Post by Guvmintcheeze on Jul 28, 2015 20:06:49 GMT
Jake Long works out for Atlanta Falcons
After receiving a medical exam and check up from the Giants in East Rutherford, free agent tackle Jake Long left without a contract. Play NFL Fantasy Football!
Now, the No. 1 overall pick from the 2008 draft is headed to Atlanta for another examination, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports.
ESPN first reported the workout.
Long was a salary cap casualty in St. Louis after sustaining his second career ACL tear back in 2014. Though he'd only missed seven career games before the unfortunate injury in 2014, the strength of his knee remains an issue for teams.
When healthy, Long is still one of the league's premiere offensive tackles and could very well challenge Ryan Schraeder on the right side depending on the team's plans for 2014 first-round pick Jake Matthews.
If nothing else, Long's presence alone could help Matthews, who toughed his way through an injury during his rookie season to mixed results.
Dagnabbit, if this dude is healthy, our luck might be about to change. If Matthews is healthy, I'm thinking an o-line of Matthews, Chester, Hawley, Asamoah and Long is pretty solid. Especially running a ZBS with emphasis on the run game and a lot of rollouts.
Post by Guvmintcheeze on Jul 29, 2015 17:58:32 GMT
Unclear where Atlanta Falcons stand with Jake Long
Vaughn McClure, ESPN Staff Writer
The Atlanta Falcons obviously are looking into all options to improve the offensive line.
As ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Tuesday, the Falcons brought in 2008 first-overall pick Jake Long for a physical and workout. He did not immediately sign with the team. And ESPN's Dan Graziano reported Long is in New York Wednesday for another visit with the New York Giants.
That doesn't automatically take the Falcons out of the mix, if they are at all interested. But it's not a good sign when a player leaves town.
The Falcons need depth at offensive tackle, with starting left tackle Jake Matthews' status for training camp unclear coming off foot surgery to repair a torn Lisfranc ligament. Matthews was limited during the offseason but felt confident about being fully ready for training camp. Ryan Schraeder appears to have locked down a starting spot at right tackle but behind him and Matthews, there isn't much to rave about.
Lamar Holmes appears destined to start camp on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) after breaking his foot during minicamp. Holmes, who was demoted from first-team left tackle during minicamp while replacing Matthews, will be on the roster bubble once he gets healthy.
Veteran Tyler Polumbus, who started 42 games at right tackle for the Washington Redskins, didn't really impress upon joining the Falcons this offseason. He ended minicamp playing some left tackle, but he might not give the Falcons the added insurance they desired at the position.
So what about Long? He turned 30 in May and is coming off a second consecutive ACL surgery. He started all 16 games in each of his first three seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Then Long missed 16 games the last four seasons with both the Dolphins and St. Louis Rams. He is probably viewed more as a backup than a starter at this point in his career.
The Falcons need lineman capable of getting out and running to block in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's outside-zone blocking scheme. If Long's knee issues keep him from doing such, there's no reason to sign him.
Here is one team's report on Long prior to the start of the 2014 season:
"Tough and aggressive. One of the better run-blocking left tackles in the league. His pass protection has declined as he struggles to mirror quicker speed rushers. ... Injuries are taking a toll on Long, who is best suited as a right tackle to handle power as he struggles with speed and especially quick inside moves. But he still has the size, feel, and toughness to hold up as a starter, but is declining.''
That report was before Long tore the ACL in his right knee again last season.
The Falcons begin training camp Friday, so we'll see if they make a move. If not, they might have to turn to rookies Jake Rodgers and Matt Huffer for depth at tackle.
Report: Free agent OT Jake Long visiting the Giants, again
Back in May, free agent offensive tackle Jake Long visited the New York Giants in what was described as more of a meeting for the two sides to get to know each other. With news surfacing that Long visited the Atlanta Falcons yesterday, the Giants have reportedly decided to ramp up their interest in the former Pro Bowl left tackle.
The Giants' first team offensive line is currently set to feature rookie Ereck Flowers at left tackle and career journeyman Marshall Newhouse at right tackle. Flowers is expected to undergo some growing pains, and Newhouse has really struggled in limited starts over the last few seasons. Last season, Newhouse allowed 16 quarterback pressures, hits and sacks in just 373 snaps. The Giants' interest in Long is real, and it makes sense that they could move to get a deal done soon now that the Falcons have entered the mix.
Long is no longer the dominant left tackle he once was. Still, at just 30 years of age, Long is a low risk investment with a lot to offer. Despite playing just seven games in 2014, Long finished as Pro Football Focus’ 36th-best offensive tackle overall out of 84 qualifiers. In 2013, he started 15 games for the Rams and finished as Pro Football Focus’ seventh-best offensive tackle overall, earning exceptionally high marks as a run blocker.
Despite the upside to adding him to the line, the Giants are unlikely to engage in a bidding war for Long's services. Long has an extensive recent injury history. He tore his ACL in Week 8 of the 2014 season, and there have been whispers that he has undergone setbacks in his recovery. His 2013 season was also ended by a torn ACL in the same right knee as his most recent one. Long’s injury history dates back even further—he dealt with back, shoulder and biceps injuries during his tenure with the Dolphins.
With Giants training camp set to get underway on Thursday, if you believe that Long could be the missing piece, then you should keep your eyes glued to the screen. A deal could be coming soon.