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Geneaut

6 free agent offensive line options for the Falcons in 2019

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https://thefalconswire.usatoday.com/2019/01/14/falcons-6-free-agent-offensive-line-options-2019/

RT Ja’Wuan James

Age: 26 years

Size: 6-foot-6, 317 pounds

2018 PFF ranking: No. 34 at OT

If Atlanta makes one offensive change this offseason, it has to be at right tackle. Matt Ryan was sacked a career high 42 times this year and Ryan Schraeder’s blocking was a major reason why. James would provide an instant upgrade. He’s much younger and proved he’s powerful enough to contain Aaron Donald this season. That makes him a valuable commodity, though and will drive up his price. James should command as much as any offensive tackle in this free agent class. Averaging around $10 million a year is not out of the question. That’s simply too much to ask for the Falcons at this time.

G Rodger Saffold

Age: 30 years

Size: 6-foot-5, 324 pounds

2018 PFF ranking: No. 7 at G

Injuries played a factor but Ben Garland, Andy Levitre and everyone else who tried at left guard all failed. Levitre will be 33 years old next season and is also becoming a free agent, so replacing him at left guard should be a priority for Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff. Saffold is right on the borderline as far as the acceptable age goes, but he’s played well enough in 2018 for it to not be too much of a concern. If Quinn is serious about re-establishing Atlanta as a run-first team, they’ll need guys like Saffold to get it done.

RT Bobby Massie

Age: 29 years

Size: 6-foot-6, 315 pounds

2018 PFF ranking: No. 29 at OT

The Falcons probably can’t afford Ja’Wuan James, so they’ll likely look at mid-level possibilities and nothing says mid-level quite like Bobby Massie. He’s pretty much a perfectly average offensive lineman who’s halfway between being young and healthy and washed up. A cheap one or two year deal for Massie could help bridge the gap until Atlanta finds a long-term solution at right tackle.

G James Carpenter

Age: 29 years

Size: 6-foot-5, 321 pounds

2018 PFF ranking: No. 54 at G

Guard is also not a very deep position for the 2018 free agent class. Outside of Saffold, there’s only a handful of decent names that are on the right side of 30 years old. Carpenter is one of them, if not by a whole lot. On the bright side, he does have a lot of experience in the same kind of zone running scheme that Quinn prefers. Before Carpenter went to the Jets, he played four years in Seattle when they were at their best. Carpenter spent most of that time at left guard, but he also played some right tackle and right guard, as well. That experience could be valuable for the Falcons if their other options don’t pan out.

OT Jared Veldheer

Age: 31 years

Size: 6-foot-8, 322 pounds

2018 PFF ranking: No. 57 at OT

While there’s something to be said for athletic linemen with lower centers of gravity, large and long men still have a lot to do with winning football games. Veldheer would be an outlier for the Falcons, bringing some immense Midwest size and experience (118 career games) to the front line. Veldheer has put in a lot of games at left tackle but also proved he can play at right tackle this season for the Broncos.

G D.J. Fluker

Age: 27 years

Size: 6-foot-5, 342 pounds

2018 PFF ranking: No. 69 at G

Right tackle and left guard should be the main points of change for the offensive line this year. Right guard is also worth a look, though. Brandon Fusco is a good candidate to get cut for cap savings, so finding a cheaper alternative isn’t a bad idea. Fluker didn’t have a great year for the Seahawks but he was certainly better than everyone Atlanta tried at that spot. If Fluker is willing to play on a low cost, prove-it kind of deal, he just might be worth a shot.

egoprime II likes this

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Time to draft some quality offensive linemen and quit paying a premium for average starters.  Gotta jump off the carousel at some point.

Need to sign one UFA but still draft two.  I would probably try and sign Ja’wuan James and draft two interior OL - say Chris Lindstrom(OG)-Boston College in 2nd round and Lamont Gailliard(C) in 4th/5th rd.

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I love the "Levitre is 33 years old" when they're talking about replacing him with Saffold, who is 30.

I'd take a hard look at Fluker.  I'm not convinced Schraeder is done here, though he might have to be restructured (he makes too much money for too little performance).  Koetter knows Schraeder, so that's something.  Honestly, if we upgrade both G positions, I'd prefer that vastly to upgrading RT.  Give me 2 competent guards and we can draft a RT.

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1 minute ago, JDaveG said:

I love the "Levitre is 33 years old" when they're talking about replacing him with Saffold, who is 30.

