With free agency set to begin in March, Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda and Jake Kring-Schreifels preview the 2017 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus is on offensive tackles.
The Washington Redskins are relatively set at offensive tackle for this upcoming season. Five-time Pro Bowler Trent Williams will continue to anchor the Redskins' left side of the offensive line and protect quarterback Trent Williams' blindside while starting right tackle Morgan Moses enters the final year of his rookie contract.
The only real question marks come in Ty Nsekhe and Vinston Painter, both of whom are exclusive right free agents. Nsekhe, at least, who started four games in place of Williams when he was suspended by the league, should be a lock to return.
Exclusive rights free agents are veteran players with less than three accrued NFL seasons. They are either limited to signing the contract tendered to them by their current team, or not playing in the NFL that season. If a team chooses not to tender a contract to an exclusive rights free agent, he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
In all likelihood, Nsekhe will receive a tender, especially after the way he played at left tackle this past season. Even before stepping in for Williams in the second half of the season, Nsekhe made a big impression in Week 3 against the Giants, filling in at left tackle after Shaun Lauvao went down with an injury, forcing Williams to move to left guard.
That move led to the team's first win of the season and sparked a four-game win streak.
The Redskins could also look to extend Moses before he plays out the final year of his deal. Over the last two seasons, he and Brandon Scherff have helped solidify the right side of the line and Moses has become a valuable part of the offensive line's identity.
If the Redskins choose to look at more depth for the position for any reason, there's a few names that will be on their radar.
Here is a list of the offensive tackles currently scheduled to become unrestricted free agents at 4 p.m. ET March 1, via NFL.com:
- Earl Watford, Arizona Cardinals
- Ricky Wagner, Baltimore Ravens
- Jordan Mills, Buffalo Bills
- Mike Remmers, Carolina Panthers
Check out these photos of free agent offensive lineman, Ricky Wagner.
Mike Adams, Chicago Bears * Nick Becton, Chicago Bears * Matt McCants, Chicago Bears * Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati Bengals * Eric Winston, Cincinnati Bengals * Russell Okung, Denver Broncos * Riley Reiff, Detroit Lions * Don Barclay, Green Bay Packers * David Quessenberry, Houston Texans * Jeffrey Linkenbach, Jacksonville Jaguars * Kelvin Beachum, Jacksonville Jaguars * Sam Young, Miami Dolphins * Matt Kalil, Minnesota Vikings * Jake Long, Minnesota Vikings * Andre Smith, Minnesota Vikings * Tony Hills, New Orleans Saints * Will Beatty, New York Giants * Marshall Newhouse, New York Giants * Ben Ijalana, New York Jets * Ryan Clady, New York Jets * Menelik Watson, Oakland Raiders * Bradley Sowell, Seattle Seahawks * Gosder Cherilus, Tampa Bay Buccaneers * Byron Bell, Tennessee Titans
Three-time Pro Bowler Andrew Whitworth hasn't missed a start with the Bengals since Week 9 of the 2013 season and was ranked the 25th best platyer in Pro Football Focus' Top 101 players.
Check out these photos of free agent offensive lineman, Andrew Whitworth.
Per PFF, Whitworth has allowed just 14 total quarterback pressures across 561 pass blocking snaps, providing the best pass blocking efficiency in the league (98.0).
Another strong option in this year's field is Broncos left tackle Russell Okung, who played in all 16 games in his first year in Denver.
Part of the Seahawks' Super Bowl-winning team in 2014, he is still relatively young at his position (29) and could provide an instant upgrade at the line
Two more players young at their positions are Ravens right tackle Rick Wagner (28) and Jaguars left tackle Kelvin Beachum (27).
Beachum started 15 games for Jacksonville last season on a line that allowed 34 sacks. Wagner, meanwhile, started 14 of the 15 games he played in 2016 and has been versatile for the Ravens in his four years in Baltimore.