Mike Lombardi on OMF explains what might happen with Joe Thuney

Ryan Hannable
May 15, 2020 - 12:16 pm

Joe Thuney is still on the Patriots' roster, which is a little surprising as first it was thought he would move on in free agency and then after being hit with the franchise tag, the thought was he would be traded around the draft.

Now with him counting just under $15 million against the salary cap, it seems like something needs to be done, via an extension or a trade.

Former Patriots executive Mike Lombardi joined Ordway, Merloni & Fauria and discussed Thuney's situation and laid out what an extension could look like, while also pointing out the challenges following a player getting the franchise tag.

“Well, they can free up a ton of money because right now he is counting for $14 million on their cap," he said. "The problem with franchising a player is the agent always takes the number and then adds 30 percent next year and 30 percent the year after that and 30 percent the year after that and he comes up with his total number and says, ‘Well, for four years we’ll do this deal.’ Well, that is not realistic. It is a challenge to do a deal when you have a franchise tag on a player.

"If they were, let’s hypothetically say Thuney said to his agent, ‘Hey, do a short-term deal. Let’s do two years at $12 million a year, so $24 million.' You could make something work. Let’s remember, the Patriots are going to have almost $100 million in cap room next year, so that is not going to be a challenge with how they fit players under their cap, but it is this year. They can do a lot of maneuvering there, but I think it is going to take Thuney’s willingness to do it as much as anything.”

Given some questions with David Andrews returning from blood clots in his lungs, it may be in the Patriots' best interest to keep Thuney around.

(Andy Hart gave his thoughts on Thuney in his Friday Five.)

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