The New England Patriots had some tough decisions to make in free agency, including deciding on retaining lineman Ted Karras. After leaving New England to join Miami in 2020, Karras quickly returned to the Pats and became an instant standout due to his rock-solid play.
Karras started 13 games this season on the interior. With just two penalties and three sacks allowed despite over 800 snaps, any team with a hole on the offensive line was going to throw a nice chunk of change Karras’ way.
Just weeks after their Super Bowl loss, the Cincinnati Bengals made their move.
The Bengals signed Karras to a three-year, $18 million contract in order to help keep Joe Burrow upright. New England has some solid pieces around the offensive line, but Karras is not someone that can just be replaced with any random backup.
The New England Patriots lost Ted Karras to the Bengals.
The Bengals preceded this move by prying Alex Cappa away from Tampa Bay. With Burrow under duress constantly in the postseason, Duke Tobin and that front office thought that stealing a Patriots player could help fill that hole.
Andrew Callahan is reporting that the Patriots actually lowballed Karras, who started 44 games in the last 3 years, in negotiations.
After going down from three years and $15 million, New England shouldn’t be surprised Karras took the money elsewhere.
Callahan is also reporting that Shaq Mason is now likely to stay in New England as a result of the Karras deal. If the Patriots bring back Trent Brown, they can help minimize the hole that Karras’ departure will create on the offensive line. Perhaps they’ll use a draft pick here?
Karras worked his way up from the bottom of the totem pole to become a reliable starter and secure generational wealth for his family as a result. At the very least, Pats fans should be thrilled that he got his payday.