On Now
Coming Up
  • Mon., Jul. 13, 2015 7:00 AM CDT Packers Hall of Fame Inc. Golf Classic

    The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. Golf Classic is set for Monday, July 13, 2015, at The Bull in Sheboygan Falls, WI. Those interested in participating in the event can contact Holly Borga (920-965-6986; hollyb@packershalloffame.com) for more information.

  • Sat., Jul. 18, 2015 7:00 PM CDT Brett Favre's Packers HOF Induction Banquet

    The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. will induct former Packers quarterback Brett Favre at the 45th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet. The event will also feature the retirement of Favre’s No. 4. This dual recognition is an honor that is unprecedented in Green Bay Packers history. The banquet will be held on Saturday, July 18, 2015, in the Lambeau Field Atrium.

  • Fri., Jul. 24, 2015 11:00 AM CDT 1919 Kitchen & Tap opens

    1919 Kitchen & Tap is scheduled to open on July 24, 2015 on the first floor of the Atrium (below where Curly's Pub was located).  We hope you'll join us at our new restaurant as we continue to make history with respect to our past!

  • Tue., Jul. 28, 2015 11:00 AM CDT Shareholders Meeting

    The Green Bay Packers 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders will be held Tuesday, July 28, at 11 a.m., at Lambeau Field. The meeting will take place rain or shine.

  • Thu., Jul. 30, 2015 8:20 AM - 10:20 AM CDT *Public practice *Any practices moved inside to the Don Hutson Center due to inclement weather, poor field conditions or for any other reason will be closed to the public due to space limitations. All other practices listed are expected to be open unless listed otherwise. All outdoor practices are expected to be held on Ray Nitschke Field (across from the Resch Center). All times indicated are Central.
  • Fri., Jul. 31, 2015 8:20 AM - 10:20 AM CDT *Public practice *Any practices moved inside to the Don Hutson Center due to inclement weather, poor field conditions or for any other reason will be closed to the public due to space limitations. All other practices listed are expected to be open unless listed otherwise. All outdoor practices are expected to be held on Ray Nitschke Field (across from the Resch Center). All times indicated are Central.

News

Print
RSS

Jake Long tops crop of free-agent tackles

Posted Mar 7, 2013

Lots of recognizable names, but most represent risk

Leading up to the official start of free agency on March 12, packers.com will examine the league’s unrestricted free agents, position by position. In the fourth installment, we look at the offensive linemen.

GREEN BAY—It’s rare that a large number of proven players at one of the league premier positions – left tackle – reach free agency, but there’s a significant market this year.

It nearly had one additional big name, but Kansas City put its franchise tag on Branden Albert just before Monday’s deadline, effectively taking him off the market.

Whether or not Albert’s absence shifts the balance from a buyer’s market to a seller’s one remains to be seen. Competent blindside protectors know what they’re worth, and they’ll demand it, whether or not others are also out there. Overall, the large number of available tackles could drive down the price of the mid-level free agents who might command more money in a different year.

Along with Albert, Denver’s Ryan Clady also received the franchise tag, so the list at left tackle begins with Miami’s Jake Long.

The No. 1 overall draft pick in 2008, Long has spent five years with the Dolphins and has made it known he’s seeking an eight-figure annual salary. Considered one of the league’s top left tackles a few years ago, Long could be deemed by some an injury risk after ending each of the last two seasons on injured reserve for biceps (2011) and triceps (2012) injuries.

Next in line could be another first-round pick from ’08, Atlanta’s Sam Baker, who may be coming off his best season with the Falcons. Having dealt with two in-season back surgeries in his first four years, Baker said during the playoffs two months ago that he’d never felt better at the end of a season.

New Orleans’ Jermon Bushrod, drafted in ’07, is another starting left tackle still under age 30, while a pair of older veterans could also draw considerable interest in Pittsburgh’s Max Starks and Baltimore’s Bryant McKinnie. The Ravens won the Super Bowl after reshuffling their offensive line for the playoffs, with McKinnie getting reinserted at left tackle. Now heading into his 12th season, McKinnie may be able to take advantage of his rebirth and land one last significant contract.

The market at right tackle is fairly rich as well, with Cincinnati’s Andre Smith coming off the first fully healthy season of his career. The No. 6 overall pick in ’09, Smith was dogged by injuries for his first two years, which could make teams wary.

Two right tackles from the NFC North, Minnesota’s Phil Loadholt and Detroit’s Gosder Cherilus, could be leaving Green Bay’s division, while New England’s Sebastian Vollmer and the New York Jets’ Jason Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in ’09 by the Rams, will possibly be looking for new teams as well. Kansas City also released Eric Winston this week one year after signing him to a lucrative free-agent deal.

As for the guards, the top two on the market could be Buffalo’s Andy Levitre and San Diego’s Louis Vasquez. Neither is a household name, but both have been rather dependable. Levitre has started every game of his four-year career, while Vasquez has started at least 14 games in three of four seasons.

The Jets have made a pair of guards available in Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson, while other notable names among the starting guards include Detroit’s Stephen Peterman, Pittsburgh’s Ramon Foster, Jacksonville’s Eben Britton and the New York Giants’ Kevin Boothe.

Previous position: Wide receivers

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest News

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • NFL Top 100: Packers WR Jordy Nelson (No. 18)

    (2:55) Posted 16 hours ago

    Jordy Nelson is voted as the 18th-best player in the NFL by his peers on "Top 100 Players of 2015."

  • Brett Favre special "One of a Kind" to air July 14

    (0:48) Posted Jul 1, 2015

    The special will air at 9pm on Today's TMJ4 in Milwaukee and NBC 26 in Green Bay. The 1-hour feature catches up with Brett Favre and several of his former teammates, coaches, and Packers executives that helped shape the quarterback's storied career.

  • Mic'd Up: Brett Favre

    (1:14) Posted Jul 1, 2015

    Here's the best of Brett Favre mic'd up on the field during his Green Bay Packers career.