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NFL Free Agency: Is Jermon Bushrod A Viable Option For The Arizona Cardinals?

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For our second to last post regarding free agent tackles, we will be taking a look at New Orleans Saints left tackle, Jermon Bushrod. So far in our mini-series, we have examined players such as Tyson Clabo, Jared Gaither, Marshal Yanda, Doug Free and most recently, Jammal Brown.

Bushrod was drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 draft and is scheduled to hit free agency once the lockout is over. He took over the starting role of left tackle in 2009 when Jammal Brown went down with a season ending injury. Brown was later traded to the Washington Redskins, allowing Bushrod to have a firm grasp on the starting spot.

Bushrod is a talented tackle, coming in at #35 on the CBS top 50 free agents list. Could the Arizona Cardinals use a guy like this to bolster their porous offensive line?

Hit the jump and find out.

Jermon Bushrod is a large tackle, standing in at 6'5" and weighing approximately 315 pounds. He did not start a single game until 2009 and had only played in a total of three games during the first two years of his NFL career. After becoming the starter, he has managed to stay healthy as he played in 15 games in 2009 and all 16 last season.

Here is the Scouts, Inc. report for Jermon Bushrod:

Bushrod became a starter during his third year in the NFL after seeing action in just a total of three games in 2007 and 2008. He is a good sized tackle with long arms that allow him to control and steer opponents on by the play. He has a lot of natural power and strength which allows him to use his long arms and strong hands to control opponents. He is fluid and athletic with good body control and agility and has the lateral range to slide and shuffle while riding the pass rusher on by the pocket. He is a natural knee bender that does a good job of keeping his pad level down to leverage his blocks.

When you play for the New Orleans Saints, you better know how to be efficient in pass protection. Coach Sean Payton runs a pass heavy offense with quarterback Drew Brees, so creating a pocket to give him time is the most important job for a Saints offensive lineman.

Bushrod was pretty good at protecting his signal caller. Last season he gave up four sacks, nine hits and 49 pressures on 777 pass block snaps. That is a pressure rating of 8%.

Jermon Bushrod also reminds me quite a bit of Dallas Cowboys left tackle, Doug Free. They both protect in a pass first offense and they are also both penalized quite frequently. Free, as you may recall, racked up about 13 penalties (two were declined) last season. Bushrod was not far behind, as he was flagged for a total of ten times (two of his were declined as well). However, Free's pressure rating was only 4.9% because he gave up less quarterback hits and pressures.

Bushrod is going to get a lucrative contract, we know that. The question is, would/should the Arizona Cardinals be willing to give it to him? I would be for a roster move of this caliber. I doubt Bushrod will command the same type of money as a Gaither, Free or Clabo, as I think he is a tier below them in terms of free agent linemen (just my opinion). He is still only 26, so I would much rather bring him in than a wounded veteran like Jammal Brown. He could immediately come in and start at left tackle, forcing Levi Brown to the inside of the line where he could become more productive.

A potential lineup could look like this (from left to right):

Bushrod-Brown-Sendlein-Hadnot/Lutui-Keith

What do you say Cardinals fans? Should the Arizona Cardinals go and get Jermon Bushrod?