The New England Patriots had a busy Monday. Not only did they hold their first full-contact practice of this year’s training camp, they also signed three free agents that they had worked out over the weekend: after already adding tight ends Paul Butler and Alex Ellis — two moves that were made official through the NFL’s transaction wire — they also bolstered their offensive line depth by bringing Ben Braden on board.
A big-bodied interior offensive lineman at 6-foot-6, 330-pounds, Braden arrived in the league as an undrafted rookie in 2017. After spending his first two seasons moving between the New York Jets’ active roster and practice squad, the Michigan product joined the Green Bay Packers in 2019. Braden spent only two months in Wisconsin, however, before being released again and returning to the Jets later that same year.
So far in his career, he has appeared in just three regular season games and has played a mere 13 snaps — all of which in the kicking game. Why he may lack experience, however, Braden does offer a versatile skillset: he lined up at both guard spots and at right tackle during his three preseasons in the league.
Now a member of the Patriots, Braden will compete for a spot on an offensive line that is set at four of five starting pots. The only vacancies are at right tackle after starting option Marcus Cannon decided to opt out due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and at the various backup positions. While there is therefore plenty of room for the 26-year-old to make the team, he faces an uphill battle given his comparatively late arrival.