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NFL Analyst Names 1 Player The Patriots Should Consider Trading

A New England Patriots helmet sitting on the bench.

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: A New England Patriots helmet during the first half of the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots are getting pretty close to going into rebuilding mode now that Tom Brady, Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy and other contributors are gone. But one NFL analyst believes that there's an important player the New England Patriots should consider trading.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently unveiled his analysis of "1 Player Each NFL Team Should Consider Trading Before the 2020 Season." Making the cut for the Patriots was guard Joe Thuney, who they franchise tagged several months back.

"New England should, therefore, consider any and all avenues of upgrading its roster," Knox wrote. "One could involve trading franchise-tagged guard Joe Thuney.

"While Thuney is a fantastic offensive lineman, he also carries a ton of potential trade value. According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, the Philadelphia Eagles could explore trading for him to replace the injured Brandon Brooks."

Knox further pointed out that the franchise tag makes Thuney the second-highest paid guard in the NFL. As a result, he has little incentive to be clamoring for a contract extension.

Worse still for the Patriots, Thuney could simply leave in free agency next year, leaving New England with nothing.

Thuney has started all 64 games for the Patriots since they drafted him No. 78 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. He earned Second-Team All-Pro honors in 2019, and PFWA All-Rookie honors in 2016.

Thuney is clearly one of the top guards in the league, and one of the top linemen in New England. But they have a lot of needs at other key positions that need to be addressed quickly.

It'll be interesting to see if the Patriots actually try to tear it all down and rebuild for the years to come.