Jaguars Add Depth on Offensive Line

With the recent injury to center Brad Meester and his somewhat questionable return date, the Jaguars got offensive and signed free agent guard Chris Liwienski to a contract.

Liwienski is entering his tenth year in the league, and has started the majority of six seasons with Minnesota, Arizona, and then Miami after being selected in the seventh round of the 1998 draft (207th overall) by the Detroit Lions.

Liwienski started 14 of the Dolphins 16 games a year ago and found himself victim to a change in regime.

"It was a hell of an opportunity in terms of the numbers at the time that I signed, and Coach Cameron was here, and the Fort Lauderdale and Miami area is a pretty nice place to live," said the Jaguars newest lineman. "I'm pretty much at the back end of my career, so that was definitely a factor in my decision."

When Liwienski landed in Miami, a starting job was anything but guaranteed. The veteran guard had to work hard and earn his playing time, despite reuniting with former coach Cam Cameron.

"I knew the opportunity was there," said Liwienski. "I didn't know exactly how things were going to pan out. But I knew I'd be coming in to compete, either push somebody or take the job myself."

JagNation asked Dolphins Digest publisher Alain Poupart to give us a complete scouting report on Liwienski, and here's what he came up with—

Liwienski is a guy who's been around and always finds a job because he's a good guy and because he's solid. But he's also bounced around because he's not a great offensive lineman.

He started all but two games last season for the Dolphins, but that was more an indictment of their offensive line than a credit to Liwienski. He was benched for two games in favor of Cory Lekkerkerker, but was put back into the lineup after Lekkerkerker was called for a crucial penalty. Liwienski is a smart player who doesn't make the really bad mistake, but he's not a great athlete and he won't overpower anyone.

He was an unrestricted free agent this year, and the Dolphins made no effort whatsoever to re-sign him; they didn't even make him a qualifying offer by the June 1 deadline, which is why the Jags were able to sign past the July 22 deadline to sign free agents. As a backup, Liwienski is a good addition. But if he has to be in the lineup for an extended period of time, the offensive line will suffer.

The statistics say that Liwienski has played in 126 games in his career and started 94 of them. He certainly has experience, but if Jaguars fans are looking at this deal as anything more than emergency depth, they may have false hopes. Most solid offensive lineman aren't available in late July, but you never know.

Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.

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