The New England Patriots surprisingly orchestrated a trade with their division rival, the Buffalo Bills, for veteran center Russell Bodine.
The New England Patriots have had quite the busy week as traders around the NFL.
First, head coach and general manager Bill Belichick rung up his friends with the Cardinals and the Ravens to acquire a pair of offensive linemen in Korey Cunningham and Jermaine Eluemunor, respectively. Then, “Trader Bill” sent disappointing 2018 second-round draft pick Duke Dawson to the Broncos to recoup the sixth-round draft pick he lost in the Cunningham trade. Finally(?), Belichick sent that sixth-round pick to the Bills on Friday to acquire veteran center Russell Bodine, per a report from NFL.com’s Kevin Patra.
Bodine is a former fourth-round draft pick out of North Carolina with five years of quality experience playing in the league. Though never considered one of the premier linemen or centers in the NFL, he has been fairly reliable in pass-protection over his career – and fairly durable as well. Prior to missing six games last season with a broken fibula, he played in and started all 16 games of his first four seasons straight in Cincinnati with the Bengals.
With longtime center David Andrews’ status for the upcoming season in serious jeopardy after he was medically diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs, the Patriots have found themselves scrambling a bit to come up with a contingency plan in short order.
The likeliest fill-in for Andrews remains in-house option Ted Karras, who has three seasons of NFL experience to his name. Karras has already made five previous starts with the Patriots, and has been active for at least 45 prior games.
The offensive line has been a point of pride and area of strength for the Patriots throughout much of the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era… largely thanks to coach Dante Scarnecchia. While Scarnecchia certainly has his hands full trying to ease the transition away from Andrews at center with so little notice (and with so little remaining time before the regular season opener), it’s encouraging to see the Patriots as active as they are with trades and acquisitions along the O-line this week.