What Is The Future Of The Falcon Offensive Line?

Kevin C. Cox

The Atlanta Falcons may have vacancies along the line after 2014.

Let's clear this out immediately: The Falcons have done a nice job of upgrading two massive trouble spots along the offensive line, inking Jon Asamoah to a multi-year deal at right guard and drafting Jake Matthews to temporarily lock down right tackle. The line is likely to be significantly improved for the upcoming season just based on those two moves.

What interests me during this slow week is the future of the line. Matthews is the heir apparent at left tackle and Asamoah will hopefully handle right guard for the next five years of his contract, but the rest of the line is actually quite unsettled going forward.

  • Left guard features Justin Blalock and not much else. He's 30 years old and his contract runs through the end of the 2016 season.
  • Center is Joe Hawley, signed to a fairly reasonable two-year deal, and Peter Konz. James Stone has been intriguing early, but he's a UDFA and isn't a lock to make the roster this year, let alone seize a significant role going forward.
  • Right tackle likely won't be Sam Baker's gig, which leaves Lamar Holmes (signed through 2015), Gabe Carimi (one-year deal), Mike Johnson (one-year deal) and Ryan Schraeder (a UDFA from last year). One of those guys could and might just step up, but obviously I'm not comfortable guaranteeing that.
At the moment, that's two positions potentially quite unsettled after 2015, with another likely to be vacated after 2016. The Falcons will have plenty of cap space and a couple of draft classes to remedy that, of course, but it's worth noting that there aren't any concrete long-term options on the roster at multiple positions along the line.

Now that I've laid out that reality for you, give me your best take. Are there players on the roster who will be around for the long haul, or are the Falcons going to be shopping for line help again in 2015 and beyond?
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