The series rolls on! Given Terry Fontenot’s plan to address needs in free agency and take the best player available in the draft, offensive line is sure to be a big focus in this free agency period.
With some cuts already coming, I anticipate that James Carpenter is on the chopping block. Alex Mack returning is also looking unlikely. There are two massive holes on the interior. Matt Hennessy didn’t have much of a rookie offseason, but he was pretty bad in limited action. Perhaps the Falcons want to give him a few more looks, but the line still needs help — as it has for a pretty long time.
*All contract projections are via PFF. If you want to read any of our previous editions, you can find those here:
Mike Remmers (two years, $5 million)
Cameron Fleming (one year, $4 million)
Cam Robinson (two years, $8 million)
Elijah Wilkinson (two years, $7.5 million)
I’ll be focusing on swing tackles since Kaleb McGary will probably get another year of action (unless he kicks inside to guard) and Jake Matthews is on a big contract. Remmers got absolutely whipped in the Super Bowl in Eric Fisher & Mitchell Schwartz’s absences. I’ll pass on him potentially seeing Tampa twice a season. Fleming was just bad last season — plain and simple. Robinson may be okay as a guard, but there’s no way I’m trusting him for two seasons. Same with Wilkinson. He is pretty shaky in pass pro.
Germain Ifedi (two years, $5 million)
Denzelle Good (two years, $3.5 million)
John Miller (two years, $9 million)
Jon Feliciano (two years, $4 million)
It really boils down to the fact that any of these guys would be a lateral move from Carpenter, and each would cost extra money on top of his cut in the process. A guy like Matt Feiler would provide decent value. You also won’t hear a single complaint out of me if Fontenot takes a big swing at Brandon Scherff.
Matt Skura (two years, $4 million)
Joe Looney (N/A)
Daniel Kilgore (N/A)
A.Q. Shipley (N/A)
I’d rather give Hennessy a chance or bring Mack back over any of these guys, and this list is short, mainly because this is a very good center class. I would love to have Corey Linsley, but Austin Reiter, David Andrews, Austin Blythe, Ted Karras, Ethan Pocic, and Ben Garland would all be much more valuable on the offensive line than anyone on this list.