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Monday, September 3, 2007

Butler's Failure Sets Line Back

Rashad Butler's inability to show growth through two camps, after the team garnered a lot of criticism for taking him a little early and seeing him come in under strength and underweight leaves the team with little to no leverage regarding the contracts of Travelle Wharton and Jordan Gross. As well, current backup RT Evan Mathis is new to the position, and a restricted free agent in 2008 also. Currently, there are no offensive tackles signed for 2008 for the team, and there's an outside shot that Justin Hartwig or Mike Wahle may either have to fill that role or be cap casualties. Were Butler able to play some this year, we'd have solid depth and options in free agency next year. As of now, we're apt to give the bank to Gross, and possibly overpay for Wharton as well, instead of having any other options.

The rest of the 2006 draft class has been somewhat fruitful, but with Butler and Will Montgomery being released, the influx of offensive line talent we had hoped to receive has disappeared, with the team suddenly looking much less deep. Montgomery's talents were duplicated by Hangartner's, and replaced by Kalil's, but the team still lacks young depth to cultivate this year for future starting.

The team still has options inside, with four solid options this year and next for the three interior line positions, but little depth compared to where the team assumed it was. The ideal of drafting line depth every year is a solid one, but the team will need to start hitting more than missing to keep from having to throw out big paydays like Wahle's, and apparently missed that opportunity with Butler as well.
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