Ted Karras appreciates time with Patriots and the town of Wrentham

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It’s not all that unique to hear an impending free agent in any sport declare that he would love to be back with his current team.

And coming off season in which he started 13 of 17 games played at left guard, helping to stabilize the offensive line in his second tour of duty through New England, Ted Karras did just that in a Zoom with local reporters this week.

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“I always would love to come back and I know this isn’t the time to make any of those decisions,” Karras said after playing each of the last two seasons on one-year contracts with the Patriots and Dolphins. “And I know that the organization is going to look at everything. Whatever happens, happens. I understand that it’s a business. Obviously love being here and love the people here. I feel I fit in well. But that’s a long way off for now. Obviously that stuff will come up when it’s appropriate.”

But it’s not nearly as often that you hear professional athletes take the next, personal step and publicly acknowledge their neighbors and community while reflecting on their season. Of course the thoughtful, affable, approachable Karras isn’t necessarily your average professional athlete.

“One thing, I do want to thank the town of Wrentham,” Karras said of his home for the past year. “The people of the town of Wrentham, they made me feel very welcome this year. From my neighbors on Lake Archer to the people that run Parker’s Pub and The Gavel and all the town and St. Mary’s church. It’s just a great town and a very unique situation for me on a one-year deal to come in and feel very welcome. So I thank them very much.”

Karras – the former Patriots sixth-round pick who started all 15 games at center in New England in 2019 before starting all 16 games at Miami a year ago – also felt very much welcome on the field in his return to work at Gillette Stadium, despite the way the season ended with an ugly playoff loss in Buffalo.

“It was so great to be back here and play with guys that I have very special relationships with,” Karras said. “Getting to play next to and with guys that mean a lot to me, that I’ve tried to emulate throughout my career. Just very thankful for the opportunities that I got this year. Obviously that’s not the way you want to end it. But this was a very fun adventure to come back and have success with old friends and confidants it was very fun.”

While Karras may want to return and he certainly held down a key role on the line bringing stability to the group when he settled into the starting lineup in early October, that fact that he has been a starter for three straight seasons for two different teams and at two different positions should give him some intriguing opportunities on the open market. As a guy who was cut by the Patriots and spent time on the team’s practice squad back in 2017, Karras is always appreciative of the chances he gets, including his return to New England this season.

“Very thankful for the opportunities that I got here,” Karras said of his season. “Obviously it was pretty unique going all the way back to last spring and last free agency. Always wanted to work hard to make the most of it. Obviously we fell short in the playoffs but put a lot of hard work in. Gonna go back at some point and re-watch all the games and look to what I need to improve and try to formulate goals and habits and a routine to improve the things I need to do to be more successful. But I had just a tremendous time with the guys, with the coaches. Just it was a lot of fun, to be in the fray at a position that I hadn’t been a starter at yet in this league, I’m very thankful for the opportunity.”

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