Patriots Adding New Veteran Lineman Before Free Agency Opens

The New England Patriots are adding a fresh face to the offensive lineman group.

Dec 26, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor
Dec 26, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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Offensive line is one big area to watch for the New England Patriots this offseason with several starters hitting the open market. As the Pats plan for a major quarterback addition at some point, beefing up this group will be a primary focus to ensure the new signal-caller succeeds.

In fact, the team has already agreed on a deal to bring in a new face up front.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports New England is set to sign offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor. He provides depth at tackle as Trent Brown and Mike Owenwu prepare to test the free agency waters.

This is a nice add for the Patriots. Okorafor boasts plenty of experience, logging 77 appearances (including 59 starts) for the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2018. He's been a very dependable presence for Pittsburgh, as he's suited up in at least 14 games in each of the last four years.

Now, there's a reason Pittsburgh moved on from the former third-round pick. He was called for a whopping eight penalties in 2023, which ranked in the top 20 at his position despite being No. 76 in snaps played.

Okorafor also got on the Steelers coaching staff's bad side after complaining about the offense this past season, which ultimately led to him being benched for rookie Broderick Jones. Considering how much of a headache Trent Brown was in 2023 due to his own outspokenness, hopefully this isn't trading one problem for another.

That being said, a change of scenery could do wonders for both guys. The fact Okorafor could go anywhere and chose New England shows a clear interest in helping this team through its rebuild.

The Patriots still need to make some more additions to improve their chances of winning the division in 2024. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Patriots are +2000 favorites to win the AFC East. If you want to take lock-in of these odds, head over to FanDuel Sportsbook and claim your sign-up bonus.

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