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.