The Patriots have placed the franchise tag on left guard Joe Thuney, as first reported by The Boston Globe‘s Jim McBride.
Thuney hasn’t missed a game since 2016, when the Patriots drafted him as a third-round pick. In a career year last season, he played 1,140 snaps without being called for a single penalty.
A franchise tag designation allows the Patriots to keep or trade Thuney at a rate based on the top five contracts for the position across the league, which the Globe reported is expected to be $16.1 million. A long-term deal will be determined by July 15.
Thuney is the only NFL player in history to start a Super Bowl in each of his first three seasons, according to the Globe.