Defensive Tackles Who Should Get Starter Consideration
Albert Haynesworth/Tennessee Titans/UFA - At times, the seven-year pro has proven to be the most dominant defensive lineman in the NFL. Haynesworth has shown to be very disruptive against opposing offenses and he's capable of moving to end to provide versatility as a pass rusher. The Titans can't use their franchise tag on him again this season since he played in 60 percent of the defensive snaps. If Tennessee can't reach a new deal with him, he'll likely be the most sought after free agent this year and he can play in just about any defensive scheme.
Rocky Bernard/Seattle Seahawks/UFA - He turns 30 in April, but the seven-year pro has started 44 games in the last three seasons and he offers good pass rushing skills as an interior lineman.
Jovan Haye/Tampa Bay Buccaneers/UFA - He's started 30 games in the last two seasons and Haye has plenty of upside. He should attract plenty of attention in free agency and could yield a significant deal.
Kedric Golston/Washington Redskins/RFA - Here's an underrated player who most don't know about. The former sixth-round pick should yield at least a third-round tender, but still could receive interest from other teams because he's a solid run defender.
John Thornton/Cincinnati Bengals/UFA - The veteran lineman is a decent run defender and still should have a few good years left as a starter despite his age (turns 33 in October).
Others Who Could Find Interest For Backup Purposes
Tank Johnson/Dallas Cowboys/UFA - Earlier in his career, Johnson was seen as a starter and a player with upside. However, he only started two games for Dallas in his two seasons so his role in the future is in question. The good thing is he's only 27.
Grady Jackson/Atlanta Falcons/UFA - He turns 36 soon and he might be a biscuit away from 400 pounds, but Jackson is still a solid run-stuffing lineman.
La'Roi Glover/St. Louis Rams/UFA - The veteran interior defensive lineman turns 35 in July and probably would be best suited to handle a third tackle role at this point in his career. Glover also offers solid leadership qualities.
Shaun Cody/Detroit Lions/UFA - Cody is a slightly disappointing former second-round pick that still has some upside. He probably fits in as a third tackle.
Mike Wright/New England Patriots/UFA - Versatile defensive lineman who can play end or tackle.
Larry Tripplett/Seattle Seahawks/UFA - The high-motor defensive tackle was cut by Seattle last August. Tripplett is a serviceable third or fourth tackle.
Gabe Watson/Arizona Cardinals/RFA - He's basically a rotational nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme.
Darwin Walker/Carolina Panthers/UFA - Walker was once a solid starter, but at this point in his career teams see him as a third or fourth tackle.
Colin Cole/Green Bay Packers/UFA - A serviceable third or fourth tackle.
Jimmy Kennedy/Minnesota Vikings/UFA - Here's another former first-round pick that has bounced around. Kennedy fits in as a fourth tackle.
Ryan Sims/Tampa Bay Buccaneers/UFA - The former first-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs fits in these days as a fourth tackle.
Kenderick Allen/Minnesota Vikings/UFA - The journeyman tackle missed the entire 2008 season due to injury.
Fred Evans/Minnesota Vikings/RFA - The former sixth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins has some upside as a fourth tackle.
James Reed/New Orleans Saints/UFA - The seven-year pro is basically a fourth interior defensive lineman.
DALLAS DEFENSIVE TACKLES: Starter - Jay Ratliff. Backup - NT Tank Johnson.
Ratliff is arguably the team's second-best defensive player behind DeMarcus Ware. He had a phenomenal season and was named to the Pro Bowl. However, Johnson did not produce as expected as the backup nose tackle and likely will not be back.