LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Head coach Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals talks with Levi Brown #75 before the start of their game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 18, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
When a quality, starting caliber left tackle hits free agency in their prime, you don't simply shrug and get on with your lives. That's particularly true if you're the Atlanta Falcons.
Demetrius Bell and Jared Gaither were the only two starting-caliber tackles of note in the free agent market, but it looks increasingly likely that they'll be joined by Levi Brown of the Arizona Cardinals. The 27-year-old was the fifth overall pick in the NFL Draft back in 2007, and since being installed as a full-time starter in 2008, he hasn't missed a single game. But what I failed to mention was his woes against the pass rush.
Why would the Cardinals release him? Because his cap hit in 2012 is going to be a staggering $17 million, which makes it all but cost-prohibitive to keep him around. According to Jason La Canfora, negotiations aimed at getting the team out from under that cap rock have not gone well, and the Cardinals may just decide to free up an enormous amount of salary and let him go.
UPDATE: I'll be honest, I wrote this sucker up in the dead of night and quickly to get something in front of you for discussion purposes. As a result, I did not do the level of homework you guys expect from me, and I overstated his credentials.You can read Pete E. Tong's comments for more on that, but suffice to say he allowed double digit sacks and a ton of pressures.
Cardinals fans will tell you he improved late last year, but still, he's probably not going to be worth the price.
How do you think Brown would fit with the Falcons?