MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Less than a day after the annual spending blitz that comes with the start of free agency in the National Football League; it’s clear the biggest winners after the first 12 hours are offensive tackles.
All four of the top offensive tackles available in free agency hit the jackpot within the first hour. Left tackle Branden Albert signed a five-year, $47 million contract with the Miami Dolphins that includes $25 million guaranteed to the Pro Bowl tackle.
After Albert, left tackle Jared Veldheer signed a five-year, $35 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals, who have been in desperation mode for offensive linemen help for several years. Veldheer was a member of the Oakland Raiders who decided to sign a different tackle.
The Raiders opted for free agent tackle Roger Saffold. Oakland gave Saffold a five-year, $42.5 million with $21 million guaranteed. The only big name free agent left tackle who didn’t switch teams was Eugene Monroe who re-signed with the Baltimore Ravens for five-years and $37.5 million.
Finally, one right tackle hit the jackpot late Tuesday night. Free agent right tackle Austin Howard, who played for the New York Jets last year, took his talent west to Oakland and signed with the Raiders on a 5-year, $30 million contract.
All total, the top five tackles signed on Tuesday pulled in contracts worth $191 million with more than $50 million guaranteed to the players.