Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE
Next in line in my series of articles on potential free agents for the 2013 season are the offensive tackles and boy are there some big names (and big guys) yet to be signed by their perspective teams. Tackle is one of the positions that might be worth spending extra money on this year.
One would have to assume that more than a few of these behemoths will be signed by their current teams but none the less they haven't been as of yet. Every person on this list will be an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) if they are not re-signed or Franchise Tagged by their current squads before free agency begins on march 12.
Jermon Bushrod LT, New Orleans Saints, 6'5 315lbs- Jermon is considered by some as the best LT in all of football. Not by me, that goes to Joe Thomas in my book but still Bushrod is a Pro Bowl talent and one of the best in the game. He almost certainly will be re-signed by the Saints because of the money they just invested in Drew Brees who is not getting any younger. If he hits the open market though all bets are off because he will be much sought after. He is in his prime at 28 years old.
Ryan Clady LT, Denver Broncos, 6'7 319lbs- Like Bushrod there is very little chance of Clady seeing the light of day for free agency. He is only 26 so he is even younger than Jermon. With Peyton Manning already having a year with Clady I really don't see them parting ways with him no matter how much they have to pay him. I included both Clady and Bushrod because they technically will be free agents but there is little chance either hits the open market.
Jake Long LT, Miami Dolphins, 6'7 319lbs- Now Jake Long unlike Clady and Bushrod might very well be hitting the open market. Jeff Ireland (Who I think is the worst GM in the league) wont even use the word elite when referring to Long because of his contract negotiations which is a sign that they are trying to hold Long over the coals.
Realistically Long is a PBS guy in Joe Philbin's ZBS and is not a perfect fit like he was under Tony Sparano. Yeah, that Tony Sparano, who is now the OL coach for the Raiders. He would be my top choice to throw money at this off-season even over the crazy talented WR's that will be hitting the market (GREGGG JENNINGSSSS). He is only 27 and has many good years of football ahead of him.
Andre Smith RT, Cincinnati Bengals, 6'4 335lbs- Andre Smith was seeming to be a giant bust for the Bengals before he finally turned in a decent year, which came surprise surprise at the end of his rookie contract. Smith was also recently arrested in Atlanta for allegedly attempting to board a plane with a gun. I would stay as far away from Smith as I could, although he may build on what was a successful 2012 campaign. He is 26 years old.
Sebastian Vollmer RT. New England Patriots, 6'8 320lbs- The Raiders already have one SeaBass who has worked out very well, why not think of adding another? Vollmer is the first European Developed player from the now debunked European development league to make it to the NFL. He is 28 years old and was a key contributor on the Patriots offensive line. He played in 15 of the 16 games last year and all 16 games in 2010 so he has shown the ability to stay healthy, although he did only play in 5 games in 2011. He is a lanky man at 6'8 and would be an excellent addition as a Right Tackle for the Raiders.
Brandon Albert LT, Kansas City Chiefs, 6'5 316lbs- The Chiefs have some big decisions to make about their franchise tag this year having Albert, Dwayne Bowe, and Ryan Lilja all having their contracts end this year. It appears that Brandon is the most likely candidate to receive their franchise tag though. He probably will not have a long term deal in place before free agency begins so if they do not franchise tag him he will hit the open market. He is 28 years old and if the Raiders could steal them from their divisional rival it would be quite the coup.
Phillip Loadholt RT, Minnesota Vikings, 6'8 343lbs- If it is up to Adrian Peterson his favorite lineman will definitely be returning to the Vikings. However, the Vikings have 10 players with expiring contracts that they would like to re-sign and they wont be able to sign them all. Loadholt is a very durable player having started all 16 games over the past 3 years and he was credited with giving up only 4 sacks in 2012 although he is a little penalty prone with 11.
Best of the Rest: Will Svitek RT, 31, Falcons 6'6 308lbs / King Dunlap RT, 27, Eagles 6'9 330lbs / Winston Justice RT, 28, Colts 6'6 317lbs / Bryant McKinnie LT/RT, 33 Ravens 6'8 354lbs / Gosder Cherilus RT, 28, Lions 6'7 325 lbs