Ted Karras

Bengals Extend C Ted Karras

11:52am: Karras will receive an average of $6.6MM per year across 2024 and ’25, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. That represents a raise to go along with an added year of security in his current home. When speaking about the deal, Karras confirmed (via Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer) he hopes to finish out his career as a Bengal. He will at least play out a fourth campaign with the team by finishing this new pact.

8:46am: Ted Karras landed the most lucrative deal of his career in 2022 when he joined the Bengals, and he will be remaining in Cincinnati for at least the next two years. The veteran center signed a one-year extension on Thursday, per a team announcement.

As a result of the deal, Karras is now under contract through 2025. The 31-year-old has served as Cincinnati’s full-time center starter since his arrival, something which was a key part of the team’s re-tooling along the offensive line. Karras signed a three-year, $18MM deal following his second Patriots stint. The $6MM AAV of the pact was double that of his next largest contract, leading to high expectations.

In both of his Bengals campaigns to date, the former sixth-rounder has graded out as PFF’s 15th-best center. That falls squarely in line with his evaluations in past seasons, making it little surprise Cincinnati has elected to add a new year to his contract. None of Karras’ $5.8MM base salary for 2024 was guaranteed as things stood, and he was set to count $7.4MM against the cap. It will be interesting to see how much those figures change as a result of this extension.

Cincinnati has taken the free agent route to address the O-line in recent years, with Karras being joined by the likes of right guard Alex Cappa (signed in 2022) and left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. (2023) as big-money additions. Cappa has two more years on his deal, and Brown has three. That veteran trio will thus remain intact for the foreseeable future as the team – at least potentially – relies on a pair of players attached to rookie pacts to round out the starting alignment up front.

Cordell Volson has served as a full-time left guard starter during his two years in the NFL, and 2024 first-rounder Amarius Mims could take on a first-team role right away at the right tackle spot vacated in free agency by Jonah Williams. The Georgia product played sparingly in college, though, so another experienced signing (Trent Brown) could wind up logging RT starts in 2024.

Regardless of how that situation shakes out, Karras will be in place for another two years. Consistent play in the middle of the line should therefore be expected as the Bengals aim to continue improving up front.

Bengals Set To Complete Offensive Line Renovation

The Bengals fell just short of their first ever Super Bowl win in their third appearance in the league’s season finale. As the final seconds ticked away, analysts’ fingers started pointing, with many of them directed at Cincinnati’s lackluster offensive line. 

In their loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the Bengals fielded Trey Hopkins at center, Jonah Williams at left tackle, Isaiah Prince at right tackle, Hakeem Adeniji at left guard, and Quinton Spain at right guard. Hopkins and Spain are free agents, no longer on the roster. Adeniji and Prince retain their roster spots, but are no longer projected to start. Williams, perhaps the only bright spot on the line last year, will return as the blindside blocker.

The Bengals worked ferociously in the offseason to address their deficiencies on offensive line. They signed three free agent offensive lineman who are all expected to come in and start right away. Ted Karras comes to Cincinnati after starting experience at center in both New England and Miami. Alex Cappa comes to town after three strong seasons as the Buccaneers’ starter at right guard. La’el Collins is ready to bookend the line with Williams after years of starting experience at right tackle in Dallas.

With Karras at center, Collins and Williams at tackle, and Cappa at right guard, that leaves one position up for grabs. The current favorite to start at left guard is 2021 second-round draft pick Jackson Carman. Carman served mainly as a backup last year for the Bengals earning six starts on the year while playing in every game. The main concern with starting Carman is the fact that he couldn’t supplant any of the lackluster starters from last year. Perhaps with a year of NFL football under his belt now, Carman will blossom into a strong starter at left guard.

