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Ted Karras to Bengals, per report

The former Patriots starter is coming to protect Joe Burrow.

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The Cincinnati Bengals aren’t messing around when it comes to protecting franchise QB Joe Burrow.

Right after the team agreed to a four-year deal with Alex Cappa, they’ve now agreed to a three-year deal with Ted Karras. The former New England Patriots lineman will get $18 million.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network broke the news first.

Karras, entering his seventh NFL season, actually began the 2021 season on the Patriots bench before joining the starting lineup after four games and started the final 13 games, the first two at right guard and the final 11 at left guard. He finished the 2021 season with a 72.8 Pro Football Focus grade.

Karras originally joined the Patriots as a sixth-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. After starting just five games over his first three seasons, Karras started 15 games at center in 2019 with the Patriots, then joined the Miami Dolphins and started 16 games at center in 2020.

The Bengals have now agreed to terms with two offensive linemen who will provide significant upgrades to the offensive line, which has struggled mightily to protect Joe Burrow over the last two years.

This also makes it much easier to go with the best player available in the upcoming NFL Draft instead of feeling forced to draft multiple offensive linemen in the early rounds.

Now, the question becomes where does Karras play? You have to think Cappa will be the right guard. Does Karras play left guard and let Trey Hopkins remain at center? Or does Karras play center, leaving Hopkins to either move to guard or get cut?

Who knows, but one thing is for sure: The Bengals now have several good options to play on the interior of the offensive line, something that just hasn’t been the case for several years now.

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