They say the game of football is won in the trenches. With that being said, most teams refuse to let their quality offensive lineman hit the market, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see any “big time” names on this list. These are the top 5 tackles hitting free agency in the coming month.
#5 Andre Smith
Not being able to keep weight off and a numerous amount of injuries has hurt Smith’s play greatly over the course of the past few seasons. It’s actually become such an issue that the Bengals couldn’t trust him in pass protection anymore and decided to move Smith inside to Right Guard for a bit this past season. At this point in his career that spot suits him much better. He’s still a serviceable run blocker but trusting him to contain an edge rusher probably isn’t a good idea anymore.
#4 Seantrel Henderson
Injuries and some questionable character decisions throughout Henderson’s career have kept him from seeing the field. #66 only saw the field in 7 games in 2017. He can play but I don’t blame Buffalo for not bringing him back…injuries are one thing but constantly having to worry about a player keeping his nose clean is another, and in this case enough to let the big man test the field.
#3 Breno Giacomini
Breno Giacomini was probably the best offensive lineman on the Texans roster in 2017…but that’s not saying a whole lot. Houston’s front five were arguably the worst unit in all of football this year. His best football is most definitely long gone but he can still provide a serviceable veteran presence for a team looking to groom some younger players at the Tackle position. He’s not the most athletic guy. He’s gutted out most of his production throughout his career through hard work and technique.
#2 Cameron Fleming
The New England Patriots rotated between three different starting right tackles this season but Cameron Fleming had the last laugh on Super Bowl Sunday. Fleming is a balanced right tackle that has an adequate impact in both the running and passing game. He struggled with consistency this season…thus the rotations, but I’m excited for him to get a fresh start on a new team and to prove he can be the guy on the right side for multiple seasons. He’s more than capable.
#1 Nate Solder
Nate Solder is by far the best tackle available this spring. Good Tackles don’t grow on trees so Solder will without a doubt be New England’s top priority in the coming month. Solder has only allowed one sack in the last 550 snaps. Impressive right? Loyalty will be a key factor for Solder. He can stay in New England and compete for lower pay, or he can test the market and see what his value is. There are plenty of teams looking for left tackle help and I’m sure you can find two or three teams that are willing to overpay for his services.
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