The 2023 season has been an overall frustrating one for the New England Patriots. One of the biggest reasons why is the lacking contributions from a few players, like offensive tackle Trent Brown.
The former Pro Bowler has been great when he's suited up, but off of the field he's sewn discord in the locker room with his outspoken comments, which has led to a falling out with the coaching staff.
It turns out Brown has seemingly lost the approval of his teammates as well, according to a new report.
Mike Giardi of the Boston Sports Journal relayed after the Patriots' loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday that there's been an internal "belief" that "could have returned" earlier from the ankle and knee injuries he suffered in Week 8.
Giardi adds there was a feeling the OT "was protecting himself and his future earnings" ahead of free agency, which hasn't gone over well in a locker room where several vets are playing through various ailments.
Now, it doesn't necessarily matter if Brown was healthy enough to come back. What is more important is that people inside the building think Brown should've been able to return and he was instead making a selfish choice to sit out.
Every player has the right to be concerned about their personal stability, both roster-wise and financially. However, those matters need to be handled in the right way and without bothering teammates.
Obviously that hasn't been the case here, which sets the stage for the veteran's exit. His behavior down the stretch of this season will leave a bad tastes in the mouths of coaches and players alike. Even if there's a shakeup coming in New England, those who stick around won't likely be campaigning for Brown's re-signing this offseason.
The 30-year-old has already made it clear he plans to test the free agent market this spring, so his interest in returning doesn't seem to be strong. Following his benching in Week 17, both sides can now move forward by planning for their respective futures without the other.
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