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Report: Patriots picking up contract option for OT Tyrone Wheatley Jr.

The New England Patriots are reportedly picking up the exclusive rights free agent option on offensive tackle Tyrone Wheatley Jr.’s contract, per MassLive’s Mark Daniels.

It’s not a surprising move by the team considering the familiarity Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and offensive line coach Scott Peters has with Wheatley from their time together with the Cleveland Browns.

Wheatley doesn’t have much on-field experience, despite being in the NFL for nearly four years. He appeared in only two games for the Patriots in 2023 before going down with a knee injury. There’s hope that he can help provide depth at the tackle position when he’s healthy.

The Patriots face considerable uncertainty at the position with both Trent Brown and Mike Onwenu on expiring deals and set to test the free agent market.

Along with picking up Wheatley’s option, the team picked up the exclusive rights free agent option on cornerback Alex Austin’s contract as well. If anything, these moves on Thursday are the Patriots setting the stage for free agency with far bigger decisions looming on the horizon.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire