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Could Pro Bowl Offensive Lineman Be the Next Free Agent To Sign?

Free agent offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson is reportedly being pursued one specific NFC team, but will he have other suitors?
Laken Tomlinson Free Agent

The 2024 NFL Draft is just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean a free agent like Laken Tomlinson won’t find a new home in the coming days. A first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Duke product used to be one of the game’s more reliable offensive linemen. Tomlinson finished the 2020 season with the eighth-best PFF grade out of 80 eligible guards and followed that up with a Pro Bowl season in 2021.

While he has slowed down since his peak, Laken Tomlinson should eventually find a new home as a free agent. After starting all 17 games with the New York Jets, the former first-round pick has not generated much interest on the open market, but a recent report indicates that he could find a new home before long.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Seattle Seahawks are interested in signing either Laken Tomlinson or Cody Whitehair as a free agent. In a separate report, EPSN’s Brady Henderson indicated that a signing will occur sooner rather than later.

Free Agent Laken Tomlinson Linked To One NFC Team

The Seahawks currently find themselves between a rock and a hard place, which is probably why Laken Tomlinson is on their free agent shortlist. Armed with just $3.16 million in cap space, the team had to watch guard Damien Lewis sign with the Carolina Panthers. With right guard Phil Haynes also unsigned, first-year head coach Mike Macdonald has a lot of work to do if he wants to rebuild this offensive line.

Laken Tomlinson might not be anyone’s ideal starter, but he is one of the best options remaining on the market. The fact is that there aren’t enough good starters to go around, so these teams could fight to keep Seattle from signing the former first-round pick.

Other Possible Fits

Miami Dolphins

The cap-strapped Miami Dolphins had to watch several talented veterans leave in free agency. Now that the dust has settled, the team needs to find a replacement for star guard Robert Hunt. Laken Tomlinson is not nearly as good as the $100 million man, but he’s considerably cheaper and should be able to keep Tua Tagovailoa upright.

New Orleans Saints

While tackle is the biggest need on the Saints offensive line, this team could still use a reliable guard. Derek Carr is a fine quarterback when kept clean, but the longtime Raider struggles to hold up against pressure. Dennis Allen will not be back in 2025 if he can’t bring this team to the playoffs, so signing Laken Tomlinson as a free agent could help him keep his job.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have two new quarterbacks and both have a long history of taking too many sacks. This penchant for holding onto the ball combined with a subpar interior offensive line could spell disaster for this team, and Laken Tomlinson could help as a free agent. While he’s no longer a Pro Bowl player, he could provide some competition and possibly bring out the best in the room.

Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens lost Kevin Zeitler and John Simpson in free agency, meaning they don’t have much of an answer at either guard position. Laken Tomlinson isn’t the gold standard of guard play, but he should be able to provide a baseline level of protection for Lamar Jackson. The two-time NFL MVP is one of the most elusive playmakers in the game, so he should be able to succeed as long as he has somewhat decent protection in front of him.

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions signed Kevin Zeitler to replace the departed Jonah Jackson, but they could still use more depth. Now entering his age-34 season, the Lions should get a better backup in case injury strikes. Laken Tomlinson is perfect for this role and Detroit should be able to easily afford the free agent.

Main Photo: Vincent Carchietta – USA Today Sports


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