The other favorite to man the last spot on the offensive line comes from Cincinnati’s most recent draft class, according to Ben Baby of ESPN. The Bengals used one draft pick this year on an offensive player, bestowing that honor upon the 23-year-old tackle out of North Dakota State, Cordell Volson. Volson served as the Bison’s right tackle in his last college years, but had experience at all four guard and tackle positions during his time in Fargo. That versatility will certainly come in handy as many college tackles tend to move to an interior lineman position if they aren’t projected to dominate as a tackle at the next level. Volson is sure to give Carman a run for his money as the Bengals look to put the finishing touch on their full offensive line renovation.

All the players mentioned above are the favorites to contribute on the offensive line this year, but the following players will attend camp with the hopes of stealing a starting job. At center, Cincinnati also rosters Trey Hill, Lamont Gaillard, and undrafted rookie Ben Brown. At guard, the Bengals’ roster lists D’Ante Smith and undrafted rookie Desmond Noel. The only tackle on the roster that wasn’t already mentioned is undrafted rookie Devin Cochran.

Patriots Pursuing WR Help

Many of the top free agent wide receivers are off the board, and despite efforts to add a player at the position, the Patriots have so far only landed Ty Montgomery. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, New England continues to “comb the market on wideouts, possibly via trade.”

Mac Jones‘ top receiver targets are Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, and Jakobi Meyers, leaving plenty of room for improvement. Per Fowler, the Patriots were seeking someone of Russell Gage‘s caliber, but they weren’t going to match the $30MM he got from the Buccaneers. The Patriots have continued to shop through the middle and bottom tiers of free agent receivers, but no transactions have materialized.

The Patriots are also wary of compromising their compensatory pick formula, especially considering that the losses of cornerback J.C. Jackson and offensive lineman Ted Karras should result in a couple of mid-round picks. All of these notes seem to be hinting that the Patriots could be eyeing receivers in the upcoming draft.

Speaking of, the Patriots didn’t let Karras go without a fight. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots offered the offensive lineman a deal worth $5MM per season, but Karras ended up scoring a three-year, $18MM from the Bengals.

Bengals To Sign Ted Karras

The Bengals have agreed to sign offensive lineman Ted Karras (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Once finalized, it’ll be a three-year, $18MM deal to keep Karras under club control through 2024.

[RELATED: Bengals To Sign Cappa]

Karras, best known for his time with the Patriots, returned to New England on a one-year, $4MM deal last year. Before that, he spent the 2020 season with the rival Dolphins. In 2020, he started in all 16 games and played on all 1,067 of the ‘Fins offensive snaps. Last year with the Pats, Karras wasn’t quite as active, but still appeared in all 17 games with 13 starts.

Karras will be joined by former Buccaneers guard Alex Cappa, who agreed to a four-year, $40MM deal with the Bengals on Monday morning. Cappa appeared in all 19 of the Buccaneers’ games last year (including the playoffs), showing that he’s now well recovered from the ankle fracture that kept him out of Super Bowl LV.

Patriots To Sign Ted Karras

Ted Karras is returning to the Patriots, as Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. Once finalized, it’ll be a one-year, $4MM deal for the veteran center, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). 

Karras joined the Dolphins for the 2020 season. He started in all 16 games and played on all 1,067 of their offensive snaps. Before that, he spent the previous four years with the Patriots, winning a pair of Super Bowls in front of Tom Brady. Karras was a reserve for the early part of his New England tenure, starting only five games through his first three pro seasons. Then, in 2019, he was elevated to the first string for 15 games.

The return of Karras likely signals the departure of free agent David Andrews. The longtime starter missed the entire 2019 campaign after getting diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, but managed to return in time for the 2020 season. Held back by a much less serious thumb ailment, he appeared in 72% of the Patriots’ offensive snaps in 12 games. Now, he could be moving on to another club.

Dolphins Want To Retain C Ted Karras, DT Davon Godchaux

Besides Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins really don’t have any big-name impending free agents. However, the organization is still focused on retaining at least a couple of those players. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that the Dolphins are interested in re-signing center Ted Karras and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux.

