The Patriots prevented one of the league's premier guards from leaving in March, but the security ends there.
Joe Thuney is expected to play the 2020 season under the franchise tag, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Mike Giardi reported Wednesday. Things are "all quiet" on the contract extension front, Giardi added, and Rapoport reported there wasn't much traction on long-term talks, meaning the team will attempt to work out a new deal after the 2020 season.
Thuney was set to be the most-coveted interior lineman on the market in March when New England surprised some by retaining him via the franchise tag, which will pay him $14.78 million in 2020. The Patriots' use of the tag to keep Thuney was the team's first use of the tag since 2015.
The Patriots are also much better positioned to strike a deal with the key guard next offseason after shedding $26.16 million in dead cap following the conclusion of the 2020 league year and watching its projected cap space move from $8.5 million as of July 15 to $90 million in 2021, per Over The Cap.
Playing on the tag is a lucrative risk for anyone, but it sounds like it's a wise one for both parties in this instance.