2016 NFL Free Agents: Guards

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2016 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2016.
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  1. Kelechi Osemele, G/OT, Ravens. Age: 27.
    Signed with Raiders (5 years, $58.5 million)

    Already a very talented guard, Kelechi Osemele helped his earning potential this offseason by playing and thriving at left tackle in the wake of Eugene Monroe being injured. Teams value versatility up front, and Osemele has proven that he has plenty of it.

  2. Josh Sitton, G, Packers. Age: 30.
    Signed with Bears (3 years)

    Josh Sitton is one of the best guards in the NFL, and it’s a total mystery as to why the Packers cut him. Sitton had injury issues last year, but he’s still just 30, and interior linemen tend to play well into their mid-30s. I don’t understand why Green Bay released him.

  3. Evan Mathis, G, Broncos. Age: 34.
    Signed with Cardinals (1 year, $6 million)

    Evan Mathis got off to a slow start in 2015 because of an injury, but his play picked up as the year progressed, and he eventually reestablished himself as one of the top guards in the NFL, leaving Philadelphia fans wondering why Chip Kelly got rid of his Pro Bowl guard. Mathis’ age is a concern – he turns 35 in November – but he should still have a couple of strong seasons remaining.

  4. Alex Boone, G, 49ers. Age: 29.
    Signed with Vikings

    Alex Boone is coming off a down year, but which Niner isn’t? Boone is one of the better interior linemen in the NFL, and he’ll be only 29 in May, so he still has at least four years of high productivity remaining.

  5. Jeff Allen, G, Chiefs. Age: 26.
    Signed with Texans (4 years, $28 million)

    It was absolutely ridiculous that Andy Reid didn’t use Jeff Allen in the first half of the season. It was completely unprofessional on his part. Allen is one of the better guards in the NFL.

  6. Richie Incognito, G, Bills. Age: 33.
    Re-signed with Bills (3 years)

    If it weren’t for Richie Incognito’s age (33 in July) and possible character issues, he’d easily be a 4.5-star player. He was fantastic for the Bills this past season. It was great to see him get another chance after that stupid Bullygate scandal was blown out of proportion by idiots on Twitter and in the media.

  7. Ramon Foster, G, Steelers. Age: 30.
    Re-signed with Steelers (3 years)

    Ramon Foster has done a great job of improving his game, as he has gone from a passable starter to a strong blocker over the past few years. Foster turned 30 in early January, so he should be able to perform on a high level for about three more years.

  8. Mike Harris, G, Vikings. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Vikings (1 year)

    Mike Harris had never been a full-time starter before 2015. He took advantage of the opportunity and ran (blocked?) with it. The Vikings slid him inside to guard after he was stationed at tackle for the first three years of his career, and he was exceptional in all regards.

  9. Matt Slauson, G, Bears. Age: 30.
    Signed with Chargers (2 years)

    It’s a bit puzzling as to why the Bears cut Matt Slauson. He was owed less than $3 million, and he was still playing well this past season. Slauson just turned 30, so it’s not like he’s going to completely regress in the next couple of years.

  10. Brandon Brooks, G, Texans. Age: 27.
    Signed with Eagles (5 years, $40 million)

    Brandon Brooks is a solid pass protector. He isn’t as good in terms of run blocking, but he’s a quality guard nonetheless.

  11. Jahri Evans, G, Saints. Age: 33.
    Re-signed with Saints

    Jahri Evans used to be a perennial Pro Bowler, but that’s not the case anymore, as injuries have sapped his talent. Evans is still a decent starter though, so he could play well for another year or two despite the fact that he’ll turn 33 in August.

  12. Chris Chester, G, Falcons. Age: 33.
    Re-signed with Falcons

    Chris Chester isn’t strong in pass protection, but he happened to be a primary reason for Devonta Freeman’s outburst. Chester, however, has turned 33, so he doesn’t have too many quality seasons remaining in the tank.

  13. Louis Vasquez, G, Broncos. Age: 29.
    Louis Vasquez had always been a mediocre starting guard until this past season. He struggled mightily, prompting the Broncos to cut him. However, he was simply miscast in Gary Kubiak’s zone-blocking scheme, so he could rebound elsewhere.

  14. Manuel Ramirez, G/C, Lions. Age: 33.
    Signed with Bears

    Manuel Ramirez was basically just thrown into the draft-day deal when the Lions and Broncos swapped picks. Ramirez, after all, struggled in Denver. However, he took advantage of his new situation and thrived whenever he was asked to step into the lineup.

  15. Amini Silatolu, G, Panthers. Age: 27.
    Signed with Bears

    Amini Silatolu is a talented guard, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Silatolu has two torn ACLs in the past three years.

  16. Geoff Schwartz, G, Giants. Age: 30.
    Signed with Lions

    Geoff Schwartz is a very skilled blocker, but he has missed 21 games in the past two seasons. He’s just not reliable, and to make matters worse, he said that he’s dealing with nerve damage in his foot.

  17. Tim Lelito (RFA), G, Saints. Age: 27.
    Tendered by Saints

    Tim Lelito struggled mightily in pass protection this past season, but he was a mauler in run blocking, helping Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower have success.

  18. Ben Grubbs, G, Chiefs. Age: 32.
    The Chiefs cut Ben Grubbs on his birthday, which was a nice present, I’m sure. Grubbs played OK last year before sustaining a neck injury in the middle of the season. He failed his physical, meaning the injury might be serious. A hurt, 32-year-old isn’t very appealing, but Grubbs could be a nice buy-low option if he eventually checks out medically.

  19. Zane Beadles, G, Jaguars. Age: 29.
    Signed with 49ers (3 years)

    The Jaguars signed Zane Beadles to an insane 5-year, $30 million deal two years ago, so it’s no surprise that he’s no longer on the team. Beadles has been OK at times throughout his career, but struggled mightily in 2015. Perhaps he’ll rebound, but there’s no way he’s getting anything close to what Jacksonville paid him two springs ago.

  20. Patrick Omameh, G, Bears. Age: 26. — Signed with the Jaguars
  21. J.R. Sweezy, G, Seahawks. Age: 27. — Signed with Buccaneers
  22. Kraig Urbik, G, Bills. Age: 30. — Signed with Dolphins
  23. Matt Tobin (RFA), G, Eagles. Age: 26. — Re-signed with Eagles
  24. Ronald Leary (RFA), G, Cowboys. Age: 27. — Tendered by Cowboys (2nd)
  25. Vlad Ducasse, G, Bears. Age: 28. — Signed with Ravens
  26. Tony Bergstrom, G, Raiders. Age: 30. — Signed with Texans
  27. Chris Scott, G, Panthers. Age: 29. — Re-signed with Panthers
  28. Ryan Jensen (RFA), G, Ravens. Age: 25.
  29. Johnnie Troutman, G, Chargers. Age: 28.
  30. Mackenzy Bernadeau, G, Cowboys. Age: 30. — Signed with Jaguars (2 years)
  31. Lane Taylor (RFA), G, Packers. Age: 26. — Re-signed with Packers (2 years)
  32. Mike McGlynn, G, Saints. Age: 31.
  33. Dallas Reynolds, G, Giants. Age: 32.
  34. Austin Pasztor (RFA), G, Browns. Age: 26. — Re-signed with Browns
  35. Lemuel Jeanpierre, G, Seahawks. Age: 29.
  36. David Arkin, G, Rams. Age: 28.
  37. Ben Ijalana, G, Jets. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Jets

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