In other news around the National Football League today, the New England Patriots have re-signed long-time center Dan Koppen to a two-year $6 million deal, to keep him as a Patriot, likely for the remainder of his career.
Koppen, was a former fifth-round draft pick of the Patriots back in 2003 and has been their starting center ever since, starting 121 games, including three Super Bowls. He was also named to the Pro Bowl back in 2007.This past season was the toughest of Koppen’s career as he missed all but one game due to injury.
It was unclear if the Patriots wanted to bring back Koppen because the team already had center/guard Dan Connolly, who filled in last season while Koppen was out, however depth issues along the interior offensive line, must have given Head Coach Bill Belichick the motivation necessary to keep the long-time center in the fold for the next two years.
A knee injury suffered by pro bowl guard Logan Mankins, which has put his status for the start of the season is in jeopardy and the possible retirement of guard Brian Waters, who also made the Pro Bowl last season, after signing on with New England as a free agent, are the causes for concern up front. Yet, getting Koppen back in the mix, means Connolly can shift back to guard if he is needed there, adding some much-needed re-enforcements.
Fantasy PPR Analysis: This is a solid depth move by the Patriots. Quarterback Tom Brady is very fond of Koppen and the depth issues on the front line were concerning enough not that re-signing Koppen would have almost required the Pats to address the interior offensive line in the draft. The team will still likely target a couple of developmental prospects along the interior line but an early round choice in that area is unlikely, particularly following Koppen’s return.