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Spectacular piece in the The Athletic. I leave it here for you, my Bengals fan friends. And you other ones too...




For our next free agency preview, we’ve called on offensive line authority Brandon Thorn. Thorn does a terrific job scouting and analyzing offensive linemen with his Trench Warfare site and newsletter. He was kind enough to offer his opinions on a number of the pending unrestricted free agent offensive linemen. Ages as of Week 1 are in parentheses.

Tier 1: Empty out the wallet

These are players who can expect to find deals at the top of the market for their position.

Trent Williams, LT, San Francisco 49ers (33)

After missing all of 2019, Williams was traded to the 49ers and played at a high level last season.

“He’s a special player, just really a blue-chip kind of guy, impact starter, can do it all, doesn’t really have any weaknesses to his game and just has rare traits and abilities,” Thorn said. “I think you can make a strong case he’s the best left tackle in the NFL.”

Williams is on the wrong side of 30, but left tackles of his caliber are hard to find, and Thorn didn’t see significant signs of decline in Williams’ 2020 film. David Bakhtiari ($23 million per year) is currently the NFL’s top-paid tackle. The floor for a Williams deal could be the contract ($17 million per year) Garett Bolles signed with the Denver Broncos. One important note: As part of Williams’ restructured deal with San Francisco, the 49ers can’t use the franchise tag on him.

Brandon Scherff, OG, Washington Football Team (29)

Washington used the franchise tag to keep Scherff last offseason, and he made his fourth Pro Bowl.

“I didn’t think this was his best year,” Thorn said. “I thought he was still a very good starter. But I thought he was more like an elite starter in previous years. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the five best right guards in football.”

Scherff missed three games in 2020, five in 2019 and eight in 2018. Thorn said the injury history could be taking a toll on Scherff’s play strength. But given his résumé and the market, there’s a good chance that Scherff becomes the NFL’s highest-paid guard and find a deal in the neighborhood of $15 million per year.

Corey Linsley, OC, Green Bay Packers (30)

He’s started 99 games in seven seasons and went from underrated to first-team All-Pro in 2020.

“He’s just an outstanding zone run blocker,” Thorn said. “He does a tremendous job of reaching the nose tackle or the shade. He’s so good at that. I think outside zone teams are gonna value him very highly just because of what he can do in that scheme. I think that’s really his biggest strength.”

Thorn added that Linsley holds up well in pass protection also and does a great job of mental processing against blitzes, stunts and line games.

“He’s really good pre-snap, very smart,” Thorn said. “So he brings that to the offense for pass protection. He’d be a great guy if you had a young quarterback in an outside zone scheme.”

Linsley will be the top option for teams in the market for a veteran center. Ryan Kelly signed a four-year, $49.65 million deal ($12.4 million per year) with the Colts in September. That could be a good comp for what Linsley commands.

Nick Martin, OC, Houston Texans (28)

In a puzzling move, the Texans decided to release Martin. He’s been an above-average center with 62 starts under his belt and has not missed a game in the last three seasons. The Texans signed Martin to a three-year, $33 million extension before the 2019 season. He could be looking at a similar deal now that he’s on the open market. Because Martin was released, he’s free to sign with a new team before the start of the new league year on March 17.

Taylor Moton, RT, Carolina Panthers (27)

There’s a lot to like about Moton. He’s never missed a game, has 48 starts under his belt and has performed as an above-average right tackle.

“I like him as a run blocker more than a pass blocker,” Thorn said.

Thorn noted that Moton uses a “flash technique” too often in pass protection. That’s when an offensive lineman uses one of his hands to get a defensive lineman to react, but it’s best used as a changeup.

“His use of hands and technique as a pass protector are probably average, middle of the pack,” Thorn said. “That’s what’s really holding him back. As a run blocker, I think he’s above average and can do a lot there”

Jack Conklin signed a three-year, $42 million deal with the Browns last offseason. Moton will likely be looking to get a deal in that range.

Joe Thuney, OG, New England Patriots (28)

The Patriots surprisingly used the franchise tag on Thuney last offseason. He may not have the same ceiling as some of the other players in this tier, but Thuney projects as one of the safer options, given his age and durability (80 consecutive regular-season starts over five seasons).

