Position Analysis: Offensive Line

Continuing our look back at the problems that plagued the Eagles in 2005 and look for potential solutions, we look at the Eagles' offensive line.

Starters: LT Tra Thomas, LG Artis Hicks, C Hank Fraley, RG Shawn Andrews, RT Jon Runyan.
Backups: Jamal Jackson, Todd Herremans, Adrien Clarke, Calvin Armstrong.

It remains to be seen whether either of their two longtime tackles, Thomas and Runyan, will be back. Thomas, an often inconsistent player, has a high salary cap number and is coming off major back surgery. Herremans, a rookie, played pretty well in place of Thomas before breaking his leg.

Runyan, 32, is an unrestricted free agent. The Eagles would like to re-sign him, but they don't want to overpay him because of his age. He'll test the market. If he leaves, Andrews, who played at a much-too-heavy 370-plus pounds this season, might slide outside.

Jackson replaced Fraley after Fraley got hurt at mid-season, and played well. He's bigger and stronger than Fraley and probably will be the season-opening snapper.

The birds will most likely focus their attention on keeping Runyan, if at all possible, and filling in with younger, stronger players at other positions. How Herremans recovers from his injury will play a part in what course the Eagles pursue, as well.

There are a number of decent offensive linemen that will be on the free agent market, the question is whether they'll be in the Eagles price range. The birds may elect to try to find a steal somewhere in the draft to help out.

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