Tackle Trent Brown will head back to the New England Patriots two years after signing a lucrative free agent deal to join the Raiders.
A person familiar with the trade says the Raiders agreed Tuesday to deal Brown to New England and that Brown will rework his contract, which had two non-guaranteed years for $29.25 million remaining, to an $11 million, one-year deal. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal can’t be finalized until the start of the new league year March 17.
NFL Network first reported the trade that also includes a swap of 2022 draft picks, with the Raiders getting a fifth-rounder from New England and sending a seventh-round pick back to the Patriots.
Brown was a prominent part of an expensive 2019 free agent class that didn’t work out for the Raiders. He signed a $66 million, four-year contract but missed 16 of 32 games and was limited to less than 10 snaps in two others.
The Raiders last month released receiver Tyrell Williams two years into a four-year, $44.4 million contract and plan to cut defensive back Lamarcus Joyner halfway through his four-year, $42 million contract.
The Raiders also acquired receiver Antonio Brown in a trade that offseason and gave him a new $50 million, three-year deal but cut him before he played a game with the team.
The issue with Trent Brown was his health. He missed five games in 2019 with various injuries but still managed to get picked for the Pro Bowl because he was effective when healthy.
He then missed all of training camp in 2020 with a calf injury. He returned for the opener but left after three plays when he hurt his calf again.
He returned in time to play well in a win at Kansas City in Week 5 before going on the COVID-19 list before the next game. A pregame IV mishap sent him to the emergency room before a Week 8 win at Cleveland and then Brown went back on the COVID-19 list for five more weeks.
He returned to play three games in December before missing the finale with a knee injury.
“Trent’s whole thing is when he’s healthy, in shape and ready to go, he’s as dominant as any tackle in football and he proved that early in the 2019 season,” Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said last week. “Since then, it’s been kind of a roller coaster. Really, what he needs to do more than anything is get in the best shape of his life and come out ready to prove that he is a dominant tackle in the National Football League. That’s all it takes. If Trent gets in shape and stays committed, there’s not a better talent out there.”
Now he heads back to New England where he helped the Patriots win the Super Bowl in his only season there in 2018. Brown played all 16 games in the regular season that year and was stellar in the postseason run.
Brown can play left and right tackle and provides insurance on the left side if Isaiah Wynn can’t stay healthy or could step in and start on the right side in place of Marcus Cannon, who opted out of the 2020 season and could be cut in a salary cap move.
The Raiders will have to rebuild their offensive line this offseason with the team also planning to cut guards Gabe Jackson and Richie Incognito to save money on the salary cap. Incognito could return with a cheaper deal but the only spots solidified are at left tackle with Kolton Miller and center Rodney Hudson.
Denzelle Good started 14 games last season at right tackle and left guard in place of Brown and Incognito but is eligible for free agency next week.
Tackle Brandon Parker, a 2018 third-round pick, and 2020 fourth-round guard John Simpson both struggled at times when they played last season.
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