“His understanding of leverage and his use of hands are his two best traits,” Thorn said. “He’s undersized, probably average play strength, but he makes up for it with how well he plays with his leverage and just always being the low man, using his hands to manipulate guys. There’s a lot of variety to what he can do with his hands, so he’s unpredictable from an opponent perspective but consistent with what he does technique-wise.”

Thuney will likely find a deal near the top of the guard market, which means around $14 million per year.

Tier 2: Starting-caliber options

These players who will be expected to fill starting roles wherever they sign.

Alejandro Villanueva, LT, Pittsburgh Steelers (33)

There are a couple things working in Villanueva’s favor. One, it’s hard to find competent left tackle play. Two, he hasn’t missed a game in the past six seasons. Villanueva is a two-time Pro Bowler, but given his age and recent performance, it’s likely that whichever team signs him will be getting a declining player.

“His play strength has always been his Achilles heel, and his ability to anchor,” said Thorn. “So he’s not gonna set the most firm pocket and have the most firm anchor at left tackle, which can be an issue. But if you’re running a quick passing game, a lot of play-action, stuff like that, I think he’s definitely an average to above-average starter. I think he’s pretty good in the run game.”

Villanueva is a tough player to project. Duane Brown got a three-year, $34.5 million deal a few years ago at the age of 33. That might be the floor for Villanueva. Anthony Castonzo signed a two-year, $33 million deal with the Colts last offseason at the age of 32. That could be Villanueva’s ceiling.

Cam Robinson, LT, Jacksonville Jaguars (25)

Originally a second-round pick in 2017, Robinson has started 47 games in four seasons. He missed 14 games in 2018 because of a torn ACL and then two more in 2019 because of an injury to his other knee. Robinson is young and talented, meaning teams could pay up and bank on his upside.

“With him, it’s all about technique and not being consistent,” Thorn said. “He’s very physical and aggressive in pass protection, and I think that hurts him a lot because he takes a lot of chances with his hands. He tries to really strike guys hard and quickly with two hands. Any guy who strikes with two hands a lot is living a dangerous life at tackle because the margin for error is so small.”

Thorn thought a glass half-full projection for Robinson could be La’el Collins, a player who took a while to make the leap but eventually got there.

“He has a lot of talent,” Thorn said. “Whenever it clicks, he looks like an eight-to-12 range left tackle. You see that a lot in his tape. If you watch the second half of 2019, I felt like I saw a lot of that. And early on in 2020, I saw a lot of that too. But the snap-to-snap (performance) later in the year, it just isn’t consistent. So he’s a hard guy to figure out.”

Left tackles who are in their mid-20s and have starting experience generally get paid. Donovan Smith is making $13.8 million per year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And the Cardinals signed D.J. Humphries for $14.75 million per year last offseason. Robinson should find a deal in that range.

Daryl Williams, RT, Buffalo Bills (29)

Williams has started 57 games in six seasons. If we’re going just off of last year, there’s a strong case for him to be in the top tier.

“Had the best year of his career, I thought,” Thorn said. “This year, some of those concerns that were attached to his name his whole career with the range in pass protection and being a liability against speed guys, I thought he quieted a lot of those concerns.”

Williams was a free agent last offseason and had to settle for a one-year, $2.25 million deal. How much of a jump will he make this offseason? Halapoulivaati Vaitai’s deal from last offseason ($9 million per year) could be a good comp for Williams.

David Andrews, OC, New England Patriots (29)

Andrews has 69 career starts. He missed all of 2019 because of a blood clot issue but returned last year, started 12 games and played well.

“I think it’s reasonable to expect him to be even better in 2021 after another year away from the health issues that he had, so I’m pretty high on him,” Thorn said. “I think he can be an above-average starter still. I think he’s pretty well-rounded. Not really elite in any area except for mental processing. I think he handles the pre-snap phase, calls and pass protection responsibilities really well. And I think he’s a pretty good run blocker. He’s kind of like a Corey Linsley light in some ways.”

Connor McGovern signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the New York Jets last offseason. That could be the floor for an Andrews deal.

Matt Feiler, G/T, Pittsburgh Steelers (29)

Feiler has 40 career starts since entering the league in 2014. He played left guard last year but was at right tackle the previous two seasons. Thorn said that Feiler’s skill set is better suited to play right tackle.

“I thought he was really good (in 2019),” Thorn said. “He surprised me with what he was able to do. I would love to see him get another chance at right tackle and see what he could do out there.”

