FOXBOROUGH, MA - NOVEMBER 15: Joe Thuney #62 of the New England Patriots looks on during the first half of a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
(Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots and guard Joe Thuney have “never been close to an agreement,” according to a recent report.

Robby Sabo

A team’s free-agent wishlist is only as powerful as reality allows. The projected free agents in January turn out to be a much larger collection than who actually makes it to the open market in March.

Realism is what makes Joe Thuney‘s free-agency candidacy so exciting from a New York Jets perspective. He and the New England Patriots continue to be on the outs.

The Pats and Thuney have “never been close to an agreement,” per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.

Thuney, 28, was an attractive free-agent option a year ago until he officially wasn’t. Bill Belichick and company decided to slap the franchise-tag designation on the veteran guard after his rookie contract expired.

It was a blow for every team looking to improve the interior of their offensive line in March. This, of course, included Joe Douglas’s Jets.

Thuney finished 10th at his position with a 74.2 PFF grade this past season. Perhaps what’s most attractive about the North Carolina State product is that he hasn’t missed a single game in five NFL seasons.

Sliding Thuney in at left guard, alongside Mekhi Becton and Connor McGovern, would immediately upgrade an offensive line needing a tremendous dash of improvement. When considering his candidacy and the other projected free agents (at all positions), Thuney should represent the Jets No. 1 target next month.

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It’ll take somewhere in the neighborhood of $13-15 million annually over several years, but it’s worth the cap space when comparing him against impending free agent Brandon Scherff, a man who’s played a 16-game season just twice in six tries.

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