FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Shortly after news broke Monday afternoon that free-agent offensive tackle Trent Brown intended to sign a four-year, $66 million contract with the Oakland Raiders that includes $36.75 million in guarantees, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter was on SportsCenter making the point that New England offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is worthy of some commission.
The humble Scarnecchia might disagree, but the results are indeed impressive.
Scarnecchia enters his 36th season in the NFL in 2019, and it will be his 34th in New England. Since being named offensive line coach under Bill Belichick in 2000, consider the “Scarnecchia Effect” and how many offensive linemen have had their value increased by playing under him (list compiled by ESPN’s Stats & Information):
Grey Ruegamer: Signed off the Steelers practice squad in November 2000, he signed a multiyear deal with the Packers in free agency worth more than $1.3 million in 2003.
Damien Woody: First-round pick by the Patriots in 1999, he signed a six-year, $31 million contract with the Lions.
Joe Andruzzi: Signed as a free agent in 2000 — he made less than $4 million over his entire New England tenure — he signed a four-year, $9 million contract with the Browns.
Tom Ashworth: Signed after he was cut by the 49ers in 2001, he inked a five-year deal with the Seahawks in 2006 worth $13 million.
Brandon Gorin: Signed to the Patriots practice squad in 2002, he was traded to the Cardinals for a sixth-round pick in 2006.
Donald Thomas: Signed 11 days after his release by the Lions in September 2011, he landed a four-year, $14 million deal with the Colts in 2013.
Nate Solder: A first-round pick by the Patriots in 2009, he signed a four-year, $62 million contract with the Giants in 2018.
Trent Brown: Acquired with a fifth-round pick in exchange for a third-round pick from the 49ers at the 2018 NFL draft, he reportedly will sign a four-year, $66 million deal with the Raiders.
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The aforementioned deals don’t include those for offensive linemen who signed extensions with the Patriots over the years, a group that most recently includes right tackle Marcus Cannon (five years, $32.5 million), center David Andrews (three years, maximum value of $11.715 million) and right guard Shaq Mason (five years, maximum value of $50 million).
Mason had played in a run-based, option offense at Georgia Tech, with little background as a pass-blocker. So his emergence as one of the best guards in the NFL is also reflective of how Scarnecchia has helped players reach their potential.
For longtime Patriots followers, Scarnecchia’s personnel impact has extended beyond the offensive line. In 1991, when Scarnecchia was the tight ends coach, he scouted Ben Coates out of little-known Livingstone College. Coates, of course, went on to become a Patriots Hall of Famer after being selected in the fifth round that year.