Thorn said that Feiler’s film at guard from last season was rough. But his experience having played both spots could be appealing. If Feiler is viewed as a middle-tier right tackle, that could mean a contract worth between $7 million and $9 million per year.

Alex Mack, OC, Atlanta Falcons (35)

Mack has been remarkably durable with 179 starts in 12 seasons. He missed 11 games in 2014 and two last season. Mack has made all 16 starts 10 times in his career. The six-time Pro Bowler is obviously not the player he was in his prime, but Thorn said that Mack could still fit a zone-blocking team, and he thought it could make sense to pair Mack with a young quarterback.

“I still think there’s enough there that on like a one-year deal, I’d love to have him because he’s been an All-Pro level player for so long,” Thorn said. “And I still think there’s enough there where he can give you one more year as an average to above-average starter where the mental processing part of it, the competitive toughness part of it, those two things are going to be elite.”

Russell Okung, LT, Carolina Panthers (32)

He’s had trouble staying healthy with just 13 starts over the last two seasons. But Thorn said if Okung can stay on the field, he’s a crafty veteran who should be able to make up for declining physical ability as he gets older.

“He has so many different ways to win as a pass protector and run blocker,” Thorn said. “He has a really good understanding of leverage and just the nuances of the position, getting guys blocked in creative ways with a variety of techniques in his toolbox. He just has so many different things.”

A team in the market for a veteran left tackle might be able to land Okung on a one-year deal.

Jon Feliciano, G/C, Buffalo Bills (29)

Feliciano has started 33 games in six seasons. He has two things going for him. One, Feliciano has started games at left guard, right guard and center. And two, he plays with a mean streak that coaches will find appealing.

“His competitive toughness is outstanding — just really, really special with the edge and demeanor that he brings to the offensive line,” Thorn said. “So from that perspective he’s near elite. But every other part of the game, especially pass protection, I think he’s below average.”

Thorn said Feliciano would ideally be an interior swing option, but it seems likely that the Bills — and possibly other teams — will pay him like a starter. The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia thinks Feliciano should find a deal between $5 million and $8 million per year. The Bills view him as a leader, and he’s a favorite of Buffalo’s coaching staff.

Matt Skura, OC, Baltimore Ravens (28)

Skura started 51 games in four seasons for the Ravens. He suffered a knee injury in 2019 but returned last season and started 12 games before being benched because of snapping issues.

Denzelle Good, OG, Las Vegas Raiders (30)

He’s started 42 games in six seasons and has shown improvement. Thorn said he thought Good was the most underrated guard in the NFL in 2020.

“If you put him inside at left guard and you run a heavy gap scheme, I think that you can definitely win with him and he can do some incredible things in the run game just in terms of how far back he can drive guys and control, sustain and steer in the run game,” Thorn said. “I think he’s really, really good in that regard.”

Thorn added that Good won’t fit everywhere. He doesn’t have great feet in pass protection, and he will not be a fit in zone-blocking schemes. Returning to the Raiders could make sense for both sides. The Athletic’s Vic Tafur has Good as the Raiders’ top priority among players set to hit free agency.

Austin Blythe, OC, Los Angeles Rams (29)

He was a 16-game starter in 2020 and has 49 career starts in five seasons. Blythe played center last season but has previous experience at right guard. He has missed just one game over the last four seasons.

“He’s undersized, and play strength is an issue. Anchor is an issue,” Thorn said. “I think those two things aren’t really starter-caliber. Strictly a zone run blocker. You don’t want him in another scheme because of his strength, size. He has a really good understanding of leverage and uses his hands pretty well. Takes a lot of chances because I think he gets overwhelmed a lot, especially at guard. I like him more at center, especially if he’s protected by above-average guards. I think you can win with him. That’s probably a more optimistic opinion on him than most.”

Blythe might not have a high ceiling but could be appealing to teams that need a starting center and are looking for a relatively low-cost option.

John Miller, OG, Carolina Panthers (28)

Miller has started 74 games in six seasons. He signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Panthers last offseason. According to The Athletic’s Joseph Person, Miller was overmatched occasionally but held up well for the most part in 2020. He could be a relatively low-cost option for a team in need of guard help.

Germain Ifedi, G/T, Chicago Bears (27)

Ifedi has experience playing both guard and tackle. He has 76 career starts under his belt and has missed just four games in five seasons.

