2009 Free Agency-Offensive Tackle

Jordan Gross

The group of offensive tackles for next year's free agency is pretty deep. But noticeably, there are few younger players that are projected aren't under contract for next season and beyond.

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Offensive Tackles Who Should Get Starter Consideration

Jordan Gross/Carolina Panthers/LT/UFA - He's also capable of playing right tackle, but the sixth-year pro will make big money as a left tackle. Carolina has a tough decision coming up. Do they use their franchise tag on Gross or DE Julius Peppers?

Marvel Smith/Pittsburgh Steelers/LT/UFA - The talent blind side protector is having back problems which could prevent him from getting a huge free agent deal. Still, if his back issues are resolved satisfactorily, he'll be able to yield a good enough contract offer.

Stacy Andrews/Cincinnati Bengals/UFA - The talented offensive lineman suffered a serious knee injury this season and likely will sign modest short-term contract until he can prove he's back to where he was before the injury. He also fits in at right tackle.

Mark Tauscher/Green Bay Packers/RT/UFA - Tauscher is one of the more underrated right side offensive lineman in the league. While he turns 31 in June, he still should have at least three to four solid years left in him.

Jon Runyan/Philadelphia Eagles/RT/UFA - This mauling type of lineman is nearing the end of a solid 13-year career. Despite playing in a passing offense, Runyan actually may be a better fit for a team that uses a power running game.

Tra Thomas/Philadelphia Eagles/LT/UFA - The 11-year pro isn't a dominant player, but he still could give a team a few good years. Thomas probably fits in well with a team that has a predominantly passing offense.

Willie Colon/Pittsburgh Steelers/RT/RFA - Some feel he's better off inside at guard, but Colon has improved steadily at right tackle. It will be interesting to see at what level the team tenders the former fourth-round pick at.

Vernon Carey/Miami Dolphins/RT/UFA - He's played the right and left sides of the offensive line over his five years of play. The former first-round pick isn't likely to get a huge free agent deal, but he'll likely yield a decent contract because of his versatility.

Tyson Clabo/Atlanta Falcons/RT/RFA - The former undrafted free agent has shown improvement over the last few seasons and is having a good year. The team probably will use at least a third-round tender on him.

Mark Colombo/Dallas Cowboys/RT/UFA - The former first-round pick of the Chicago Bears out of the 2002 draft has revived his career with Dallas. He should be able to receive at least a modest free agent deal.

Khalif Barnes/Jacksonville Jaguars/LT/UFA - The talented former second-round pick's play has leveled off a bit this season. Even so, he's only 26 years old and his best days could be ahead of him. It may just be that he needs a change of scenery.

Jon Stinchcomb/New Orleans Saints/RT/UFA - The younger brother of former NFL offensive lineman Matt Stinchcomb had big injury problems in the first three seasons of his six-year career, but he hasn't missed a game since 2005. The former second-round pick turns 30 in August, but should yield a decent free agent deal.


Others Who Could Find Interest For Backup Purposes

Charles Spencer/Jacksonville Jaguars/LT/RFA - The former third-round pick of the Houston Texans is finally over the broken leg he suffered during his rookie season in 2006. The talented offensive lineman fits in at left tackle or left guard.

Max Starks/Pittsburgh Steelers/RT/UFA - The Steelers surprisingly used their transition tag for a player who wound up being a backup. Still, Starks showed some versatility this season while playing left tackle this season. Scouts say he's much better off on the right side, however.

George Foster/Detroit Lions/RT/UFA - The former first-round pick of the Denver Broncos offers a team the ability to be a fill-in starter if needed.

Adam Goldberg/St. Louis Rams/RT-LT/UFA - His versatility helps. Goldberg has proven to be a solid backup for the past three seasons.

Trai Essex/Pittsburgh Steelers/LT-RT/UFA - He's capable of offering a team reserve help at left or right tackle.

Frank Omiyale/Carolina Panthers/RT-LT/UFA - He did a solid job of filling for LT Jordan Gross earlier this season. The former fifth-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons is capable of playing right or left tackle.

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