The New England Patriots appear to have put the finishing touches on their new-look offensive line during their free agency spending spree, with the biggest move being Trent Brown coming in to replace Marcus Cannon at right tackle. Cam Newton will have a new center as well. David Andrews has been replaced by former teammate Ted Karras in the latest move by the Pats.
Karras, a former sixth-round pick out of Illinois was a backup for his first three seasons before starting 15 games in the wake of Andrews missing the entire 2019 campaign. He parlayed that into a deal with the Dolphins.
As many former New England assistants do, Brian Flores brought a Patriots player down south, making Karras the starting center for all 16 games. With protecting Tua Tagovailoa a priority this offseason, Karras has been pushed out of town, leading to another payday in Foxborough.
Karras is coming back to New England on a one-year, $4 million deal, which is remarkably cheap for a likely starter on the offensive line. Andrews might be on his way out, but the Pats wasted no time lining up a replacement.
Ted Karras should be the Patriots’ starting center.
Karras is by no means the second coming of Dwight Stephenson or Jim Langer, but he can hold his own. He was called for just three penalties and allowed only two sacks despite the fact he played over 1,000 snaps last season. Even though they have some cap space, Miami has discarded former Patriots stalwarts like Karras and Kyle Van Noy.
Andrews mentioned that he wanted to return to New England, and his play last year proved that he can still be a starting center in this league, but the Patriots opted for a cheaper alternative. However, Karras should still be an integral part of one of the best lines in the NFL.
Isaiah Wynn has proven that when healthy, he can be an upper-tier tackle. Michael Onwenu was one of the best rookies in the league at any position last year, and Shaq Mason remains a reliable guard. Their new mammoth right tackle in Brown is an intimidating force.
Here’s what the O-line should now look like:
- LT Isaiah Wynn
- LG Michael Onwenu
- C Ted Karras
- RG Shaq Mason
- RT Trent Brown
Karras might not be the most accomplished of this bunch, but he’s proven to be a serviceable starting center in this league. His solid 2020 season, paired with knowledge of what Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels want out of him could allow him to hit the ground running and keep Newton upright in 2021.