Trent Brown was missing from the New England Patriots lineup on Sunday. The starting left tackle had not been able to practice all week, remaining in concussion protocol. Fortunately for Brown this week is off to a better start for him, at least financially. According to reports, Trent Brown and the Patriots have agreed to a restructured contract, giving him an extra $2 million in incentives.
What was the motivation for New England to do this? Prior to the renegotiated contact, Brown was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the season After the revamped contract that is still the case.
For starters, Trent Brown was unhappy about his contact. When he had originally agreed to his deal, he was a right tackle. But before last season Bill Belichick had Brown and Isaiah Wynn switch sides on the line. The change in positions turned Brown from a well-compensated right tackle, to an underpaid left one.
Based on the struggles of New England’s offensive line in 2023, in terms of both health and production, having Trent Brown happy and eager to play is extremely important. In Brown’s absence last Sunday, Vederian Lowe started in his place at left tackle, with Calvin Anderson on the right. With respect to the other Patriots tackles, Brown is a clear upgrade. If Brown is available and can keep Mac Jones’ blindside safe, there is a chance for the the offensive line to go from a weakness to a strength.
Brown isn’t the only person the Patriots might be trying to please with this move. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, might be an intended goodwill target as well. Among Rosenhaus’ clientele is New England outside linebacker Josh Uche. Like Brown, Uche hits free agency after the year. With 11.5 sacks a year ago, Uche emerged as a player opposing offenses needed to account for, opposite Matthew Judon. If Uche continues along that upward trajectory in 2023 he’ll become a very wealthy man. If the Patriots don’t hand him a large contract, another franchise will.
Trent Brown should be happy with his revised deal for now, and the New England Patriots should benefit from having a happy man suiting up at left tackle. Whether or not this buys any sort of discount for the services of Brown or Josh Uche moving forward, it certainly seems like a winning move in 2023.