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.
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.