NFL Free Agents: Offensive Tackles

Jared Gaither
Jared Gaither

League-wide free agency begins March 13th. The Browns have stated all along they prefer to build the team through the draft, but will take a look at the players available in free agency. Previously we looked at the receivers available. Then a glance at the linebackers. Today, we stare longingly at offensive tackles.

Jared Gaither

Shaffer. St. Clair. Pashos. Cousins.

Just some of the players the Browns have tried at right tackle recently. All of them free agent acquisitions. Yes, the Browns have tried to fill that dark, black hole on the right side of the line several times by taking other teams’ rejects. And there is no reason to believe they won’t try it again.

Here are the available tackles:

LT D’Anthony Batiste (ARZ)

RT Brandon Keith (ARZ)

T Kirk Chambers (ATL)

T Mark LeVoir (BAL)

LT* Demetrius Bell (BUF)

T C.J. Davis (CAR) – Exclusive Rights

T Geoff Schwartz (CAR) – Restricted

T Garry Williams (CAR) – Restricted

T Anthony Collins (CIN)

RT Dennis Roland (CIN)

RT* Oniel Cousins (CLE)

G/T Artis Hicks (CLE)

RT Jermey Parnell (DAL) – Exclusive Rights

LT Chris Clark (DEN) – Exclusive Rights

LT* Jeff Backus (DET)

RT Corey Hilliard (DET) – Restricted

LT* Quinn Ojinnaka (IND)

T Guy Whimper (JAC)

RT* Barry Richardson (KC)

T Ryan O’Callaghan (KC)

T Vernon Carey (MIA)

T Pat McQuistan (MIA)

T Lydon Murtha (MIA) – Restricted

RT Patrick Brown (MIN) – Exclusive Rights

RT* Kareem McKenzie (NYG)

T Robert Turner (NYJ)

RT* Khalif Barnes (OAK)

LT Stephon Heyer (OAK)

LT King Dunlap (PHI)

G/T* Trai Essex (PIT)

LT* Max Starks (PIT)

RT* Breno Giacomini (SEA)

LT Brandyn Dombrowski (SD) – Restricted

LT* Jared Gaither (SD)

T Tony Moll (SD)

LT Alex Boone (SF) – Exclusive Rights

G/T* Adam Snyder (SF)

T Adam Goldberg (STL)

LT James Lee (TB)

RT Mike Otto (TEN)

LT Sean Locklear (WAS)

Quick word about the distinctions- LT or RT is what the player was designated as on the depth chart. Obviously it is possible for a left tackle to move to the right side. An asterisk next to the position indicates a starter, at least on the team’s current depth chart. Those could be injury fill-ins of course. A simple T means they were not listed on the depth chart, just the roster.

It is so difficult to do these kinds of pieces for offensive linemen. You would have to spend an enormous amount of time pouring over game film to know many of these free agents, let alone which ones were worth a contract. What I’ve seen out there says Gaither and Bell are the class of this list. Both will be sought after and paid as left tackles. That is if they are re-signed by their old teams.

I for one am hoping that the Browns invest a draft pick at the tackle position. Even if they sign one of these free agents.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a whole list of “Who??”

  • 37crookshankave

    There are a lot of good names on this list, id love to have Backus, Starks, Gaither or Richardson, even Carey is a pretty good guy to get and throw in there. The Worst of the starters by far is McKenzie i watch the giants pretty regularly and as bad as hicks/pashos/st clair mix was here he would be a down-grade…

  • Anonymous

    “I for one am hoping that the Browns invest a draft pick at the tackle position. Even if they sign one of these free agents”

    money line of this whole page.   teams don’t let good OTs get to FA.  we need to draft our starting RT at #22 or #37 and be done with it.

  • Anonymous

    Backus and Boone (virtually no shot) are the only guys I see listed that I know offhand I’d be interested in – yikes.  It would be incredibly boring and contradictory to everything I’ve said but man, how could you not look at Kalil at #4 based on this list and what the Browns have had?  That being said #22 or the pick in round 3 would probably make more sense for a RT.

  • i did some research on this.  OT’s taken in top10 since 1985 have the lowest rate of washout of any position.  6%.  LB is next at 7%.

    fwiw, DE and RB have the highest risk washing out at 32% and 31% respectively.

    if you extend it to the entire 1st round, OT is average risk, 21%.

    with our history of shaeffer/stclair/pashos at OT, i’m with you rick and hoping they draft one.  2nd round would be fine with me.  ive got 15 o-linemen going in the first two rounds.. looks deep this year.

  • Anonymous

    draft charts keep showing Adcock lasting to our pick in round3.  i would be all over that.   truth be told, i wouldn’t wait that long though as I fully suspect he’ll be gone.

    mike adams at #22 (if one of the top guys don’t drop) or adcock at #37 are my choices.

  • Anonymous

    great research.   i wouldn’t mind Kalil, but think we would be better served getting our RT at #22 or #37.  i see a bigger dropoff at WR between Blackmon and the others than Kalil and the others there.   especially since it’s for RT and not LT.

  • Hetz

    Maybe at #4.

