Patriots should pursue Trent Williams trade using money saved on Brady
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots agreed to yet another contract extension on Sunday, and it is no surprise that the new deal gives the team more flexibility to improve its current roster. If the Patriots really want to thank Brady for being unselfish yet again, there is one obvious move they can make.
Go get Trent Williams.
Brady was originally scheduled to make a $15 million salary and carry a $27 million cap hit this season, but he agreed to a two-year extension with the Patriots that raises his salary to $23 million in 2019 and lowers his cap hit by $5.5 million. With that, the Patriots now have somewhere in the neighborhood of $12 million in cap space. Using some of it on Williams would make a lot of sense.
Williams, a Pro Bowl left tackle, has not reported to training camp with the Washington Redskins. In addition to wanting a new contract, the 31-year-old is reportedly angry with the team’s medical staff over how his recent health scare was handled. Doctors found a mass on Williams’ head and initially feared it could be malignant, but he underwent a surgical procedure and learned that it was not. It’s unclear what exactly the Redskins did during the process to anger him, but his relationship with the team is not in a good place.
Enter the Patriots, who do not have as much depth on their offensive line this season as they have had in years past. They chose not to use the franchise tag on Trent Brown this offseason, and he signed a massive contract with the Oakland Raiders. Brown was New England’s left tackle last season, but the Patriots did not prioritize keeping him since they will be getting 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn back after he missed his rookie season with a torn Achilles. Wynn has not been able to participate in full at training camp this year, and he has never appeared in an NFL game.
If the Patriots don’t want a player who will essentially be a rookie protecting Brady’s blindside this season, they should find a way to trade for Williams. Their path to accomplishing that would be much easier now, as Williams has a salary of $10.8 million and a cap hit of $14.7 million for 2019. New England could, in theory, work out a trade with Washington and then sign Williams to an extension to make the money work, similar to what they just did with Brady.
Brady said he put on some weight this offseason in hopes of being able to absorb more hits, but the last thing the Patriots want is their 42-year-old quarterback getting tossed around. Williams is one of the best left tackles in football and has made the Pro Bowl every season since 2012. Acquiring him would allow New England to potentially move Wynn to another spot on the line and plug Williams in at the most important one.
Brady always takes less money so the Patriots can address their other needs, and left tackle is a big one at the moment. Despite what Jay Gruden wants us to think, the situation with Williams and the Redskins does not appear to improving. Bill Belichick should continue to get the most out of his Hall of Fame quarterback by giving him a Pro Bowl left tackle.