The New England Patriots added some much-needed stability to their offensive line Thursday afternoon.
The Patriots and LaAdrian Waddle agreed to terms on a one-year contract that will keep the offensive tackle in New England through the 2018 season, a source confirmed to NESN.com. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport first reported the deal.
Waddle was one of three Patriots tackles to hit free agency this month, and retaining either him or Cameron Fleming was of the utmost importance after starting left tackle Nate Solder chose to sign with the New York Giants.
Waddle, who joined the Patriots late in the 2015 season, now becomes the leading candidate to replace Solder, at least in the short term.
The 26-year-old played well in relief of injured right tackle Marcus Cannon in 2017, though he dealt with injuries of his own. He did not allow a single snap in 12 games (four starts), neutralizing the likes of Joey Bosa, Von Miller and Khalil Mack.
The Patriots signed former Seattle Seahawks tackle Matt Tobin last week to fill out their depth chart at the position, which also includes second-year pros Tony Garcia, Cole Croston, Andrew Jelks and Jason King.
There’s a strong chance New England, which currently owns the 31st overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, will use an early selection on an offensive tackle, as well.