Welcome to the Sean Locklear edition of the Oakland Raiders 2011 NFL free agent targets. If you missed it, and you're interested, check out the Jammal Brown, Tyson Clabo, Willie Colon, and Marshal Yanda editions by clicking on the links. Right tackle was the first position I decided to spotlight in these free agent introspectives because the Raiders don't have one with experience under contract.
I'll do a few more on the tackles before moving onto another position. If anyone has another free agent tackle in mind mention him in the comments and I'll post on them as well.
For now, I thought I'd give Seattle Seahawks Sean Locklear his moment in the silver and black sun. Locklear is entering his eighth season, and will be an unrestricted free agent when free agency bothers to show up. The Seahawks are not likely to offer a contract of any substance to Locklear. They just spent their past two first-round picks on tackles. Jump over for the info....
Also, Locklear is not exactly a fan favorite. This comes vie John Morgan of Field Gulls:
And, yes, Seattle may seek to re-sign him if at a greatly reduced salary. No, the Seahawks probably will not sign Locklear, since he played like one of the worst offensive tackles in football last season, but you never know.
Yup, they just said he played like one of the worst right tackles in the league. He is actually really comparable to Langston Walker—in a reverse negative kind of way. Locklear is a very solid pass blocker and a poor run blocker.
Pro Football Weekly charts Locklear for 2.5 sacks in 16 games in 2010. He did, however, give up 4 holding penalties. He also had 2 false starts.
The fact that he made 16 games is a victory in and of itself. Locklear has been plagued by knee and ankle injuries. He has missed 15 games over the course of the last five seasons. The injuries have certainly taken their tole on Locklear.
It is also worth mentioning the Locklear was surrounded by what was probably the worst interior offensive line in football. We got a glimpse of that when the Hawks rolled in and limped out of Oakland.
Once upon a time (2005 more specifically) Locklear was in the top third of right tackles in the league. His future was bright, and he was actually considered to be the possible replacement for Walter Jones at left tackle for the Seahawks.
Locklear will be entering his 8th year in the league. He will turn 30 this weekend (happy birthday, Sean). He is decently athletic and at 6-4 and 310 pounds he may be better suited for a zone blocking system. He has experience in both. He has experience at both left and right tackle. Although his lateral movement is declining with age, and has likely left him better suited for right tackle.
Locklear is not the mauling bully type that is going to help the Raiders take over games running the ball. He would be an instant and huge upgrade in pass protection, and he should not break any banks in free agency.
In terms of signing a guy that is not going to require a long-term commitment and could be an insurance policy and/or caretaker, while one of the young guys takes over the right tackle position, than Locklear is a decent enough answer. However, he is certainly not "the answer" at right tackle.