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Free Agent Focus with Insider insight: OG Geoff Schwartz

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Next up to get the FAFWII treatment is Vikings offensive guard, Geoff Schartz.

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Despite outplaying starter, Brandon Fusco, in Minnesota, Geoff Schartz has been relegated to backup. Fusco started every game last season but when Schwartz came in the game, he was the better player. According to Pro Football Focus, Schwartz allowed just four pressures on 84 pass blocks and also posted high marks as a run blocker.

It's not like Schwartz has just his limited snaps in Minnesota by which to judge him. The Panthers originally drafted him out of Oregon in the 7th round in 2008 and he worked his way up to full time starter in 2010. PFF gave him an even higher grade at that time and he was starting at both guard and tackle.

Schwartz wants out of this career black hole he's fallen into in Minnesota, understandably, so he can be a starter somewhere and get his career back on track. The Raiders could use an under the radar guy like him. He is also a California native, having grown up in Los Angeles, so playing closer to home could be enticing as well.

Here is what Christopher Gates of Vikings blog, Daily Norseman, had to say:

Schwartz was brought in as a free agent after he missed the entire 2011 season for Carolina. The idea was to have him come in and compete with Brandon Fusco for the starting right guard spot, but the "competition" ended when he got hurt during training camp and had to have abdominal surgery.

He didn't play much early in the season, as he was still getting into shape after missing a lot of camp. When he came back, he was in something of a rotation with Fusco at right guard, which is strange since he seemed to outplay Fusco a lot of the time. Schwartz seems to be equally adept at pass and run blocking, from what I've gotten a chance to see of him.

He's stated that he wants to go somewhere to be the starter. Since the Vikings' coaching staff still, inexplicably, seems to like Fusco better, Schwartz will probably be leaving Minnesota for a chance at more playing time. He could be a very solid starter for anyone that wants to pick him up.