out of 32 teams last season. That’s not good, and Brown playing in only five games didn’t help. O-line should be a huge priority for the Raiders in the draft, because like many teams, they don’t have a ton of money to throw around in free agency.
As for the Patriots, Brown’s durability has to be somewhat of a concern considering he missed half of the possible games he could’ve played in as a Raider. However, that’s a one-year risk Bill Belichick is evidently willing to take.
PFF ranked New England’s o-line fourth in 2020, as its skill position players and lackluster passing attack overall contributed more to the team’s offensive downfall.
Brown started at left tackle during his prior one-year stint with the Pats in 2018. He not only knows play-caller Josh McDaniels’ system, but has the versatility to play either tackle spot.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Brown move back to the left side, but much of it depends on the status of guard Joe Thuney. He’s hitting the open market, and based on New England’s acquisition of Brown, may not return next season.
Look for New England to shuffle around its line to suit the style of offense it wants to run in 2021 — whatever that may be. Cam Newton may not return to be the quarterback, and the Patriots are reportedly bullish on a reunion with Jimmy Garoppolo.
In any event, the trade is a win for Brown and New England. This is just another bad mark on Mayock’s resume, particularly with the lackluster compensation he got in return. His job has to be in jeopardy if the Raiders don’t make the playoffs.