NFC West view on Gallery

March, 20, 2012
3/20/12
9:30
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ESPN.com NFC West reporter Mike Sando shares his thoughts on the Patriots and former Seahawks offensive lineman Robert Gallery agreeing to terms on a one-year deal:
"The Seahawks have been looking for stability at left guard ever since Steve Hutchinson got away following the 2005 season.

"Gallery was a natural choice last season when his former coach in Oakland, Tom Cable, joined Pete Carroll's staff as assistant head coach/offensive line. The idea was for Gallery to provide leadership for a line featuring young starters at every other spot, including prized left tackle Russell Okung, the sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft.

"Gallery wound up being a great resource for the younger players, but he wasn't healthy and it showed. Gallery struggled early in the season, then underwent groin surgery, missing time. His salary for the 2012 season jumped to $5 million. There was another $1.5 million due in a roster bonus. The Seahawks ultimately decided the price was too high.

"Instead of bringing back Gallery, the Seahawks re-signed Paul McQuistan to a more modest deal. McQuistan fared surprisingly well as a fill-in at left tackle when Okung was injured. Marshawn Lynch led the NFL in rushing from Week 9-17, and Gallery had something to do with that. But the overall feeling was that Cable had succeeded in establishing the mentality he wanted on the line, and that the team would be OK going with younger players at lower prices.

"Gallery can still have value if he's healthy. A full offseason in an NFL conditioning program should help. I suspect the lockout made it tougher for Gallery to get in shape, get healthy and stay healthy last season."

Thanks to Mike for sharing his time and insight. His work covering the NFC West can be read here.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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