According to Jackson, the Dolphins have told Karras that they want him back next season. The offensive lineman joined the Dolphins last offseason, and he proceeded to start all 16 games for Miami, playing on all 1,067 of their offensive snaps. The 27-year-old had spent the previous four years with the Patriots, winning a pair of Super Bowls. After starting only five games through his first three seasons in the NFL, Karras started 15 games for New England in 2019.

Godchaux was limited to only five games in 2020 thanks to a biceps injury, but the former fifth-rounder started all 32 games for Miami between the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Jackson notes that the organization would like to retain the 26-year-old, but financials could complicate the negotiations. Jackson passed along a quote from agent Drew Rosenhaus, who acknowledged that the Dolphins may not be able to afford his client after they “invested” in the likes of Christian Wilkins, Raekwon Davis, and Zach Sieler.

“Davon is one of the most talented defensive tackles, I believe, and the Dolphins would have to be able to compensate him in that capacity,” Rosenhaus said (via Jackson). “I’m not sure that they will, given the talent they have on the team. We’ll see if the Dolphins are able to step up and be competitive with other teams that may not have as much talent at the defensive tackle position.”

Dolphins To Sign Ted Karras

The Dolphins have landed the Patriots’ starting center. Ted Karras will come to the Dolphins on a one-year, $4MM deal, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets

The offensive line has been a major area of need for the Dolphins this offseason and they’ve moved to address it in recent days. Earlier this week, they inked Ereck Flowers to a three-year deal worth $30MM, including $19.5MM fully guaranteed – a pact reflective of the league’s dearth of quality linemen. Next, the Dolphins will have to figure out their left tackle situation and Jackson hears they’re likely to find their man in the draft.

The Patriots are hoping to have David Andrews retake his spot in the middle of the line, but that will all depend on his health. Andrews missed all of 2019 with blood clots in his lungs and has expressed optimism about being about to play in 2020.

The rumors linking the Dolphins to Tom Brady didn’t pan out, but they’ve been aggressive in March nonetheless. So far this week, they’ve signed cornerback Byron Jones, running back Jordan Howard, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, and defensive ends Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah.

Dolphins Checked In On Ted Karras

As the Dolphins begin deploying their war chest of assets and cap space to upgrade a roster dearth of talent, the team appears to be eyeing options along the interior offensive line. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Miami has checked in with free-agent lineman Ted Karras. The team has yet to make a formal offer, per Jackson, but the sides are expected to talk further.

A rotational lineman in New England from 2016-2018, Karras had appeared in at least 13 games every season, but never started more than 2 games in any one season prior to 2019. However, in 2019, Karras became the team’s starting center, starting 15 games.

Karras did not perform exceptionally well but proved to be a solid option. Per Pro Football Focus, Karras ranked as the 20th highest graded center of 38 qualified players. Still just 27, and with only one season as a starter, there may be reason to expect Karras has more upside as well.

East Notes: Fins, Tua, Peters, Anderson

We heard back in January that the Dolphins may pursue some of the Patriots’ top FAs, and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the ‘Fins are indeed expected to go after guard Joe Thuney. Miami also has interest in Devin McCourty, Ted Karras, and Kyle Van Noy, though the extent of that interest is unclear.

Per Jackson, the Dolphins are also high on former Patriots CB Logan Ryan, who spent the last three years with the Titans. And Ryan would seriously consider joining up with Miami if the club does make an effort to sign him.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions, starting with another item out of South Beach:

