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Raiders free agency: 5 good value offensive line options

Bargain hunting and getting economical to address Vegas’ OL issue

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Connor Williams
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With the calendar turning to March, NFL free agency is about to heat up. The Las Vegas Raiders are set to explore the open market with glaring needs on their offensive line.

The Raiders could use at least one interior offensive lineman and could be in the market for a second or a right tackle, depending on what the plan of attack is for Alex Leatherwood.

However, Las Vegas is projected to have just under $20 million in cap space heading into free agency by both Spotrac and OverTheCap, so they’re going to have to get economical with how they address their needs.

While yes, they can trim some fat and rework some contracts to create more space, rumors are swirling that Derek Carr is in line for a contract extension, and the Raiders will have several key players like Maxx Crosby and Hunter Renfrow enter contract years this season. Not to mention the team still has a handful of other needs as well.

In other words, the Silver and Black will need to stretch some dollars to improve the roster this month.

Connor Williams, G

Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Chargers
Connor Williams
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

PFF Projected Contract: 3 years, $6.67 million per year

Age: 24.7

Pros: Williams has earned more playing time and graded out fairly well over the last two seasons, earning a 70.8 overall mark in 2020 and bumping that up to 75.2 in 2021. He also cut down on his pressures allowed to just 15 this past year and earned a career-high 98.5 PFF pass-blocking efficiency rating.

Cons: In four years in Dallas, Williams struggled to hold down a starting spot and was even benched at one point this season. He was also called for an alarming 17 penalties in 2021, which was the most among guards.

Andrew Norwell, G

Syndication: Florida Times-Union
Andrew Norwell
Bob Self / USA TODAY NETWORK

PFF Projected Contract: 3 years, $7.25 million per year

Age: 30.3

Pros: Norwell has been a really good pass protector throughout his career, never allowing more than three sacks and 30 pressures in a single year. Also, he averages a little more than 21 pressures yielded per season and has never received a pass-blocking grade lower than 73.5.

Cons: Run-blocking has never been Norwell’s strong suit, and he hasn’t graded out higher than 65.1 in that area since 2016. He’ll also be 31-years-old in October, so he doesn’t have as bright of a future as some of the other players on this list.

Morgan Moses, OT

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills
Morgan Moses
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

PFF Projected Contract: 3 years, $7.5 million per year

Age: 30.9

Pros: With overall grades of 65.2 or higher — and a career-high 79.9 in 2020 — Moses has a long track record of solid play. He would easily be an upgrade over what the Raiders have had at right tackle recently, especially if the new coaching staff wants to leave Leatherwood at guard. The veteran offensive lineman is also a people mover in the run game with 74.9 and 84.7 run-blocking grades in the last two years, respectively.

Cons: Moses turns 31-years-old later this week and is coming off back-to-back seasons where he allowed career highs in pressures given up — 41 in 2020 and 49 in 2021. If he does leave the Jets this offseason, that’ll make it three teams in three years for him which speaks to how the rest of the league views his trajectory.

Germain Ifedi, G/T

NFL: Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams
Germain Ifedi
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Projected Contract: 2 years, $6.5 million

Age: 27.7

Pros: Similar to Moses, Ifedi has been a solid player in the trenches for the majority of his career, but to a slightly lesser degree. Ifedi’s overall grades have hovered around the 60 mark over the last few years, and he has experience playing both guard and tackle. He’s also made some dramatic improvements in pass protection over the last few years and would be a good fit in a gap-heavy system if Josh McDaniels is looking to carry that part of his playbook over to the desert.

Cons: Ifedi missed the majority of last season with a knee injury and has never reached his full potential. The Texas A&M product was a first-round pick and things didn’t work out in Seattle. While he’s played better in Chicago, expecting him to be much more than a slightly above average starting right tackle or guard is a little unrealistic at this point. In other words, he probably wouldn’t be much more than a stop-gap despite his relatively young age.

Mark Glowinski, G

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans
Mark Glowinski
Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

PFF Projected Contract: 3 years, $6.25 million

Age: 29.8

Pros: While Glowinski’s tenure with the Seahawks was bumpy, he’s been pretty steady with the Colts, earning overall grades of 67.1 or higher in three out of the last four seasons. In the outlying year, he still earned a 60.5 mark so it wasn’t as if he was terrible during his one “down season”. He’s always been a good run blocker and registered a 70.6 grade in that regard last season.

Cons: Glowinski’s pass blocking has always been an issue and last year was no different. He allowed 38 pressures and earned a PFF efficiency rating of just 95.5 in pass protection this past season. Those figures were the 13th-most and tied for the sixth-worst among guards with at least 179 pass-blocking opportunities in 2021. He’s also about to be on the wrong side of 30 at the beginning of May.