Thursday, June 23, 2011
Free agency in the East: Guards
By Dan Graziano
We continue our position-by-position look at four-year unrestricted free agency and its potential impact on the NFC East teams and their plans. The fourth in our series will focus on the guard position, where, even with top guy Logan Mankins franchised by the Patriots, there are a number of good options available.
NFC East teams in need
Offensive guard Kyle Kosier will be an important player for the Cowboys to re-sign.
Cowboys: Left guard Kyle Kosier is on the list below, and the Cowboys will make an effort to bring him back. But even if they do, they could cut ties with Leonard Davis at the right guard spot, and unless they think Montrae Holland or one of their late-round draft picks is ready to start there, they will be on the hunt for free-agent help.
Giants: Yeah, we've gone round and round on this topic. And if everyone's healthy, the Giants are fine at guard with Chris Snee and Rich Seubert. But if center Shaun O'Hara falters, Seubert moves in there and they could stand to add some depth. They've discussed moving left tackle David Diehl back inside, which could answer some of these concerns.
Redskins: They like the progress Kory Lichtensteiger showed on the left side last year, but if they're not convinced Will Montgomery and/or Artis Hicks can handle the right guard spot, Washington could be looking for a more established starter there.
Top five potential unrestricted free-agent guards
1. Harvey Dahl. Most likely to stay in Atlanta, but he's a fearsome run blocker who would help in Dallas if they decided to commit to the run. Also a natural guard who could help the Redskins move Montgomery to center if Casey Rabach falters and they need to do that. The Falcons also have another solid guard, Justin Blalock, who would be unrestricted under the proposed new rules, so they may have to make a choice.
2. Davin Joseph. Loaded with talent and potential, but he's had some injury issues (including last season's broken foot) that could lead the Buccaneers to part ways with him and give other teams pause before signing him.
3. Daryn Colledge. He's got a Super Bowl ring, which will catch teams' attention if the Packers decide they have enough depth to let him go.
4. Kosier. Getting up there in years, but he's an important player for the Cowboys to re-sign because they like the way he worked with rising star Doug Free on the left side and would rather not break up that pairing.
5. Marshal Yanda. He played right tackle for most of 2010 in Baltimore in place of the injured Jared Gaither, but he's got experience at guard too. That kind of versatility -- the ability to play any spot along the line at a starter's level -- should have widespread appeal. He'd be a perfect guy for the Giants if they're looking to add reliable depth but don't feel they have a specific spot that needs filling.
Predictions that mean nothing: Cowboys re-sign Kosier but let go of Davis and pursue another free-agent option, such as Joseph. Redskins sign Yanda to play either right guard or right tackle. Giants do nothing.