  • Recent reports have suggested that the Dolphins are cooling on Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and that the team is resigned to the fact that he will be off the board by the time they’re on the clock with the No. 5 overall pick. Jackson says Miami gave Tagovailoa the cold shoulder at the combine, but that was likely just a ploy to suggest that they’re not interested when they really are, and draft gurus Todd McShay and Daniel Jeremiah still expect the Fins to land Tagovailoa.
  • Eagles head coach Doug Pederson may want LT Jason Peters back, but the team’s brass as a whole is split as to whether to re-sign Peters or move forward with 2019 first-rounder Andre Dillard, as Albert Breer of SI.com reports. The money they save on a new Peters contract could be re-invested in the rest of the O-line, so Philly could choose to move on from the 38-year-old free agent.
  • Although Robby Anderson may find himself as the best receiver on the free agent market, the Jets are still expected to try to re-sign him. But according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, New York will not pursue a re-up unless Anderson’s price goes no higher than $10MM per year.
  • John Keim of ESPN.com takes a stab at how the Redskins will spend their money in free agency. Unsurprisingly, he believes Washington will target CB, TE, WR, and RB.

AFC East Notes: Jets, OL, Patriots, Kilgore

Add the Jets to the teams in the James Bradberry market. Cornerback resides among the many needs in New York, and the Jets are “very interested” in the Panthers starter, Connor Hughes of The Athletic reports (subscription required). Twenty-two teams have expressed some degree of interest on Bradberry, per Hughes. This includes the Redskins, now run by longtime Panthers coach Ron Rivera. The Giants are interested, but Hughes notes the No. 1 cornerback price tag will likely push them out of the running.

Here is the latest from the AFC East, first moving to other Jets rumors from Indianapolis:

  • A high probability exists the Jets will be the rare team to replace its entire starting offensive line. Week 1’s front five — Kelvin Beachum, Kelechi Osemele, Ryan Kalil, Brian Winters and Brandon Shell — are either unlikely to be back or certainties (in Osemele’s case) not to return, and Hughes notes that the Jets are eyeing four new O-line starters. Alex Lewis, a 2019 trade get who took over after Osemele’s injury, is a free agent but could be the player from last year’s front retained. The Jets are eyeing guards Joe Thuney and Graham Glasgow, per Hughes. While the Jets want to come away with a high-end free agent — they are also in on Jack Conklin — GM Joe Douglas will look to the draft to fill much of the O-line needs, Hughes adds. This points to Gang Green being in the market for this atypically stacked tackle class at No. 11.
  • Thuney is expected to cost at least $14MM, with Jeff Howe of The Athletic adding his bidding could push a guard-high $15MM. The Patriots have seen Nate Solder and Trent Brown sign O-line-record money the past two offseasons; they are not expected to try to keep Thuney. Even Thuney’s backup could have a big market. Ted Karras, a full-time starter only in 2019, may be set to earn command a near-$10MM-AAV deal, per Howe. That would be a good indication of the recently seller-happy O-line market hitting another level.
  • The Jets have also been in the market for edge rushers for years, finishing second in 2018’s Khalil Mack sweepstakes and seeing a player they wanted to turn into an edge defender — Anthony Barr — renege on a deal at the 11th hour. League sources expect Gang Green to target Dante Fowler, Hughes notes. The Rams’ bevy of big contracts will likely limit them from franchise-tagging Fowler. The Jets are also interested in Matt Judon, though the Ravens are likely to tag him. He could be a tag-and-trade option, however.
  • Despite their desperation for edge help, the Jets are not expected to be in the Jadeveon Clowney market. An issue with what some Texans sources described as a “cavalier attitude” made Douglas leery of pursuing a Clowney trade last year and has him looking elsewhere for outside linebacker aid, per Hughes. Clowney’s price tag figures to be immense. The Jets hold $49MM-plus in cap space but have many needs.
  • Optimism exists Devin McCourty will be back in New England on a third contract, Howe adds. McCourty and the Patriots are expected to meet before week’s end. The standout safety has spent all 10 seasons of his career in New England. With Jason McCourty still under contract, Devin returning to the Pats should not exactly surprise.
  • Like the Jets, the Dolphins could have a retooled offensive front. They are looking around for centers to replace Daniel Kilgore, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Kilgore has started 17 games since signing with the Dolphins in 2018. Releasing him in the final year of his contract would save the Dolphins $4MM.