Report: Patriots to lose OL Ted Karras to Bengals in free agency

The veteran offensive lineman provided a steady presence for the Patriots last season, starting 13 games at left guard.

Ted Karras Patriots
New England Patriots guard Ted Karras. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
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So far, the only news the Patriots have made since the opening of the NFL’s free agency tampering period comes from who they’ve lost, not who they’ve acquired.

According to Ian Rapoport, the Bengals are reportedly about to steal interior offensive lineman Ted Karras away from New England on a three-year, $18 million deal. The veteran offensive lineman had spent four of his five NFL seasons with the Patriots, taking a brief detour to Miami in 2020 before returning to Foxborough on a one-year, $3 million contract last season.

Karras played in all 17 games for New England last season and started 13 contests, securing the left guard position after injuries and shaky play along the offense’s left side.


The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reports the Patriots did make an offer to try and retain Karras but ultimately offered less than the Bengals, who offered him $6 million per season — the most Karras has ever earned over a season.

The Patriots did shore up their depth on the offensive line in anticipation of this loss, re-signing James Ferentz to a contract extension. However, the loss of Karras’s stability and the uncertainty surrounding the right tackle position — Trent Brown is currently a free agent — will raise questions along the offensive line.

Michael Onwenu started at left guard at the beginning of the season before giving way to Karras, but Onwenu can also play right tackle and started at that position as a rookie. If the Patriots can’t retain Brown, Onwenu might be pressed into service there again.


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