The New England Patriots used the franchise tag on Joe Thuney to keep the left guard entrenched in his spot for another season. The veteran is willing to move if needed.
Following right tackle Marcus Cannon’s opt-out, Thuney said Wednesday he’s willing to kick out to tackle if necessary.
“Whatever to help the team,” he said, via the Boston Herald. “I think I got a couple of right tackle snaps in the Pittsburgh game last year … just whatever to help the team out. It doesn’t matter where, just trying to do whatever I can, try and use the tools I have to help the team. Whatever’s necessary. I just want to be out there and play.”
Thuney did see a few snaps in Week 1 last year when Cannon went down to injuries.
The former third-round pick hasn’t missed a start in his four years in New England and has played 4,274 offensive snaps since entering the league in 2016, the most in the NFL, per Next Gen Stats.
More than a cursory comment about his willingness to play wherever coach Bill Belichick requires, Thuney discussed the challenges of moving from inside guard to outside tackle.
“You’re dealing with different body types, going from guard to end,” Thuney said. “But the coaches did a great job moving guys around in practice so it’s not like the first time you’ve ever taken a snap on the right side. It’s the next-man-up mentality, and if that means shifting someone over. I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team. I just want to be out there.”
Second-year tackle Yodny Cajuste, who missed all of last year due to injury, veteran Kory Cunningham, and rookie sixth-round pick Justin Herron are options to replace Cannon at tackle. If no one steps up, perhaps they’ll consider moving their franchise guard out to tackle.
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