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Pats sign new long snapper

Posted by Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff March 10, 2009 04:39 PM

The Patriots have signed a replacement for long snapper Lonie Paxton, who defected to Denver on the first day of free agency, signing a five-year, $5.38 million deal. New England announced today it has signed longtime Arizona Cardinals long snapper Nathan Hodel.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

No word on how good Hodel is at making a snow angel, but he has been reliable like Paxton. According to the team's release, starting with the beginning of the 2002 season, he made every long snap for Arizona over a period of seven seasons through 2008.

Here is more on Hodel from the release sent out by the Patriots:

Hodel (pronounced HOE-dul), 31, is a veteran of seven NFL seasons, all with the Arizona Cardinals (2002-08). The 6-foot-2-inch, 238-pound long snapper handled the Cardinals’ long snapping duties in every game from 2002-08, playing in 112 consecutive contests.

In 2005, Hodel served as the long snapper on each one of Neil Rackers’s NFL-record 40 successful field goals. That season, Rackers made 95.2 percent of his kicks (40-for-42) and was selected to the Pro Bowl. Hodel also served as the long snapper when Rackers tied an NFL record with three field goals of 50 yards or longer on Oct. 24, 2004.

Hodel attended the University of Illinois and was originally signed by the Carolina Panthers as a rookie free agent prior to the 2001 season. He attended training camp with Carolina in 2001 and spent the first six weeks of that season on the Panthers practice squad before being released on Oct. 24. He was signed to the Cardinals practice squad on Oct. 26, 2001 and spent nine games on the practice squad. Hodel was signed to Arizona’s active roster for the final two games of the 2001 season, but was inactive for both contests.

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7 comments so far...
  1. Does that sound light? If I were 6'2" I'd hate to have Vince Wilfork lined up on me... but maybe there is a rule that prevents charging the long snapper... I seem to recall penalties for that being called last year.

    Posted by Justin-R March 10, 09 05:14 PM
  1. Mike or Globe Staff,
    I have a football question. Why is a long snapper a specialized position. Why is this not the Center's responsibility or the back up Center. Is what makes a good long snapper different from what makes a good Center?
    Rob in Idaho

    Posted by Pats fan in Idaho March 10, 09 06:00 PM
  1. Good signing - never heard of him but for a snapper that's a good thing. He's a bit on the light side but...

    Good news today.

    Posted by Lance March 10, 09 06:23 PM
  1. never heard of him - that's probably great, considering the position he plays...you normally don't hear the name of a long-snapper, unless they blow it...great pick-up, I'm guessing

    Posted by stop Newport, RI corruption March 10, 09 06:53 PM
  1. My kids will be majoring in long snapping in college. Seems to be where the easy money is.

    Posted by mdb March 10, 09 07:11 PM
  1. Will still miss 66

    Posted by Mitch March 10, 09 09:44 PM
  1. I don't think Lonie is much bigger than this guy. I think he might have been listed at 260 or so. But I'm with you, Mitch. Anybody who was as good as Paxton and who was a Patriot for so long will definitely be missed.

    Posted by Dan March 11, 09 09:48 PM
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Mike Reiss, Christopher L. Gasper and the rest of the Globe team provide regular updates –and a behind-the-scenes look– on the daily happenings of the Patriots.
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