Joe Thuney 'Fortunate' to Be Back With Patriots Despite Being Franchise Tagged
Just when starting left guard Joe Thuney was about to hit free agency this offseason the New England Patriots franchise tagged him.
Being tagged isn't something that players love, because it provides them with no long-term stability, which is something all players crave in the National Football League. But for Thuney, he said during his video call with the media on Wednesday that he's just fortunate to be back with the Patriots despite being tagged.
"There's a whole business aspect to it," Thuney said. "It is what it is. And like I said, I'm really fortunate to be able to play here and I'm excited to be back with my teammates."
Thuney also said he never planned on holding out after receiving the news he was tagged.
When asked if he is optimistic about coming to terms on a long-term extension with the team, Thuney gave a very Patriot-esque answer.
"I'm just focused on this training camp."
Because Thuney was slapped with the franchise tag he will carry a $14.78 million cap hit for the 2020 season. If New England wants to retain him long term while also reducing his cap hit for this season, the team must get him to agree to a multi-year extension.
However, the team is no longer in desperate need of cap space.
Because eight Patriots players have opted out of the season, they now have upwards of $35 million in cap space, which is the third-highest in the league. That's why New England may no longer be in a rush to get a deal done with Thuney. With the season ramping up and lots of other uncertainties ahead, there are bigger fish to fry at the moment.
But you can bet the six-time Super Bowl champions are fortunate to have Thuney back in 2020.
Now that starting right tackle Marcus Cannon has opted out of the 2020 season, the team is searching for a new starter on the right side of the offensive line, whether that person be on the roster or elsewhere. While Thuney - who played eight snaps at right tackle during the team's season opener versus Pittsburgh last year - could potentially be New England's answer at right tackle, regardless of where he plays the team would be in a worse position if he wasn't on the roster. That's why in hindsight using the franchise tag on him was a brilliant move by Bill Belichick.
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