We recently wrote about Ryan Schraeder being one of the disappointments of the 2018 season. For a player who turns 31 before the season begins, there are legitimate concerns that the decline we saw in 2018 could be a permanent one. If that’s the case, the Falcons may look to free up some cap space and let Schraeder go. It would be a sad end for a player that was good for several years. That said, if the team does decide that they’re better off without him, there are a few options for them to consider.
Re-sign Ty Sambrailo
After trading for the banged up tackle in 2017, Sambrailo has been an enigma while with the Falcons. At times he has looked absolutely awful, but in limited starts at the end of the 2018 season, he fared pretty well. Ty will only be 27 once the 2019 season begins and there’s a fair chance he can be signed for a relatively inexpensive deal. Given that he played adequately to finish the season, the team has already shown they’re comfortable with him starting on a limited basis. He may not be the most inspiring option, but he’s a known quantity that the Falcons may opt for if the contract is cheap enough.
Give Matt Gono a shot
There was some buzz about Gono during the 2018 preseason. The rookie out of Wesley College certainly looks the part of an NFL tackle. The Falcons kept Gono on the 53-man roster all year, a sign that they liked his long-term potential at tackle. Though he was rarely active during the 2018 season, Gono could be the next Ryan Schraeder in the making. It’s hard to know just how good (or bad) Gono will be since we haven’t seen him play a regular season snap. This option is certainly a risky one, but the only want to find out if he’s a long term solution is to give him real, meaningful snaps in the games that count.
Look towards the draft
The Falcons have several holes to fill on the roster going into the draft, with the offensive line featuring a few of them. Finding a capable right tackle isn’t considered to be as hard as finding a protector on the blindside, but it is still no guarantee either. The team could look for a long-term fix at right tackle early on day 2, with the hope that a quality player falls to them. Our own Kevin Knight has some thoughts on who the team should consider.
What are your thoughts on how the team might replace Ryan Schraeder in 2019?