About two hours ago came the news about the latest personal move from the Patriots, where they sent long time RT, Marcus Cannon, to the Houston Texans. The two teams swaped picks in the 4th, 5th and 6th round in 2021.
After the Trent Brown trade few days ago, many analysts and columnists were talking about Cannon as a possible trade candidate. They had right. The 32 years old right tackle out of TCU, was a 5th round pick (138th) in 2011. He is a 3-time SB champion (XLIX, LI, LIII) and Second-team All-Pro (2016) who sat out the 2020 season, because of the covid. Cannon was the starter right tackle for the team, but last year, the rookie, Onwenu showed, he is capable to replace him and as already mentioned, the arrival of Trent Brown made Cannon‘s return even harder.
Trading him, gives the team more cap space. Before the trade the team had the following cap space:
My numbers based on the cap master’s cap numbers (Miguel Benzan aka @patscap), but differ a littlebit, since Miguel calculates with a possible 1st round RFA tender for J.C Jackson ($4.766.000) and with the ERFA tender for Jacob Johnson ($850.000), but I am not. Therefor I will have a higher number. I just wanted you to know why numbers are different.
So, Cannon’s cap hit for the 2021 season would be $9.622.918 (according to spotrac.com). Cutting or trading him would cause $2.566.668 dead money, additionally we have to decrease the number with $780.000, because of the top51 rule. At the end the Patriots gets $6.276.250 extra cap space.
This cap space doesn’t include the cap hit of Trent Brown and Justin Bethel, since we don’t know the details of those two contracts.
Another financial aspect is the changing rookie pool. After the trade the Patriots moved up 11 spots in 4th round, 11 spots in the 5th round and 9 spots in the 6th round (according to the draft order of the overthecap.com and Nick Korte). Let’s see the difference.
As you can see after the move ups, the Patriots has now a little higher rookie pool, means the 2021 rookie class will cost little more than $3M for the team, which is $27.074 more than few hours ago.
After the departure of Cannon, the team has the following group of OTs: Isaiah Wynn, Trent Brown, Justin Herron, Korey Cunningham, Yodny Cajuste, (Mike Onwenu).
This group of young men offers the Patriots some flexibility, since Onwenu can play at RT or LG positions, Wynn could play LT or LG and Trent Brown as RT or LT. My guess is that Wynn will play as LT, Onwenu as LG and Brown as RT. Of course we can’t be sure until the first whistle of the game, but this is my guess which could change after the FA and/or draft.
Usually the team has 8-9 OL players on the final roster, with 4 OT in the group. if this will be the case in 2021 again, then one OT should get cut or the team will move him to the PS. At the moment the team has only 2,5 guards (Mason, Ross Reynolds, Onwenu) and 2 centers (Marcus Martin, Najee Toran) under contract, with David Andrews (C), Joe Thuney (LG) and Jermaine Eluemunor (OT) hitting the free agency next week. I am expecting the team will retain Andrews and will add 1-2 extra Oline men to the roster before the trainings start.
I wish Cannon good luck in Houston and I hope he will have a good year in 2021 as a Texan. Thank you for the years in Foxboro.