The Falcons had to do something about their offensive line. They just had to. The trouble the team had in the third exhibition game of the preseason in Miami proved the fears of the fans were legit. And the front office did something to try and help the situation Friday.
Atlanta traded a sixth-round pick and a conditional pick in 2017 to the Titans for six-year veteran Andy Levitre. For a team that has had a revolving door on the O-line the past two years due to injuries, Levitre will be a welcomed addition. Levitre has not missed a start in his four years with Buffalo and the last two in Tennessee.
After Justin Blalock was released during the offseason and veteran Jon Asamoah was benched, the Falcons have needed help at the guard position. Asamoah has been replaced by veteran Chris Chester, who has experience in the zone blocking scheme used by new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. James Stone and Mike Person have been battling to replace Blalock.
Levitre had signed a six-year deal two years ago worth $46.8 million and $13 million in guaranteed money. But last year Levitre allowed six sacks in 988 snaps and the Titans’ front office soured on him. There was even talk Levitre might be cut by the Titans before the roster deadline, but a trade was worked out instead.
Despite playing in every game in his career, Levitre has had injury issues. He had knee surgery and then a hip injury that limited him in 2013, and then last year before training camp Levitre had an appendectomy.
Here is a note from Atlanta Falcons.com: Based on the numbers and scouting reports, Levitre was one of the NFL’s premier offensive linemen from 2011 through 2013. During those seasons, he registered the fifth-, eighth- and 13th-best Pro Football Focus ratings among qualifying guards; additionally, his OL in Buffalo allowed the fewest sacks in the league in 2011. Although 2014 didn’t go well for the Titans, Levitre tallied a positive PFF grade in each of his last five appearances with Tennessee.
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at email@example.com.
Falcons trade for Andy Levitre
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