“I like him better at guard, probably an average starter,” Thorn said. “But moving him inside has masked his inability to play in a lot of space.”

Thorn said Ifedi is good in gap run concepts, but you don’t want him isolated against top-level pass rushers. Ifedi was a free agent last offseason and signed a one-year, $1.05 million deal with the Bears. He’ll hope to find a more lucrative deal this time around.



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And rest of piece:



Tier 3: Fringe starters/experienced backups

Rick Wagner, RT, Green Bay Packers (31)

He’s made 96 career starts and played 59 percent of the snaps last season. The Packers released Wagner last month, so he’s free to sign whenever he wants. Last offseason, Wagner signed a two-year, $11 million deal to be Green Bay’s swing tackle. He has dealt with a knee injury and is reportedly considering retirement.

Nick Easton, OG, New Orleans Saints (29)

He’s made 32 starts in four seasons, including nine last year. Easton played 52 percent of the snaps in 2020 and 38 percent in 2019. He’s missed 10 games over the past two seasons due to injuries, including multiple concussions. Easton will look to compete for playing time somewhere. Because he was released by the Saints, he’s free to sign with a new team before the start of the new league year on March 17.

Mike Remmers, OT, Kansas City Chiefs (32)

Remmers has started 88 games in nine seasons. He was put in a tough spot having to play left tackle in the Super Bowl after Eric Fisher suffered an injury. Remmers could get looks as a starting right tackle or be an option for teams in need of an experienced swing tackle.

Jason Peters, OT, Philadelphia Eagles (39)

The nine-time Pro Bowler struggled last season. He missed eight games and is clearly on his last legs. Considered a great teammate and leader, Peters will look to land a one-year deal somewhere if he doesn’t retire.

Cameron Fleming, OT, New York Giants (29)

He had been mostly a backup in his first six seasons, starting 26 total games. Last year, after Nate Solder opted out, Fleming was forced to be a 16-game starter at right tackle for the first time. It’s unlikely that teams will view him in that role going forward. Fleming signed a one-year, $4 million deal last offseason. He could be looking at a similar deal with a team in need of a swing tackle.

Ted Karras, OC, Miami Dolphins (28)

Karras has 36 career starts in five seasons. He was a 15-game starter with the New England Patriots in 2019 and then signed with the Dolphins as a free agent on a one-year, $3 million deal. Karras started 16 games last season. His market is unlikely to have changed much, and Karras might have to compete for playing time wherever he lands.

Cameron Erving, G/T/C, Dallas Cowboys (29)

He signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Cowboys last offseason but dealt with injury issues and started five games. Erving has 47 career starts and has played tackle, guard and center. That versatility will make him an attractive backup option.

Joe Haeg, G/T, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28)

He’s started 38 games in five seasons. Haeg signed with the Bucs last year on a one-year, $2.3 million deal.

Lane Taylor, OG, Green Bay Packers (31)

He has 50 career starts and has played well when healthy. The problem for Taylor is he’s been crushed by injuries and has appeared in only three games over the last two seasons. Taylor tore his ACL in Week 1 of the 2020 season. He could be looking at a one-year deal.

Kelechi Osemele, OG, Kansas City Chiefs (32)

He’s been healthy for just eight games over the past two seasons, but Osemele performed well in five starts for the Chiefs in 2020. He signed there on a one-year, $1.2 million contract and could be looking at a similar deal coming off of a knee injury.

Demar Dotson, OT, Denver Broncos (35)

He signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Broncos last offseason and started eight games at right tackle. Dotson will likely look for another one-year deal somewhere if he wants to keep playing.

Jermaine Eluemunor, OT, New England Patriots (26)

He has 11 career starts. Eluemunor saw his most extensive playing time last season, starting eight games and lining up at both left and right tackle. He will look to compete for playing time somewhere, and if nothing else should find a job as a swing tackle.

Kelvin Beachum, OT, Arizona Cardinals (32)

He’s made 115 starts during an impressive nine-year career. Beachum was without a team last offseason until the Cardinals signed him in July to a one-year, $1.2 million deal. He played every offensive snap for Arizona, but Beachum’s days as a starting left tackle might be nearing an end.

