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Every week I will be taking a sneak peak into some of the more realistic options hitting the free agency market this offseason. These will be high impact players that should come in and fill some much-needed holes on the current Dolphins roster
With the ever-increasing likelihood that Jake Long will not return, one of the most pressing needs facing the Dolphins this year is at offensive tackle. While it is important that Jeff Ireland finds those playmakers this year, it is also imperative that we protect second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill. To make those throws, you need to give your young quarterback time in the pocket. It's also imperative that the offensive line creates holes for the running back. Sure, we are a pass-first team right now, but we need Lamar Miller to build on the promise that he showed during his rookie year. One such offensive lineman that could perform that role for us this year is projected free agent Gosder Cherilus, of the Detroit Lions.
Gosder Cherilus has quietly emerged as one of the best right tackles in the NFL in recent seasons. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the seventh best tackle in 2012, and in the top half of all tackles in 2011. One of the first things to consider is the NFL experience Cherilus would bring to this football team. At twenty-eight years old, the former Boston College product has played five seasons on the offensive line. And of those five seasons, Cherilus has only missed five games due to injury. He's an extremely durable player. More good news for Ryan Tannehill is that the twenty- eight year old is a reliable pass blocker, allowing only five sacks last year. In short, Cherilus would bring experience, reliability and stability to the offensive line in 2013. By tackling one of our biggest needs in Free Agency, it would allow the Dolphins to make a big push towards the skill positions in the draft.
Gosder Cherilus may also not be as expensive as people think. We all know that the draft has some very good prospects at tackle this year. But it is also interesting that there is good depth at the position in Free Agency too, with our very own Jake Long, Sebastian Vollmer, and Phil Loadholt being some of the big names projected to be up for grabs next month. Because of this, don't be surprised to see the contracts offered to some of these tackles be slightly lower than the contracts given to offensive lineman in past years.
However, Cherilus has given away his fair share of penalties last season. In 2012 he committed twelve penalties. This can really hurt an offense by giving away extra yards to the defense. Having said this, I don't think Cherilus is a dirty player. Prior to 2012 he had five penalties or fewer each year between 2008 and 2011. His penalties are something to keep an eye on, but they shouldn't be a huge concern.
It has also come out in recent days that the player has reportedly flown to Europe to have the Regenokine procedure on his knee this offseason, albeit something the player himself denies. Is this something to be concerned about? I'm not sure. What I do know is that the procedure isn't uncommon. American sports players including Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, New York Yankees standout Alex Rodriguez and LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant have all had the treatment. The procedure is also said to have a seventy-five percent success rate. Again, this is something to keep an eye on, but it shouldn't be a major concern moving forward.
What he says
If you play your heart out for what your jersey says on the front, everyone will remember what it says on the http://instagr.am/p/O5asKRxnT2/
What they say
Impending free agent RT Gosder Cherilus "might not be" in the Lions' plans for 2013.
Detroit has 2011 first-round pick OT Riley Reiff waiting in the wings for a starting spot, and veteran LT Jeff Backus is under contract for next season. The Lions are also well over the salary cap. Cherilus, 28, graded out as Pro Football Focus' No. 2 right tackle in the league in 2012, excelling as a pass blocker. Jan 20 - 12:02 PM
Source: Dave Birkett on Twitter
Overall, Gosder Cherilus would be a sound addition on the offensive line. He has the character and work ethic that coaches will love, while he has demonstrated very good play to warrant him being a starting right tackle. While the prospect of him joining the Dolphins may be overshadowed by the more flashy free agent signings, it's imperative that Tannehill is adequately protected moving forward next season.