2008 Free Agents: Offensive Tackles

The emergence of Ryan Cook as a serviceable starter keeps the Vikings from being forced into signing a free-agent tackle. There could be a number of backups and former starters available at the position, including a number of former Vikings. We list the tackles scheduled for free agency in March.

A year ago at this time, many Vikings fans felt the team needed to add an offensive tackle to supplant Ryan Cook. The former University of New Mexico center was still getting accustomed to playing outside at tackle in the NFL and it showed.

One year later, Cook has showed improvement and says he is getting more and more comfortable with the different techniques required at right tackle. He still isn't irreplaceable, but the Vikings can at least go into free agency knowing that they don't have to find a starting tackle. With Bryant McKinnie and his large, long-term contract manning the left side, the team isn't forced into overspending on the open market.

However, depth and the long-term future of the players at the position might be an issue. Artis Hicks has the flexibility to play tackle in a pinch, but he is more of a guard. Chase Johnson was on the 53-man roster throughout the 2007 season, but he was an undrafted rookie last year and is still learning the nuances of the professional game.

And then there is still the lingering question of where Cook will ultimately end up. For this season, anyway, he is expected to remain the starting right tackle. However, center Matt Birk has only one year left on his contract and the team and Birk haven't reached an agreement for an extension. If they don't before free agency in 2009, the St. Paul native could look to close out his career elsewhere. In that case – albeit an unlikely scenario at this early stage – Cook might be asked to move back inside to center, leaving the Vikings with a need at right tackle.

For now, however, the starters at the position look to be set for 2008. Anything beyond that is never a given in the NFL.

With that, there are a number of at least backup options at offensive tackle scheduled to be available in free agency, including a few ex-Vikings. We list the unrestricted and restricted tackles scheduled for free agency in March, along with their years of NFL service listed in parentheses.


Jordan Gross, Carolina Panthers (5)
Travelle Wharton, Carolina Panthers (4)
Nat Dorsey, Cleveland Browns (4)
Flozell Adams, Dallas Cowboys (10)
Barry Stokes, Detroit Lions (10)
Maurice Williams, Jacksonville Jaguars (7)
Kyle Turley, Kansas City Chiefs (9)*
Mike Rosenthal, Miami Dolphins (9)
Cornell Green, Oakland Raiders (8)
Max Starks, Pittsburgh Steelers (4)
Sean Locklear, Seattle Seahawks (4)
Floyd Womack, Seattle Seahawks (7)
Brandon Gorin, St. Louis Rams (6)
Todd Steussie, St. Louis Rams (14)
Jason Fabini, Washington Redskins (10)


Adam Kieft, Cincinnati Bengals (3)
Will Svitek, Kansas City Cheifs (3)
Cory Lekkerkerker, Miami Dolphins (3)
Trai Essex, Pittsburgh Steelers (3)
Daniel Loper, Tennessee Titans (3)
David Stewart, Tennessee Titans (3)

* Expected to retire

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