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Ted Karras centers the Bengals’ o-line turnaround

Just like the Bengals offensive line as a whole, Ted Karras has something to prove.

New England Patriots v Houston Texans Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

With the offensive line woes of the 2021 season, Ted Karras became an interesting trade candidate who many linked to the Cincinnati Bengals.

While that trade never came to fruition, the union happened shortly after the start of free agency. Karras was the second of three major signings on the offensive line this offseason, and will be snapping the ball to Joe Burrow when the season kicks off.

Ted Karras

  • Height: 6’ 4”
  • Weight: 305
  • Age: 29
  • College: Illinois
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL
  • Experience: 7th year

Cap Status

Karras signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Bengals not two afters into the legal tampering period. For this year, Karras will earn $7 million in cash and count $5 million against the cap.


Playing in the NFL is nothing new to the Karras family. Ted’s father and grandfather played in the NFL, as did his great-uncles Lou and Alex. Alex Karras was also an actor, well known for his portrayal of Mongo in Mel Brooks’s classic western spoof Blazing Saddles as well as George Papadapolis, the dad on TV’s Webster. Although both his father and grandfather were also named Theodore, the youngest Ted Karras has a different middle name and thus no Roman numerals on his jersey.

The New England Patriots selected Karras in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. In New England, Karras won two Super Bowls and developed under the tutelage of legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.

Karras started 44 games at both center and guard over the last three seasons. This includes one year with the Miami Dolphins.

Outlook for 2022

There was no coach-speak or question dodging by head coach Zac Taylor when asked about Karras’s role with the Bengals. They made it clear that he was their center. This was punctuated by the release of veteran Trey Hopkins immediately after Karras’s signing.

Following the 2021 season, it was clear to even a casual observer of the NFL that the Bengals’ offensive line was in desperate need of an overhaul. Offensive line coach Frank Pollack has put his faith in Karras, believing that he could be a cornerstone of the revamped line in 2022. That is exactly what fans should expect to see out of him. However, Karras struggled during his one-year absence from New England, so he needs to prove that he can thrive outside of the Patriots’ offense.

Karras should be a big part of the offensive line’s turnaround, which propels the offense to another level this season, but just like the offensive line as a whole, Karras has a lot to prove this year.

Roster Odds: 100%

Karras will make the Bengals roster and start at center in 2022.