Matt Birk, UFA, Minnesota Vikings
Birk is a Pro Bowl center who has gotten the job done for the Vikings for the last decade. He’s fairly athletic for a lineman and is playing alongside another great lineman, guard Steve Hutchinson, making Birk’s life even easier on the field. He’s grounded in Minnesota, so the chances of him choosing to leave seem slim at the moment. However, Minnesota is grooming John Sullivan in hopes that he will eventually replace Birk.Mike Goff, UFA, San Diego Chargers
While the Chargers would probably prefer to keep Goff, the franchise has been effective in drafting and developing linemen and might look for Goff’s replacement at a better price. Goff has been a leader who simply goes about his business and players like running back Ladainian Tomlinson have benefited from his level of play. Goff has played for a quality line for some time and he’s a big part of the equation when it comes to success.
Jordan Gross, UFA, Carolina Panthers
A first round pick in 2003, Gross earned a starting role in his rookie season and held that role as a tackle for the entire season. His ability to step in and play well right away paid off for the Panthers, as the team put together a run to an NFC Championship. He’s continued being a starter since that rookie season and is a solid player. Carolina slapped the franchise tag on him for this season, and chances are he will be another team come ’09.
Mark Tauscher, UFA, Green Bay Packers
Tauscher is a seventh round pick that became a success story. In his first season in the NFL, he was forced into a starting role because of an injury to another player. Tauscher isn’t an elite player, but he is solid in his role as a starter and hasn’t missed a game since 2002. Tauscher could be at the top of many team’s lists because he could come cheaper than some of the other free agent lineman, but could be nearly or equally effective.
Other Offensive Lineman
Stacy Andrews, UFA, Cincinnati Bengals
Khalif Barnes, UFA, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jordan Black, UFA, Houston Texans
Jason Brown, UFA, Baltimore Ravens
Vernon Carey, UFA, Miami Dolphins
Jahri Evans, UFA, New Orleans Saints
George Foster, UFA, Detroit Lions
Chris Gray, UFA, Seattle Seahawks
Pete Kendall, UFA, Washington Redskins
Seth McKinney, UFA, Cleveland Browns
Jon Runyan, UFA, Philadelphia Eagles
Jeff Saturday, UFA, Indianapolis Colts
Marvel Smith, UFA, Pittsburgh Steelers
Tra Thomas, UFA, Philadelphia Eagles
Fred Weary, UFA, Houston Texans
John Welbourn, UFA, Kansas City Chiefs
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