The list of players leaving the New England Patriots via free agency this year is growing. After five players already jumped ship earlier this week, a sixth joined them today: LaAdrian Waddle has signed a one-year contract with the Buffalo Bills, as the Patriots’ divisional rivals announced earlier today. Waddle becomes the second offensive tackle to leave the reigning world champions this offseason after Trent Brown, who joined the Oakland Raiders.
2018 was Waddle’s fourth season in New England after he was re-signed by the club as a free agent last year. Over the course of training camp last year, the veteran served as the fourth option at the position but benefitted from first-round rookie Isaiah Wynn injuring his Achilles in preseason. Waddle later made the club as the top backup swing tackle — a role that saw him appear in all 19 of New England’s games last year.
The 27-year-old was given his most in-game action in weeks two, six and seven, when he filled in as the starter for injured right tackle Marcus Cannon. Waddle also stepped up in week ten, when the aforementioned Trent Brown struggled with illness and back issues. Outside of those games, during which he was as serviceable as a backup can expected to be, he saw most of his snaps in the kicking game.
With him now joining the Bills, the Patriots will now need to fill two roles along their offensive line next year: Brown’s starting left tackle spot will likely go to 2018 first-round draft pick Isaiah Wynn, while Waddle’s former job as the third player at the position is open for competition. Cole Croston, Ryker Mathews and Dan Skipper are in-house options to fill the role, while outside additions through free agency or the draft should be expected as well.