Two Marches removed from signing a four-year, $66 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders that included $36.75 million in total guarantees, Trent Brown is a New England Patriot again.
Las Vegas has agreed to trade the towering offensive tackle back to New England in an exchange of 2022 draft selections, as reported early Tuesday morning by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media and Field Yates of ESPN.
The move comes with a restructured one-year deal worth up to $11 million that will allow Brown to return to free agency after the 2021 season, sources told Rapoport and Yates. The 27-year-old had previously been set for cap numbers of $14 million and $15.25 million over the remainder of his pact.
The Raiders will acquire a future fifth-rounder and send a seventh-rounder to the Patriots along with Brown, the Boston Globe’s Jim McBride detailed.
Terms will be finalized when the new league year begins at 4 p.m. ET on March 17.
Brown started 16 combined games across his pair of regular seasons in the AFC West. Each start came on the right side of the line. Pro Bowl honors met Brown in 2019 before the 6-foot-8, 380-pound bookend was placed on injured reserve with a pectoral injury. He was limited to a handful of appearances this past campaign due to stints on the Covid-19 list and after a pregame IV required hospitalization.
His time with the Raiders included one sack allowed to go with two quarterback hits and 15 hurries, per Pro Football Focus.
“Trent’s whole thing is when he’s healthy, in shape and ready to go, he’s as dominant as any tackle in football,” Raiders general manager Mike Mayock told reporters during a video conference last week. “And he proved that early in the 2019 season. Since then, it’s been kind of a rollercoaster. So, really what he needs to do, I think more than anything, is get himself in the best shape of his life and come out ready to prove that he is a dominant tackle in the National Football League. And really, that’s all it takes. If Trent gets in shape and stays committed, there’s not a better talent out there.”
The Patriots had originally acquired Brown from the San Francisco 49ers in a swap of No. 95 overall and No. 143 overall during the 2018 NFL draft. The move surfaced in the April hours following the selection of Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn at No. 23.
After Wynn suffered a torn Achilles nine snaps into his rookie preseason, the product of Georgia Military College and the University of Florida went on to start every game from the opener through Super Bowl LIII for New England at left tackle.
“He’s a very unique player with his skillset,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said of Brown in November 2018. “His size is rare. His athleticism is good, but when you combine it with his size, that’s rare, too. You don’t see guys that big playing over there. He’s very gifted.”
Brown, who entered the league in the seventh round back in 2015, played a part in the Patriots earning a league-high four compensatory picks last spring. He now returns to the depth chart this spring that currently includes the likes of Wynn, veteran opt-out Marcus Cannon as well as rising sophomores Mike Onwenu and Justin Herron.
Starting interior linemen Joe Thuney and David Andrews are scheduled become unrestricted free agents for a New England organization that projects to carry north of $60 million in cap space into 2021.