2013 Cap hit for all G/Cs on roster ($12.515m) – 11.7% of team spend Players under contract: Steve Hutchinson (6’5”, 313) – 35 years old 2013 Cap Number - $6.75m ($4.75m salary + $1.5m SB pro-rata + $0.5m Roster bonus) 2014 Cap Number – $6.5m ($5m salary + $1.5m SB pro-rata) 2015 Cap Number - UFA Eugene Amano (6,3”, 300) – 30 years old 2013 Cap Number - $5.753m ($3.685m salary + $0.618m roster bonus + $1.45m SB pro-rata) 2014 Cap Number – $6.255m ($4.187m salary + $0.618m roster bonus + $1.45m SB pro-rata) 2015 Cap Number – UFA Mitch Petrus (6’3”, 315) – 25 years old 2013 Cap Number - $0.64m 2014 Cap Number - UFA Expired Contracts Leroy Harris Deuce Lutui Fernando Velasco Kevin Matthews (RFA) Kyle DeVan 3 burning questions (I wish there was only 3!!!) 1. Will Hutch retire? He was serviceable for most of this season (nothing more), but that now makes 3 seasons in a row where he hasn’t been able to see out 16 games. At 35 years old, I think he probably pulls the pin, leaving another mammoth hole in our line. 2. Is Velasco a keeper at Center? Velasco was maturing into a pretty serviceable Center for us and I think they will try and bring him back. His versatility is an added bonus. I have seen conflicting reports about whether he is a RFA or UFA, but the consensus seems to be that he is headed for Unrestricted Free Agency, which means we should try and sign him to a decent contract before March. If he is in fact a RFA, then I’d give him a 2nd round tender. 3. Is Amano done? For the 3rd highest paid C in the NFL, the return hasn’t been worthwhile. I think there is a good chance they force him into a re-negotiation to free up some cap room, because he is no longer a sure-fire starter in my view. Free Agency: We absolutely have to be a player here. I acknowledge that Munchak has stated a desire to draft an interior lineman, but we can’t go into the draft without a plan B in case the best prospects don’t represent value when we are on the clock. Some good targets available, and C/G’s are rarely franchised because the tag numbers for O-Line are grouped and inflated by the high contracts paid to LTs. Andy Levitre Louis Vasquez Lance Louis Kevin Boothe Derrick Dockery Evan Dietrich-Smith (RFA) Jeff Linkenbach (G/T) (RFA) Ryan Lilja Russ Hochstein Geoff Schwartz (G/T) Brandon Moore Matt Slauson Kory Lichtinstiger Possible Cap Casualties: Adam Snyder Stephen Peterman Jeff Saturday Charlie Johnson Chris Snee David Baas Jonathon Goodwin Potential Draft Targets: As referenced above, Munchak has declared a willingness to take an offensive linemen early. As I mentioned in my OT preview, I could easily see this as being a guy like DJ Fluker, who is listed as an OT, but may start his career in the pros as a Guard before kicking out to RT. As far as pure guards and centers go: 1st Round Chance Warmack, Alabama Jonathon Cooper, North Carolina 2nd-3rd Round Garrett Jones, Alabama (C) Larry Warford, Kentucky Travis Frederick, Wisconsin Brian Schwenke, Cal (C) Khaled Holmes, USC (C) 4th Round and later Alvin Bailey, Arkansas Brian Winters, Kent State My Favorite Draft Target: Jonathon Cooper, North Carolina Summary What a bloody mess. We have 3 players under contract. One of whom is likely to retire, one who is grossly overpaid and one who was awful in their brief time on the field this season. This position is about as bad as it gets and we have no base to build around. If the team doesn’t makeover this group in the off-season, fans can rightly feel aggrieved. My take I have no idea why so many interior linemen were brought in last off-season but none signed (other than Hutch). A repeat of that is unacceptable. We need to at least get this position solidified in free agency and then look at options for the future through the draft. Levitre is my #1 free agent target across the board. Boothe (NYG), Lilja (KC) and Vasquez (SD) would be my next 3 targets and I think failing to sign at least one of these guys would be a significant let-down. Of our own Free Agents, I think Velasco comes back and Lutui is also given an offer to return (certainly without a promise of a starting position). I keep Amano at least through the draft because he has proven he can be depth, but if we improve the position during Free Agency sufficiently, he could well be a casualty. Warmack is obviously the draft jewel and if we were picking 5-10 spots later, he’d be our #1 target. I don’t see it in the first round.