Top five guards for Redskins to target in 2020 free agency
There is a case to be made for Joe Thuney being at the top of this list. He’s one of the best offensive guards in the NFL, never misses time, and can play virtually anywhere on the line if needed.
Since being drafted in the third round of the 2016 draft — which is looking more and more like a good year for guards based on these free-agent rankings so far — Thuney has started in 64 of 64 regular-season games and has also started all 10 of the Patriots postseason contests as well.
Thuney is one of the NFL’s iron men. During his career, he has played at least 99.2 percent of his team’s snaps each season. In layman’s terms, he misses a few snaps a year at most. And in 2018, he played every snap for the Patriots en route to a Super Bowl.
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When he’s on the field, Thuney is a really good pass protector. He’s not quite as strong against the run, but he is one of the major reasons that Tom Brady was under so little pressure during the Patriots’ three consecutive Super Bowl runs. Thuney just knows how to keep pockets clean and he uses excellent technique, which ensures that he never gets called for penalties (zero last season) and rarely allows sacks (one in 2019).
For the Redskins, Thuney would be a big-time upgrade at the left guard position and would give the team a true stud at that position for the first time in a long time. Thuney also has the versatility to kick to either side of the line or play left tackle, which is something the Patriots had him do in the offseason while Isaiah Wynn was recovering from an injury. So, that could appeal to the team given their lack of certainty at left tackle moving forward.
The Patriots probably won’t want to let Thuney get away, but they will also be vying to keep Brady while restocking their offensive weaponry. Perhaps if they can’t afford him, the Redskins will swoop in and invest in some serious protection for Dwayne Haskins heading into his second season.
UPDATE: Thuney has reportedly been franchise tagged by the Patriots. That will take him off the open market.