The Oakland Raiders have now secured a quarterback's two best friends over the past 36 hours at a guaranteed cost of $66.75 million guaranteed.
On the heels of the earth-shaking acquisition of Antonio Brown, the Raiders intend to sign Patriots LT Trent Brown to a four-year, $66 million deal ($36.75 million GTD) that will make him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
If you're having deja vu, we don't blame you. It was only last offseason that the Giants poached the Patriots to make LT Nate Solder the NFL's highest-paid blocker. That didn't work out so well, but at least Brown is five years younger and more gifted athletically. Still, it's hard not to have reservations regarding teams' beliefs that they can continue squeezing production from players the way the Patriots do.
Brown goes from revered OL coach Dante Scarnecchia and the GOATs, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, to Tom Cable, who has turned most things he's touched in recent years into disasters, and Derek Carr (we think), whose pocket presence is, well, not exactly of Tom Brady's ilk (no shame there).
This part is clear to us and makes decent sense: Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have correctly identified that this draft is all about defense, and they're now in position to address all three levels with their three first-rounders. They have also added really solid plug-and-play options at positions that generally take time to develop.
But the Raiders appear to be speeding up their timeline to compete less than one year after intentionally slowing it down with the Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper trades, which seems odd. And the team's biggest question — whether Carr truly is their guy — remains.
It's worth noting that Raiders brass has pushed out most of the valuable assets they inherited, save mostly for Carr and CB Gareon Conley. Will Gruden's ego allow him to build this thing around Carr, or is pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime draft war chest earmarked in part for Carr's replacement?
We can say this much about Brown: Someone was going to pay him a ton after this wildly successful one-and-done year in Foxboro. But the Raiders, who just overdrafted supposed franchise LT Kolton Miller one year ago, being the team? We don't entirely get it, much like most of what Gruden has overseen in the past 13-plus months.