The offensive tackles are next up in our very early analysis of the position battles we can expect to see during training camp this year. Currently, the picture is a little unclear with the status of Jammal Brown as an unsigned restricted free agent and lots of talk about him as possible trade bait. Other than that, however, the rest is pretty straightforward.
So make the jump to read what I think of the all the Saints offensive tackles as we head into next season. As usual, your thoughts and opinions are very welcome in the comments section.
Jermon Bushrod, Jon Stinchcomb
After being thrust into the starting role at left tackle last season, Bushrod was shaky at times but got the job done when necessary. With all that experience under his belt now, I expect to see improvement and consider the starting position his to lose.
Stinchcomb may not be the best tackle on the team talent-wise but he's arguably the most consistent. We've seen his importance on those Pierre Thomas screen passes we love so much. He's certainly at no risk of failing to make the team.
Zach Strief, Jammal Brown
If none of the trade speculation surrounding Jammal Brown is true and he remains a Saint in 2010 then I don't see why he wouldn't at least make the team if not reclaim his starting spot. Unless he hasn't fully recovered from season-ending sports hernia and hip surgery, that is.
Strief just recently re-signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract; his size and versatility make him a valuable asset in Payton's offense so I fully expect him to make the final cut.
On the Bubble
A good value in the second round of the draft, Charles will very likely shine during training camp which could make things very interesting among the tackles. We can bump him up to the 'Likely' category if the Saints really do part ways with the other Brown (Jammal).
Parnell must be one athletic dude because the Saints refuse to let this guy go, moving him from defensive tackle to tight end and now to offensive tackle over the course of two years. They must like something about him but I highly doubt he makes this team as a tackle.