Free agent outlook: Offensive guards

One story in a series of free agents by position that may warrant pursuit from other teams. Today - a look at offensive guards:

 One story in a series of free agents by position that may warrant pursuit from other teams. Today - a look at offensive guards:

 Rick Braham, Cincinnati (unrestricted): Has shown versatility by playing both center and guard. Braham is a strong run blocker who has helped lead the way for running back Corey Dillon.

 Ray Brown, Detroit (unrestricted): Even though the 17th year veteran has declined, the Lions likely want him back. Brown can be a veteran asset for a Detroit team that is building. New head coach Steve Mariucci, who coached Brown in San Francisco, knows that.

 Mo Collins, Oakland (unrestricted): Collins was drafted to play left tackle in 1998 but has made a smooth transition to right guard. Durability is the only concern but if he leaves, Collins would leave a big void on the Raiders line.

 Lennie Friedman, Denver (possible salary cap cut): Friedman is an adequate starter who has played well in Denver's scheme but might struggle to start for most clubs.

 Steve McKinney, Houston (unrestricted): Is versatile enough to play guard or center. McKinney rarely misses an assignment and has been a reliable starter.

 Edwin Mulitalo, Baltimore (unrestricted): Would be a solid pickup for any club but the Ravens have righted their salary cap problems. Mulitalo is not the greatest athlete but the 340-pounder is powerful.

 Jamar Nesbit, Carolina (unrestricted): In a best-case scenario, Nesbit is a versatile backup but can be a starter who is capable of playing both guard and center.

 Tom Nutten, St. Louis (unrestricted): Nutten is an aging starter, 31, that lacks the strength and mobility but is still an effective technician.

 Randy Thomas, New York Jets (unrestricted): Not an upper echelon guard but the best of the free agents. Thomas, however, has developed into one of the better ones at his position who is still improving.

 Zach Wiegert, Jacksonville (unrestricted): A versatile player who has started at both guard and tackle but is a better fit for guard.

 Vince D'Adamo can be reached via e-mail at vdad7@yahoo.com


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