The Atlanta Falcons are already picking through the bargain bin to add competition to their shaky offensive line.
The first signing comes in the form of Vince Manuwai, a 32-year-old guard who was once one of the finest run blocking players at his position. In the mid-2000's, the team ran for well over 2,000 yards more than once, and he was often cited as one of the primary reasons for that. A 2008 ACL tear cost him all but one game of the season, and through 2009 and 2010 he played well but battled conditioning issues and the lingering effects of the injury.
Like Tatupu, Manuwai spent the entire 2011 season out of football thanks to a disastrous training camp that saw him show up injured and out of shape and lose his job. The fact that the Falcons are giving him a shot is little surprise, seeing as both Mike Smith and Dirk Koetter are familiar with the veteran.
The key factor here is whether Manuwai is healthy. I'm going to guess the Falcons got him for a year on an incentive-laden deal, so there's very little downside to giving him a shot. The right guard position that Manuwai occupied in Jacksonville was a train wreck for the Falcons throughout 2011, and if he's back in shape and motivated, he's probably still a useful run blocker. Garrett Reynolds, Joe Hawley and Sam Baker struggled to even accomplish that for long stretches last year.
If he should happen to seize the starting job, that would be amazing. If he's a decent deserve, that would be great. If he washes out, not a huge deal. Obviously, I'm hoping for one of the first two.
What do you think of Manuwai?