“He’s a guy who comes out there and attacks, and if he lands his punches, he can really lock guys up quickly, but it’s just so up and down with him,” Thorn said. “Ideally he’s a guy you have as your sixth offensive lineman. That’s how I see him. He’s a below-average starter.”

Senio Kelemete, OG, Houston Texans (31)

He’s made 42 career starts, including five last season. The Texans released Kelemete in February, meaning he can sign with a new team at any time and doesn’t have to wait for the start of the new league year. Kelemete will look to compete for playing time somewhere.

D.J. Fluker, G/T, Baltimore Ravens (30)

The Ravens signed him for depth last offseason, but Fluker ended up having to start eight games at right tackle. He’s better suited to play guard, and Fluker’s skill set is scheme-specific.

“He can start for you in a gap scheme,” Thorn said. “But there’s not a lot of systems out there that run pure gap scheme or vast majority gap scheme, so it limits the places he can go. But if he’s in the right situation, I think you can get an above-average run blocker and maybe a below-average to average pass protector. There’s a lot of guys like that who start in the league who probably don’t have his ability to create movement in the run game.”

Quinton Spain, OG, Cincinnati Bengals (30)

He has 74 career starts but has been on three different teams in the last four seasons. The Buffalo Bills released Spain in October. He caught on with the Bengals and started eight games. Spain will likely look to compete for playing time somewhere.

Austin Reiter, OC, Kansas City Chiefs (29)

He’s started 33 games in five seasons, including 12 last year.

“He has above-average athletic ability. That’s his redeeming trait as a starter,” Thorn said.

A zone-blocking team could see Reiter as a relatively inexpensive starting option, but it’s also possible that he has to compete for playing time or settle for a backup role.

Zach Banner, OT, Pittsburgh Steelers (27)

He won the starting right tackle job going into last season but then tore his ACL in Week 1. Banner could look to sign a one-year deal, earn playing time and then cash in next offseason.

Dan Feeney, G/C, Los Angeles Chargers (27)

He has 57 career starts. Feeney is young and durable (has not missed a game in the last three seasons). He played left guard from 2017 to 2019 but started at center last season. He has not performed particularly well, but Feeney’s experience playing multiple positions could be attractive to some teams.

Elijah Wilkinson, G/T, Denver Broncos (26)

He has 26 career starts and has played both guard and tackle. Wilkinson spent part of last season on injured reserve with a shin injury but started seven games at right tackle.

James Hurst, G/T, New Orleans Saints (29)

He’s made 49 starts in seven seasons. Hurst signed a one-year, $1.05 million deal with the Saints last year and started five games. He has experience playing both guard and tackle.

Ethan Pocic, OC, Seattle Seahawks (26)

He has 30 career starts and has played every interior offensive line position. Last year marked Pocic’s most extensive playing time as he started 14 games at center.

“In a heavy zone run scheme, he’s a guy I’d like to get into camp and see how he looks,” Thorn said.

Pocic (6-foot-6) does not have a traditional center’s build. Thorn said that can lead to leverage issues with guys going around him or through him in pass protection. But his athleticism and versatility could be appealing to zone-blocking teams.

Joe Looney, OC, Dallas Cowboys (31)

Looney has started 42 games in nine seasons, including 12 at center last year. He will likely be viewed as a depth option but could compete somewhere for a starting spot.

Sam Tevi, OT, Los Angeles Chargers (26)

Tevi has 44 career starts in four seasons but has struggled. He played right tackle in 2018 and 2019 before moving over to left tackle in 2020. He’ll most likely land somewhere as a depth option.

J.R. Sweezy, OG, Arizona Cardinals (32)

Sweezy has 104 career starts since entering the league in 2012. He has been on three different teams in the last four seasons but started 10 games last season.

