Patriots: Patriots placing the franchise tag on Joe Thuney is the smart move

The Patriots placed the franchise tag on left guard Joe Thuney this morning. By tagging Thuney, the Patriots can either sign him to a long term deal or trade him. Thuney will make $14.7 million dollars in 2020.

The Patriots released a statement announcing the move. “Joe has been a model teammate and an essential element to our success … Utilizing the franchise designation allows both sides more time to try to reach the goal of a long-term agreement.”

Bill Belichick knew the Patriots were not going to be able to compete with other teams in the open market to keep Thuney. The only way they could do it is the franchise tag.

The 27 year old has quickly catapulted himself into one of the top guards in the game. Thuney is versatile, tough and steady. He was a model of consistency last season for the Patriots in what was a tough season offensively.

Belichick will try to make the numbers work and keep Thuney but it is easier said than done. He will have to make some other roster moves to free up the cap space to do an extension. The Patriots already have a lot of money committed to their offensive line with Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon. One of those two would have to get released in order to sign Thuney to a long term extension.

Of course if the Patriots fail to agree to terms on a new deal with Thuney, they could look to trade him. There will be plenty of suitors so that is always a possibility.

The Patriots are prioritizing keeping Thuney in a Patriots uniform however reaching a deal right now is a long shot. It will be interesting to see where this goes from here.