  • Big Meeks

    I can’t believe it only took a month and change to get my first Guy Whimper mention of 2012. Well done.

  • since we’re talking about OTs and since we have two first round picks at 4 and 22…

    reminds me of the time the browns picks at 4 and 26 in the first round.
    only it was 1996 ..
    and they weren’t the browns.

    what did the non-browns do in the draft year following craig powell?

    #4:  j ogden
    #26:  r lewis

    im not going anywhere with this point.  
    except maybe for an early scotch.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know how you recalled those details, or from what depressed abyss you summoned that memory, or perhaps what evil supernatural gift of recollection you have purchased with your soul, but I pray that you would send this little factual tidbit back to the demonic realm from whence it came.  You, sir, have ruined my day.

    On another note, your early scotch is about an hour late for me.  Scotch, scotch, scotch, I love scotch.  Scotchy, scotch, scotch.   

  • Anonymous

    Cleveland needs to draft zebrie sanders with their 2nd round pick and then sign one of these 3 RT’s   Mike Otto, Ryan O’Callaghan, or Brandon Keith for some added depth at this position. Out of these 3 tackles we can sign one of these guys realistically. I don’t think we need to get one tackle but we need to get 2 solid tackles and one later round “project” tackle that could turn into something. In the last couple years we invested in our guards so hopefully they can pay dividend this year because we have to make sure we get a right tackle. Zebrie Sanders is one of the only top tackle draft prospects that has played right tackle in college.

  • Anonymous

    zebrie sanders at #37. Check him out. He is one of the only tackles in the first couple of rounds that has played right tackle before. I think Mike Adams will be gone at 22 because someone will draft him for a left tackle.

  • Henry Brown

    This doesn’t necessarily mean anything but he wasn’t even invited to the combine.

  • Anonymous

    wow.   that just means that we can probably get him a little later.  he looked good everytime I watched OkieState play.  wonder why there?

  • Henry Brown

    Is that a good thing? Most guys who played left in college can move to right

  • zebrie sanders might be there in the 4th/5th round if you really want  him.


  • Anonymous

     where do you get this from.

  • Anonymous

    your right. He stunk it up at the senior bowl at right tackle.

  • if youre into it and you havent seen these guys, check them out.  

    allowing that this is as much art and science, they seem to put in a lot of travel and work behind their ratings.

  • Anonymous

    Nice draft right there LoL.  Maybe 18 years later the default Browns can do something similar.

  • Anonymous

    this guy does look pretty good. He is athletic and looks like he has a real good upside. Also we have an extra 4th to grab him if he is still there

  • Anonymous

     thank you. this does look more up to date and thorough.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder where they would have slotted Osemele at OT.  If we do end up waiting until the 3rd round, we still might be able to find a starting RT (I think this OT class has more depth than top-end talent), and he’d be one of the guys we might be considering (along with Adcock, possibly Scwartz, and maybe Z.Sanders)

  • Anonymous

    most teams have RH QBs.  most coaches put their best OT at LT to protect the blindside of those RH QBs.   when moving up a level you want the best OT and if he has to learn the opposite side, then so be it.

    now, not all LTs can play NFL RT.  RTs tend to have more run responsibility but still need to be nimble enough to stop the speed rushers.  it is not an easy job and not all LTs are suited for the right-side (and it will vary system to system too)

  • Anonymous

    It looks like zebrie sanders was terrible at right tackle at senior bowl and played better at left. Adcock and schwartz looks good. Does anyone now if Bobbie Massie is a real late entry in the draft.

  • Anonymous

    osemele intrigues me. He played his whole senior season on a hurt ankle so how good would he have been healthy. I like his upside.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with your assessment. It is definitely not an automatic that guys can make the switch. This is why Tony Pashos stunk it up because he was getting beat blind side with speed rushers whenever he played. The right side tackle is normally a smart player that can make the transition between both positions because he is weirdly athletic for his size and has real good footwork. You can’t switch Joe Thomas to the right side because he is the best in the league but you need athleticism like his.

  • Anonymous

    zebrie could have just had a bad week too.  it happens.   i didn’t watch him in games, so I don’t really know, just don’t want to completely discount him from a bad senior bowl week.

  • yeah, they put osemele in with the guards and grade him 6.6 which would put him between martin and schwartz in the tackles.

    (these guys definitely dont love jonathan martin as much as other boards do.)

  • Anonymous

    i assume they graded him as an OG prospect though and that grade would change if they were grading as an OT prospect, no?

  • yeah he’s hybrid-ish isnt he.  ‘… is better suited to play inside or on the right side at the next level.’  but i *think* the way they grade wouldnt change a lot between RT and OG..

  • Anonymous

    Ok.  Definitely a guy in the mix in the 3rd.   He plays like he’s angry and I like that in a RT.

  • steve-o

    Left tackles usually go in the first round, but good right tackles can be found much later. Ryan Tucker was a third round pick. My guess is that the Browns will retain one of their backup tackles, sign a veteran tackle who at least has a track record of staying healthy, and then draft a tackle with a mid round pick to develop as the eventual starter. Those early draft picks should be used on play makers