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Reports: Patriots trade to bolster o-line depth

New England deals future draft picks for immediate help up front.

Korey CunninghamAP_19229643233410
Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Korey Cunningham (79) gets set prior to the snap during an NFL preseason football game against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. The Raiders defeated the Cardinals, 33-26. (Ryan Kang via AP)

Center David Andrews' sudden health concerns notwithstanding, New England appears to be settled when it comes to its starting offensive line, but apparently, the Patriots weren't entirely content with their backup depth. As a result, the reigning Super Bowl Champions executed a pair of reported trades for offensive linemen late Wednesday.

Future draft choices are said to be what the Patriots gave up in exchange for Baltimore guard Jermaine Eluemunor and Arizona tackle Korey Cunningham. As of 7 p.m., neither move had been confirmed by New England, but announced by the Ravens and Cunningham, respectively.

The news that Andrews is reportedly dealing with blood clots in his lungs came as a surprise to many this week. With Andrews' football future uncertain at least in the short term, many observers expect veteran Ted Karras to be promoted to Andrews' starting center spot for the time being. The Patriots seem now to have decided that they could use some extra competition for reserve jobs both along the interior positions of guard and center, where Karras has mostly been deployed the past few seasons, and at backup/swing tackle.

Enter Eluemunor and Cunningham, neither of whom has much NFL experience. Both were low-round draft choices of the teams that traded them away today. Cunningham started all six of the games in which he appeared as a Cardinals rookie last season. Eluemunor, meantime, has started just three of 17 games for Baltimore since his 2017 rookie season.

Their arrivals in Foxborough, however, would put immediate pressure on the current Patriots o-line reserves who've been working all spring and summer to win permanent jobs in New England. With just one preseason week left on the August calendar (Thursday night the exhibition slate concludes), all NFL teams must decide on their 53-man regular season rosters this coming weekend.

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