Free Agency Preview: Offensive Tackle

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Phil Gentile

Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

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Ravens Offensive Tackles Currently Under Contract:

Ricky Wagner

Jah Reid

Burning Questions:

Could the Ravens move Kelechi Osemele to right tackle?

It's a possibility for sure but I personally wouldn't want to see the team go in that direction. The Ravens have a strong duo at guard in Yanda and Osemele. Even though it's harder to find a tackle I would still rather keep Osemele at guard where I know what's he capable of. This draft is full of talent at the talent position and there are always veterans cut during the offseason.

Can the team sign both Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher? (via @deecapt on twitter)

Monroe will and should be a top priority (see below). Not many here in Baltimore want Michael Oher back. He was better in 2013 with only six penalties for 45 yards and actually had fewer false starts than Torrey Smith if you can believe it. Still, there is little to no chance the Ravens bring him back. Some team is going to give him a hefty contract in free agency since he's still young and plays an in demand position but it won't be here in Baltimore.

Does Gino get another chance at center and if not who might replace him? (via @SupermanRob2914 on twitter)

Gradkowski had a horrible 2013 campaign. Every game tape I watched showed him completely lost several times a game. The only thing the Ravens owe him is to be able to come into training camp and compete for the starting center position with someone. AQ Shipley isn't the answer. They will likely draft a center prospect or add one in free agency. Cleveland's Alex Mack would be ideal. We all saw how much the loss of Matt Birk affected the Ravens offense. Mack 

2014 Outlook:

With Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher set to become free agents, the Ravens offensive line could go from bad to worse if the team doesn't make significant upgrades this offseason. Obviously getting an offensive tackle in May's NFL Draft would be a logical choice but with both starting tackles able to sign elsewhere the team will likely bring in a veteran to provide some stability to a unit that got Joe Flacco sacked 48 times in 2013. Rookie Ricky Wagner could fill in if needed but excuse me if that makes me a bit worried. When Oher got hurt in the season opener in Denver Wagner was thrust into action and promptly gave up three sacks against the Broncos. Jah Reid has played some tackle in the past but his lack of development since being drafted in 2011 probably means his days as a potential starter are done. He's simply positional depth at this point.

Top Five OT Options (based on skill set and potential salary cap hit)

1. Eugene Monroe ($3.8 million in 2013)

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The best option for the Ravens would be to bring back Monroe, who was acquired midseason and could greatly benefit from a full offseason with the team. He's currently listed as the top offensive tackle on the free agent market according to Rotoworld. Bringing back Eugene Monroe (26 years old) and taking someone like Taylor Lewan or Greg Robinson in the 1st round of the NFL Draft would be a great foundation for the future.

2. Eric Winston ($2 million in 2013)

Even if the team re-signs Eugene Monroe and drafts a tackle they will likely want to bring in some veteran depth at the position. Winson could probably be had for the veteran minimum if Arizona decides to let him walk. At 30 years old he still has some left in the tank and playing for a Super Bowl contender should only fuel the fire. The team added Bryant McKinnie around the same point in his career and, despite his off field antics, had a couple really good years here in Baltimore.

3. Jared Veldheer ($1.55 million in 2013)

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Veldheer was one of the Raiders few bright spots during the 2012 season but due to injuries he only played in five games last season. Veldheer is only 26 years old and could become a reliable right tackle for the next decade if the Raiders let him walk. Veldheer gave up two sacks in 2012 while Michael Oher surrendered eleven and a half.

4. Rodger Saffold  ($1.46 million in 2013)

A former second round pick for the Rams, Saffold would be a cheaper option than some of the names on this list. He's also versatile. He played six games at right guard in 2013 but is more than likely going to be viewed as a tackle by potential suitors.

5. Breno Giacomini ($4.25 million in 2013)

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Right tackle for the Super Bowl champs. Bound to get a nice payday given that he's only 28 years old and has spent the past four seasons blocking for one of the most productive running backs in the NFL.

Other offensive tackle options:

Brandon Albert, Kansas City Chiefs

Justin Anderson, Indianapolis Colts 

Khalif Barnes, Oakland Raiders 

Charles Brown, New Orleans Saints 

Rashad Butler, Pittsburgh Steelers 

Tyson Clabo, Miami Dolphins 

Anthony Collins, Cincinnati Bengals 

David Diehl, New York Giants 

Jason Fox, Detroit Lions 

Andrew Gardner, Houston Texans 

Jordan Gross, Carolina Panthers 

Ryan Harris, Houston Texans 

Austin Howard, New York Jets 

Winston Justice, Denver Broncos 

Jeff Linkenbach, Indianapolis Colts 

Sean Locklear, Atlanta Falcons 

Bryant McKinnie, Miami Dolphins 

Marshall Newhouse, Green Bay Packers 

Michael Oher, Baltimore Ravens 

Mike Otto, Tennessee Titans 

Tony Pashos, Oakland Raiders 

Dennis Roland, Cincinnati Bengals 

Jonathan Scott, Chicago Bears 

Zach Strief, New Orleans Saints 

Will Svitek, New England Patriots 

Jeremy Trueblood, Atlanta Falcons 

J'Marcus Webb, Minnesota Vikings 

Guy Whimper, Pittsburgh Steelers 

next up:

Key Dates For Ravens Fans To Remember

February 23, 2014

All the biggest dates over the NFL offseason.


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