4 bombshell trades the Carolina Panthers could make before Week 1

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) Joe Thuney
(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) Joe Thuney /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Steven Senne-Pool/Getty Images) Joe Thuney /

Joe Thuney (OL) – New England Patriots

The New England Patriots are in flux heading into the season. This comes following some established veterans opting out in 2020 and decorated quarterback Tom Brady moving on after a glittering spell with the franchise than spanned almost two decades.

This has resulted in expectations being lower than they ever have under Bill Belichick despite the acquisition of former Carolina Panthers’ signal-caller Cam Newton. The 2015 NFL MVP finally found a new home after three months on the free-agent scrapheap. And his presence on the Patriots’ roster should aid them considerably.

It is an uncertain time in New England. This is something the Panthers can take advantage of by making a trade offer for offensive lineman Joe Thuney.

The experienced figure is a commanding presence on the interior. The Panthers traded away perennial Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner in exchange for veteran left tackle Russell Okung this offseason. And it remains to be seen whether the likes of John Miller, Dennis Daley, and Michael Schofield can fill the void.

Thuney would be a significant upgrade on anything Carolina currently has at the position. He gave up just one sack from 1,140 snaps in 2019 on his way to a 77.6 grade from Pro Football Focus. And the player is no stranger to the region having played his college football at North Carolina State.

The lineman was given the franchise tag by the Patriots. But with no long-term extension in the offing, they might decide to get some draft capital for their predicted rebuild.