I'd take a hard look at Fluker.  I'm not convinced Schraeder is done here, though he might have to be restructured (he makes too much money for too little performance).  Koetter knows Schraeder, so that's something.  Honestly, if we upgrade both G positions, I'd prefer that vastly to upgrading RT.  Give me 2 competent guards and we can draft a RT.

Well, "Levitre is 33 years old and couldn't finish either of the last 2 seasons" is probably the correct sentence that should have been written.

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1 minute ago, osiruz said:

cut shraeder, restructure Beasley, let levitre walk, and restructure alford. Now all of a sudden we can afford Juwaan James and get us a bargain bin guard.

I could go for this.  The only potential problem I see is that we'd have to move a lot of dead weight to make room for James, since Schraeder makes the most sense as a post-June 1 cut (we save $6.5 million in cap room and only have $1.3 million in dead money spread over 2 years).  

So we'd have to move enough to clear James under the cap with Schraeder until after June 1.  I seem to recall there is a way to designate him before June 1 and still be able to sign other people, but I'm not sure I'm remembering correctly.

Dutty Ole Bird likes this

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All these players are on the downside or near the downside. Sometime I intend to put together a list of up and coming 4th and 5th year linemen. 

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1 minute ago, Geneaut said:

If we sign some FA OL talent I still want to draft guys there as well. Not 5th and 6th rounders either.

This is it for me.  I'd be fine with Ja'Wuan James.  He's young and competent.  But we need more depth, more potential starters, and less FA projects to fall back on when we pretend we've "fixed" the o-line by signing a bunch of mid-priced over-the-hill free agents.

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2 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

I love the "Levitre is 33 years old" when they're talking about replacing him with Saffold, who is 30.

I'd take a hard look at Fluker.  I'm not convinced Schraeder is done here, though he might have to be restructured (he makes too much money for too little performance).  Koetter knows Schraeder, so that's something.  Honestly, if we upgrade both G positions, I'd prefer that vastly to upgrading RT.  Give me 2 competent guards and we can draft a RT.

Shraeder is done here, and he is atrocious and the worst player on the OL. Dude is a turnstile blocking for the pass, and average blocking for the run.

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A few weeks ago, someone on these boards mentioned an OL on the Broncos that is up and coming.  He apparently played well while subbing for an injured player and is ready to step into a starting role.  The impression I got was that this guy is good, but buried behind some entrenched veterans.  

Anybody know who this player is?

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1 minute ago, osiruz said:

That's a given, Grady and Julio will eat up most of the 25Mil cap space we have now.

That's the main reason I think Bryant and Bosher may be gone.  Collectively they clear a good bit of cap space, and Bryant is ready to retire and Bosher can be upgraded cheap.

Truthfully, they can structure Julio and Jarrett to where it won't hurt us this season on the cap, but we have to think of the future too.  The Saints were in cap **** for like 5 years continually signing the biggest free agents and punting the cap pain down the road.  I don't want to end up like that.

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3 minutes ago, osiruz said:

That's a given, Grady and Julio will eat up most of the 25Mil cap space we have now.

Julio's new contract won't effect our cap much. If anything we may save money in the first year.

Grady will certainly eat up a ton though.

JDaveG likes this

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Who ever made that list.......really did not look at the list of free agents very well.....there are several better options for the falcons.....or atleast options that make more sense.

Francis York Morgan likes this

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16 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

This is it for me.  I'd be fine with Ja'Wuan James.  He's young and competent.  But we need more depth, more potential starters, and less FA projects to fall back on when we pretend we've "fixed" the o-line by signing a bunch of mid-priced over-the-hill free agents.

I worry with him you have to pay a premium that most mid level former 1st round picks get that he’s just not worth. 

JDaveG likes this

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5 minutes ago, falconsd56 said:

Who ever made that list.......really did not look at the list of free agents very well.....there are several better options for the falcons.....or atleast options that make more sense.

Got any names ? I checked out the Spot Trac list and some names jumped out at me.

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2 minutes ago, ⚡Slumerican⚡ said:

Guess we settle for senior citizens of Oline.. We get'em about the time they fall apart 

Well, we have 3 holes to fill so we may have to band-aid at least one of them with a senior citizen while drafting their replacements this season.

 

It's not optimal, but it is what it is. We still have to draft OL high this draft though.

Edited by Geneaut

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