2023 NFL free agency interior offensive linemen market: Breaking down top players at center, guard positions
As you probably already know, the official start of the 2023 NFL season is only a few weeks away. The league’s new year kicks off in mid-March, and teams will spend the next few months trying to upgrade their rosters so they can potentially beat the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs next season.
Part of this process, of course, is freedom of action. With that in mind, we’re looking at players likely to be signed this offseason. We will change position after position starting this week on the attacking side of the ball. We have already covered runners and wide receivers, and continue below with inside offensive linemen. However, instead of ranking line players, we are going to break them down by position and give you an overview of the available player types.
|Sam Mustifer||The Bears||RFA||98.7%||27|
Often teams with young quarterbacks enter the free agent market looking for a veteran center to pair with. This player can help handle the challenges and defense at the line of scrimmage, allowing the quarterback to focus on every other aspect of his incredibly difficult job. Think, for example, of the Bills bringing in Mitch Morse or the Chargers signing Corey Linsley.
Among this group there are some quality starters, although not necessarily high quality players. Specifically, Brendel, Pocic and McGovern were ranked eighth, ninth and 11th in the Pro Football Focus pass-blocking rankings last season, while Pocic finished fifth, Bradbury ninth, McGovern 10th and Bozeman – 13th in pass blocking rating. Mastifer, a restricted free agent, performed well in the running game, but had serious problems as a passing guard throughout his career. Either of these can be a viable option for teams looking to fortify a defensive position in the offensive line.
There are a bunch of quality starters out there. Powers was one of our most accessible offensive free agentsand at 27 he should still have a lot of good football ahead of him. Stinney was in line to start with the Bucks last year until he suffered an injury in preseason. Stafford has always been in the starting line-up and while he is no longer who he used to be, he can be a reliable blocker in the interior. If you want to try a younger player and hope he gets better over the course of his second contract, McGovern and Edwards could make a lot of sense. Risner took a step back last season, but so did the Broncos’ offense. Perhaps a change of scenery might help. In addition, Skura, Garcia, Pugh and Ferenc have a wealth of experience and can be counted on as rotational starters.
|Michael Schofield||The Bears||UFA||40.5%||33|
|Greg Van Roten||accounts||UFA||32.7%||33|
Seumalo was a tenacious player in the league’s best offensive line, and the Eagles may have had too many other players to pay to be able to keep him after his contract is voided. He would be a fantastic addition to anyone who signs him up. Other die-hard veterans here include Turner, Hernandez, Brunskill and Davis, though none of them are as consistent or as quality as Seumalo. Other players such as Duvernay-Tardif, Van Roten, Schweitzer, Abushi and Ford can contribute to the rotation, while Brown looked great as a blocker and not so good at pass defense for the Lions last season. Sharping was forced into action towards the end of the Cincinnati playoffs and was fine. He and the rest of the crippled Bengal line held up well against the Bills but were overwhelmed by the Chiefs.