Tier 4: Backups/competing for roster spots

Forrest Lamp, OG, Los Angeles Chargers (27)
Brian Winters, OG, Buffalo Bills (30)
Michael Schofield, G/T, Carolina Panthers (30)
Pat Elflein, G/C, New York Jets (27)
Le’Raven Clark, OT, Indianapolis Colts (28)
Ty Sambrailo, OT, Tennessee Titans (29)
Ben Garland, OC, San Francisco 49ers (33)
Dakota Dozier, OG, Minnesota Vikings (30)
Oday Aboushi, OG, Detroit Lions (30)
Chris Reed, OG, Carolina Panthers (29)
Tom Compton, OG, San Francisco 49ers (32)
Tyler Shatley, G/C, Jacksonville Jaguars (30)
Alex Redmond, OG, Cincinnati Bengals (26)
Sam Young, OT, Las Vegas Raiders (34)
Josh Andrews, G/C, New York Jets (30)
Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Seattle Seahawks (29)
Roderick Johnson, OT, Houston Texans (25)
Ryan Groy, G/C, Los Angeles Chargers (30)
Daniel Kilgore, OC, Kansas City Chiefs (33)
Hroniss Grasu, OC, San Francisco 49ers (30)
Brent Qvale, OT, Houston Texans (30)
Chaz Green, OT, Indianapolis Colts (29)
Stefen Wisniewski, G/C, Kansas City Chiefs (32)
David Sharpe, OT, Washington Football Team (25)
James Ferentz, OC, New England Patriots (32)
Brett Jones, OC, Minnesota Vikings (30)
Rashod Hill, OT, Minnesota Vikings (29)
Kendall Lamm, OT, Cleveland Browns (29)
Josh Wells, OT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30)
Jerald Hawkins, OT, Pittsburgh Steelers (27)
Jason Spriggs, OT, Chicago Bears (27)
Jared Veldheer, OT, Indianapolis Colts/Green Bay Packers (34)
Max Garcia, OC, Arizona Cardinals (29)
Ty Nsekhe, OT, Buffalo Bills (35)
Julie’n Davenport, OT, Miami Dolphins (26)
Marshall Newhouse, G/T, Tennessee Titans (32)
Joey Hunt, OC, Indianapolis Colts (27)
Tyler Larsen, OC, Carolina Panthers (30)
John Wetzel, OT, Atlanta Falcons (30)
Spencer Pulley, OC, New York Giants (28)
Justin McCray, G/C, Atlanta Falcons (29)
Tony Bergstrom, OC, San Francisco 49ers (35)
Marcus Martin, G/C, New England Patriots (27)



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Goodberry and Liscow did a twitch stream last night for about 3 hours - spent a lot of that time looking at FA all-22 film with everyone on the stream for a few FAs. They spent quite a bit of time with the Daryl Williams film. It was...really impressive. He would immediately be a vast canyon-esque upgrade at RT if we were able to get him. 

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I am surprised OC Nick Martin - released late last week by the Texans - is listed in the first group because his PFF rating for 2020 is in the low 50s

Not sure how that is "above average"

Our own Michael Jordan, who was one of the two OL that allowed Washington DLs to destroy Burrow's knee, was rated at a 55

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I don't deny the importance of seasons prior to the most recent in any sport, but to me, the most recent is the most telling.  What have you done for me lately, and all that.

That said, I checked his stats for 2017 through 2019.  Very consistent pff ratings right at about 65, which is your average nfl starter.  So yeah, he's been better. And 2020 was a weird ass year.  But.....the 52 in 2020 still makes me quite leary of even giving him a looksie as anything but a backup, and as a longtime starter he'll expect to start, so.....

I still want that Rams ORT, btw :-)

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It is just awesome that someone named their site about offensive linemen “Trench Warfare.”  

One of the best football site names, easily.  I’m glad Mike didn’t have to put too much effort into reading that, as you know damn well he stopped once the phrase “empty out your wallet,” appeared.


Great write up by this dude, the guys are out there, and there will be some more surprise cuts as teams bludgeon their own roster to cram it under the ‘21’s reduced cap.  Come on Bengals, go shopping, it’ll make draft day so much less stressful.

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8 minutes ago, TJJackson said:

question:  I like Thuney but I like Scherff a lot better

what do you like better about Thuney?   The local ties?

Availability. 100% sure scherff doesn’t hit market. Also, thuney has never missed a game. And scherff has missed 16 games in the last three seasons. That causes me to raise an eyebrow.

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Thuney is a Super Bowl winner, has been on winning teams his entire career (except last year).  My hope is that he can bring the leadership and study habits to the team to help guys make that leap.  The fact that he grew up a Bengals fan is just icing on the cake.

My dream FA would be:



and draft Dickerson in the second round after taking Chase or Pitts in the first.

Obviously if he is there and you whiff on Moton or Williams you have to take Sewell at #5.  You absolutely have to get Thuney or Scherrif in the offseason IMHO.

