Patriots place franchise tag on OL Joe Thuney

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The best guard of this free-agent class isn't going to reach the open market.

The New England Patriots are placing the franchise tag on guard Joe Thuney, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Thuney is an agile and highly effective blocker who would've commanded top dollar on the open market and would have been worth every penny to whichever team it was that secured his signature.

Much like the Patriots kept Logan Mankins in New England with a tag nearly 10 years ago, the Patriots are wise in keeping him for at least a year before potentially striking a new deal -- or trading him.

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