After having looked at the inside linebacker position last week, we will now be switching gears and looking towards the offensive line, specifically the tackle position. As we all know, the offensive line of the Arizona Cardinals is currently in shambles. Levi Brown is the only starter from last year that is currently under contract and even if Arizona did bring back the likes of Deuce Lutui, Lyle Sendlein and Brandon Keith, they will still need to find some help for depth and a left guard.
Luckily for Coach Ken Whisenhunt, there are many viable options that will be available once the lockout is lifted. One of these options happens to be Tyson Clabo, a right tackle from the Atlanta Falcons. Clabo comes in at the tenth spot on the CBS top 50 free agents list.
Hit the jump to find out more about Tyson Clabo and why he would be an excellent target for the Arizona Cardinals.
After playing the past five seasons for the Atlanta Falcons, Tyson Clabo could be searching for a big payday once free agency is open. Standing in at 6'6" and 331 pounds, Clabo has the body type and experience that Russ Grimm would die for in an offensive lineman. Still relatively young at the age of 29, Clabo has shown that he has the ability to remain healthy and effective as he has played in all 16 games for the past three seasons.
Here is what Scouts, Inc. has to say about Tyson Clabo:
Since signing with the Falcons in 2006 he has started all 53 games he has played in, including the last 32. He is a massive lineman with above-average athleticism and adequate initial quickness. He is Atlanta's right tackle but has the versatility to play both guard and center. He is a smart lineman who understands blocking schemes and angles. He is not a natural knee-bender but does work to keep his pad level down to leverage blocks, and has enough mass and strength to get some push on a consistent basis when drive blocking. He knows how to use his hands to control and steer opponents and plays with an aggressive style that allows him to finish blocks. He has enough balance and body control to sustain and react as a pass-blocker.
What this report tells me is that Clabo has the versatility to play at almost every position on the line and he will be an asset to whatever team signs him. Besides not being a, "knee-bender," the guy is a pretty polished lineman. He allowed a total of six sacks, five quarterback hits and 25 pressures throughout the 2010 season. He was a part of a line that allowed only one sack when they played Arizona last season (which really isn't saying much, but I wanted to throw this stat in somewhere).
Also, here is a list of transactions and the teams that the young tackle has been on (via atlantafalcons.com):
Originally signed by the Denver as an undrafted rookie free agent on April 26, 2004. Waived by the Broncos on September 5. Signed by the New York Giants practice squad on September 7. Released from the Giants practice squad on September 21. Signed to the San Diego practice squad on October 5. Released by the Chargers on October 11. Signed by the Broncos on December 21. Allocated to the Hamburg Sea Devils of NFL Europa. Waived by the Denver on September 3, 2005. Signed to the Falcons practice squad on September 21, 2005 and was re-signed by the Falcons on January 2, 2006.
So it took four NFL teams and two stints with the Broncos for someone to realize the kid had skills? Easy to see why the Broncos had the number two overall pick, they suck at everything.
Yes, Tyson will want a lot of money from any team asking him to leave Atlanta. He is the best free agent offensive lineman available and if the Cardinals were to get him, they could re-sign Brandon Keith for a relatively cheap price and move him to guard. This would allow Deuce Lutui to walk, as he will command a large amount of money in the free market as well. For a team that allowed 38 sacks last season, signing a guy like Clabo certainly couldn't hurt the structure of the Cardinals offensive line.
Personally, I am all in for the Cardinals pursuing Clabo. He is a hard worker and a guy that is willing to do what it takes to protect his quarterback and help his team win the game. As a bonus, here is an awesome story about Clabo written by Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter.
An offensive line of Brown-Hadnot-Sendlein-Keith-Clabo sounds pretty good to me.
What do you say Cardinals fans? Is Clabo worth considering?
This is the only video I could find on Tyson Clabo, but personally I love it. It shows a lot of character and it shows that he wants to be in the game helping out his team at all costs.