2013 NFL Free Agent Offensive Linemen
By: Roshan Bhagat
Ryan Clady (DEN) - OT - After allowing 24.5 sacks over his past 3 seasons, Clady allowed just one this year proving again that the statistic is an equal measure of a tackle's play as well as his quarterback's experience and release. The symbiotic relationship also helps Manning step on the field knowing one of the premier pass protectors has his back. The Broncos have surely recognized this and will make re- signing Clady a priority this offseason. Though he reportedly turned down a 5- year, $50 million contract this past offseason, he has shown a desire to remain in Denver, especially with Manning behind him.
Jake Long (MIA) - OT - Though Long has only missed 6 total games over the past two seasons to a variety of injuries, he no longer looks the part of a premier tackle on the field. Injuries have certainly played a large role in his "decline" and a big part of why the Dolphins may not make a strong push for him. But with a number of makeshift offensive lines, the market for Long will still be strong. His $15.4 million salary if tagged gives Jake Long all the leverage and current pulse suggests he'll be playing elsewhere next season.
Branden Albert (KC) - OT - One of the bigger concerns in the Chiefs offseason outlook will be the medical situation of Albert's back and team's ability to retain him as their left tackle. Andy Reid's successful offenses have historically had strong tackles and with Winston on the other side, the Chiefs could already have that foundation in place without a single draft pick. Though his level of play isn't to be confused with Jason Peters who Reid had in Philly, Albert is a balanced tackle that can open up a variety of running lanes for Jamaal Charles in this new offense.
Sebastian Vollmer (NE) - OT - When healthy, Vollmer is arguably the best right tackle in the league; however for 2011 and the early portion of 2012, back injuries did him in. It'll be interesting to see how strong a push the Patriots make for Vollmer, who will be 29 heading into next year, and even more interesting to see if anyone takes a gamble on his injury history to beat the market if he tests open waters. Though he'll probably want to stay in New England, it wouldn't be shocking to see him take the money, having “only” earned his $3 million rookie contract to date.
Andre Smith (CIN) - OT - In a contract year, Andre Smith has played 2012 in the best shape of his career with equally impressive results on the field. Less than elite in pass protection, the Bengals have been among the most effective teams running behind right tackle with Green- Ellis averaging 5.0 yards a carry in that direction. Cincinnati has expressed serious interest in developing a dominant run game and losing Smith this offseason would be a step in the wrong direction. Expect the two parties to strike a deal.
Brandon Moore (NYJ) - OG - Though Moore will be 33 when the 2013 season begins, he may also be the best offensive guard on the market. With a Jets offensive line that was not too long ago the best in the league; they are now a big part of the retooling process that will sweep over the Jets organization this offseason. Amidst a tumultuous season, Moore remained true to himself and continued to play at a high level for the offense. It would be odd to see Moore in a different uniform, but given his age and the direction the organization should be heading (younger), it seems almost inevitable at this point.
Andy Levitre (BUF) - OG - With contract talks not far beyond the preliminary stages, Andy Levitre should at least have the opportunity to test the market this year. In a weak crop for interior linemen and league with many struggling offensive lines, Levitre, a 64 consecutive game starter, should have the opportunity to cash in on his consistency and dependability. With the run game as one of the lone bright spots on the team, the Bills should make retaining Levtire a high priority once the stability has been brought to the coaching staff.
Continue to Free Agent DL -->