2020 Free Agency Positional Preview – Offensive Tackles
Leading up to the beginning of free agency (3/18 at 4pmET), we’ll be looking position by position at the available free agent pool and discussing the state of the pool (for gems, sleepers, busts) and making some throwaway predictions on the landing spots of the top free agents.
Today, we look at: Offensive Tackle
There are ‘Big Four’ names among the current offensive tackle free agents, and they are (my preference ranking)…
1) RT Jack Conklin, TEN (26 yrs old)
2) LT Anthony Castonzo, IND (32 yrs old)
3) RT Bryan Bulaga, GB (31 yrs old)
4) LT Andrew Whitworth, LAR (38 yrs old)
There are some decent, interesting names beyond that such as…
LT Kelvin Beachum, NYJ
LT Jason Peters, PHI
RT Daryl Williams, CAR
RT Marcus Gilbert, ARI
Typically, top offensive tackles are re-signed to their current teams for obvious and continuity reasons. However, some will shake free…especially if that current team is in a restricted cap space situation, or the player is ready to be rid of the current team/regime because of the coach and/or perpetual losing.
Of the eight names above, I believe three of the top 4 will stay with their current team. However, three of the other 4 ‘decent/interesting’ names could/will be on the move. I’ll predict the landing spots at the end. First, a look at the best name, biggest big name bust, and best sleepers from this 2020 free agent OL group…
BEST = I’m a Jack Conklin fan since he came out in the draft. He was said to have had a bad season 2018 and then perked back up 2019, so he has some red flags around him to keep the price down…maybe. Considering his age and skillset…he’s someone I’d want to put money into. Anthony Castonzo is arguably the best OL here but considering age…Conklin gets my slight edge.
BUST = He’s been great, but I think we’re at the end of the line with Andrew Whitworth. He’s nearly 40 years old and started to show signs of it in 2019. His name commands respect and money…but it may be two years too late and a lot of cap space given for a deal.
SLEEPER = Kelvin Beachum…not the greatest O-Lineman, but he has started for seven straight years for three different teams. He’s been in demand. Lost in NY (Jets) recently and at 31 years old, perhaps on a better team he fits in and gives a contender a missing OL piece at a reasonable, not too crazy a price tag.
DEEP SLEEPER = Two of them…
1) Jason Spriggs, GB – a former 2nd-round pick with terrific Combine measurables…and he has only started 9 games in the past three seasons and was out for all of 2019. Maybe a team can get a hold of his raw skills and make something of them?
2) George Fant, SEA – the former TE turned LT was all the rage in 2016 as a rookie, then got hurt and missed parts of 2016 and all of 2017. He has been an off and on starter for the past two years. He has the TE athleticism to work with…perhaps in a different organization?
RT Jack Conklin, TEN -- Re-signs with Tennessee. Makes too much sense for a nice O-Line in 2020.
LT Anthony Costonzo, IND – signs with the Colts. They want to keep him for sure.
RT Bryan Bulaga, GB – Leaves Green Bay. I think he either stays in the NFC North (MIN, CHI, DET) or Mike McCarthy chases him if Dallas sees him fitting into their group. The Browns could consider as well.
LT Andrew Whitworth, LAR – Sean McVay does not want him to go, so he stays where he is comfortable on a one-year deal.
LT Kelvin Beachum, NYJ –Tampa Bay might be in some pursuit if he has good connection with former Jets HC Todd Bowles. Does he go back to his original team in Pittsburgh? I’ll say Tampa Bay gets him.
LT Jason Peters, PHI – Leaves Philly because the Eagles are low on cap space and they have Al Dillard from last draft. If Washington cannot get Trent Williams committed, the Redskins are in play. The Colts could chase if they don’t get Costonzo.
RT Daryl Williams, CAR – goes to Washington to re-join up with Ron Rivera.
RT Marcus Gilbert, ARI – I lean that he re-signs with Arizona, who needs OL depth/help.
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