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Guard free agency preview

Posted Mar 8, 2013


Most Bills fans are all too familiar with the fact that starting left guard Andy Levitre is set to become an unrestricted free agent this coming Tuesday if he’s not re-signed by Buffalo. What has been lost in all the speculation as to whether a deal between the Bills and Levitre can be struck, is the fact that Buffalo also has another free agent guard in Chad Rinehart, who is also a free agent. If both are not re-signed it could create quite a vacuum at the position and vault it quickly to a major position of need.

FREE AGENCY PREVIEWS: WR | TE | CB | LB | G

Here’s a look at some of the available talent besides Levitre and Rinehart that’s expected to hit the market next week.

The heavy hitters
Ramon Foster – Pittsburgh –
Strength and power is what makes up Foster’s game. Foster has the base to stymie pass rushers and hold his ground. He’s more than capable at setting a new line of scrimmage in the run game. Not as effective out in space due to average athleticism. Age 27.

Brandon Moore – NY Jets – A reliable veteran lineman, Moore is still good in all facets of offensive line play thanks to strong technical play and a boundless work ethic. Also offers leadership intangibles to an offensive front. Age 32.

Middle market
Tyronne Green – San Diego –
A slightly undersized guard with long arms, Green has enough athleticism to stay on blocks and mirror defenders in pass protection. Good recognition on twists and stunts and capable of pulling on run plays. Still improving in maintaining consistent leverage. Age 26.

Kory Lichtensteiger – Washington – Much like Levitre, Lichtensteiger relies on technique to overcome his lack of ideal size. Uses speed off the snap and quick hands to neutralize pass rushers and plays the angles well. Massive nose tackles are his only issue. Age 27.

Deuce Lutui – Tennessee – Massive guard that relies on strength and power. Not the perfect technician when it comes to sets and hand placement, but makes up for it with supreme power. Moves defensive linemen off their mark in the run game. Age 29.

Geoff Schwartz – Minnesota – A center-guard combo, Schwartz is a good-size interior lineman that wasn’t a starter for the Vikings in 2012 after being one for the Panthers the previous year. An effort blocker that uses intelligence and technique more than athleticism to execute blocks. Age 26.

Louis Vasquez – San Diego – Another wide-bodied guard that wins battles more with power than technique. Better run blocker than pass blocker, but has improved the consistency of his pass protection with effective pad level. Strong hands to steer opponents. Age 25.

Veteran options
Cooper Carlisle – Oakland

Leonard Davis – San Francisco

Ryan Lilja – Kansas City

Jake Scott – Philadelphia

Possible fits for Bills
Tyronne Green – San Diego –
Green is still improving and offers enough athleticism to be an effective addition to the line’s interior.

Ramon Foster – Pittsburgh – Not as athletic as Levitre, but powerful in the run game and capable as a pass protector. He’s also unlikely to be re-signed by a cap-strapped Pittsburgh team.

Brandon Moore – NY Jets – He’ll be 33 before next season, but everything he knows about offensive line play was taught to him by Bills head coach Doug Marrone. That makes him a viable alternative to Levitre if he’s not re-signed.