High salaries may push Redskins to draft for OL help

High salaries may push Redskins to draft for OL help
March 11, 2014, 8:45 am
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Many have thought that a logical free agent target for the Redskins would be Bengals Anthony Collins. The 6-6, 308-pound offensive tackle can play either side and, of course, Jay Gruden is well familiar with him. Collins has spent his entire career with the Bengals after they made him their fourth-round draft pick in 2008. That means that he played under Gruden from 2011-2013,

The thought was that the Redskins could plug Collins into the right side of the line and he Trent Williams could form a quality pair of bookend tackles.

But the Redskins’ quest to sign a quality free agent right tackle could be stymied by the salary cap and the laws of supply and demand. About half of the league is in the market for an upgrade or a replacement at tackle and many of those teams are looking for a left tackle.

Collins has played both sides so he is in play for those teams looking for help protecting the blindsides of their quarterbacks. And with very few left tackles on the market the price for someone who can play the position is likely to skyrocket.

The Chiefs’ Brandon Albert is expected to sign with the Dolphins for around $10 million per year. Talk out of Baltimore is that Eugene Monroe will get something in the neighborhood of $8.5 million per year whether it’s from the Ravens or from someone else. The Rams’ Rodger Saffold, a career mediocrity, might go to the Raiders for as much as $8 million per year.

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With prices going up, the fact that Collins can play on the left side boosts his value even if a team isn’t looking for him to play the left side.

As of now, the highest reported offer for Collins’ services is for about $7 million a year from the Bucs. This is for a player who has been in the league for six years, will be 29 before the season ends, and has never played in 16 games and has never started more than seven.

With Williams carrying a cap number of around $10 million next year and $14 million in 2015, the Redskins need to be careful not to have too much money tied up in the tackle position.

How can they do that and upgrade at right tackle? In the draft, of course. There will almost certainly be a few offensive tackles who can start immediately on the board when the Redskins’ first pick at No. 34 overall comes around and there may be some left when they pick in the third.

Many Redskins fans are hoping for a stud right tackle by the end of the week. They may have to wait until the second week of May when the draft takes place.