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I'm not locked into Sewell at 5   He played in the PAC 12 and skipped a year.   Young.    Sure he may be the next Anthony Munoz but reality is that he's probably not Anthony Munoz in the 2021 season.

I think locked into Sewell at 5 on draft day means they've done nothing at all.  

IMO, many fans suffer from a self fulfilling prophecy that has them locked into Sewell or bust.  There are several FA scenarios for me that can open up the draft board so they can target the TD makers a top of this draft.

A lot of fans didn't have a high opinion of the line before the season,  saw Burrow get hit then get hurt.  They discount the nature of that play and improved protection that was happening prior to that play.

Adding a WR or TE that is a mismatch and can come open quickly impacts your protection for a QB greatly.  

I think the scenarios go deeper than Moton and Williams in order not to be  locked into Sewell. 

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Daryl Williams is who I have my eye on. More affordable and still just 29. Trent Williams had the WFT issue - but was again outstanding in SF. But he's 33 and I worry about him if he ends up back in a less than ideal winning situation and the Bengals are still transitional. 

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I am slowly coming around to the idea of Chase instead of Sewell if they stay at 5


two conditions must then be met for me to be OK with Chase at 5

1.  They have to acquire two TOP TIER OLs in Free Agency.  One must be an OG and the other must be an ORT (or an OLT if and only if Jonah personally OKs moving to ORT).  Neither can be over 30 and both must be signed for at least 3 years

2.   the round 2 pick must be an OL, preferably an OLT due to Jonahs health concerns.  Gotta protect New Guy longterm, not just short term

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We are in the same place, at long last. My banging the drum for Chase (or Pitts/Waddle) at 5 is ONLY if they take care of business in FA. If they miss in FA, then they better pray Sewell is there. What I don't want is a miss in FA, Sewell gone, and a reach at 5. Probably what I am gonna get.

The opening few days of FA are gonna be nerve-wracking.

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Yes.....this year, the Bengals need to be one of those teams with a big signing - optimally a OL, but passrushing DL is almost as big a need - at midnight of day 1

I won't mind if they stock up on average to above average backups either, but they have to get top shelf at OL and DL...and if we lose WJ3, at CB as well

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If it's a close call, would rather they err on loading up on offense and protecting Burrow and winning shootouts than cutting the difference, and leaving D still not great and also the o-line not great. 

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1 hour ago, membengal said:

If it's a close call, would rather they err on loading up on offense and protecting Burrow and winning shootouts than cutting the difference, and leaving D still not great and also the o-line not great. 


The Bengals need to concentrate on the offense this year.  You run the risk of David Carr syndrome if you leave Burrow unprotected and you need to give him weapons to mature with.  If it is a choice between losing Lawson and WJ3 and getting two FA olinemen....I am taking the two olinemen everytime.

Get me Moton/Williams and Thuney/Scheriff and draft Chase/Pitts and I will be a very happy man.

Villanueva would also be a good choice at RT.  I hear nothing about Warford at RG but he is still young and a multiple pro bowl player....not sure what is going on with him but he is not on anyone's list...if he is right he could be a great option at Guard if they can't get Thuney for some reason. (This may be moot because I do expect them to sign Thuney at a minimum).

What I am very afraid of is the Bengals deciding that they are comfortable at Tackle with Williams and Sewell, getting sniped at 4 either by Atlanta or someone trading into Atlanta's spot to take Sewell and them picking Slater because he is the next guy only to find out the his physical limitations show up at the NFL level and they waste a year of Burrows development behind another terrible line.

Again, my off-season plan is summed up in one sentence.  "F*ck the defense!"

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What I am very afraid of is the Bengals deciding that they are comfortable at Tackle with Williams and Sewell, getting sniped at 4 either by Atlanta or someone trading into Atlanta's spot to take Sewell and them picking Slater because he is the next guy only to find out the his physical limitations show up at the NFL level and they waste a year of Burrows development behind another terrible line.

Again, my off-season plan is summed up in one sentence.  "F*ck the defense!"


You are the voice in my head.

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13 hours ago, membengal said:

If it's a close call, would rather they err on loading up on offense and protecting Burrow and winning shootouts than cutting the difference, and leaving D still not great and also the o-line not great. 

sign me up for protecting New Guy as the top priority above all else as well

Although I do want to get a single above average passrushing DE to pair with Lawson, D will mostly have to wait

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