Update [2007-3-3 13:59:18 by Skin Patrol]: Per Redskins Insider, Leonard Davis is in D.C. and says Washington is one of two teams tha will get him. I'm scared about what it will cost.
Per Redskins Insider last night at around 11PM, Leonard Davis was "on his way" to Washington. Davis has played Tackle for the Cardinals since 2001 and has missed just a handfull of games in his career. I believe he played Guard at Texas (which means him and Dockery would've been on the same team), though if reader(s) can confirm I would appreciate it.
I'm worried about the Tackle position change but there are some things I like. Leonard Davis is a monster. He's listed at 366 pounds which is over 30 heavier than Dockery. I don't know what that does for his athleticism, or how he fits in our blocking scheme because of that size, but it is what it is. I have no doubt that he can move people with ease and he is the consensus best Tackle available in this free agency.
What I don't like is that we don't need a Tackle, we need a Guard. Even if he played that position in Texas he's still 7 years removed from it. I am confident that our Coaching Staff could get him prepared for Guard, but worry that we're losing value for the money we'd spend in doing so. Also, if teams are competing for Davis and he prefers the Tackle position, those teams will have an advantage over us in negotiations. He might be willing to take a small pay cut to remain at a position he loves. Also he's from Texas... Dallas. So there's that.
Jason La Canfora says the Giants, Cowboys, and Redskins are all interested. 3/4ths of the NFC East, in other words. Player negotiations in this market can balloon quickly even if you don't introduce agitators such as oh by the way your rivals are pursuing this guy as well. I don't think Leonard Davis could've found himself in a more enviable position. Not only has it already been demonstrated that O-Linemen can ask and receive whatever they want, he now has three division rivals bidding for his services. One of them happens to be the Redskins and we have a repuation for spending big. You think that hasn't crossed his mind?
Rock meets hard place. You don't just instantly replace a Derrick Dockery who, for all his false starts, was a pretty good O-Lineman. He wasn't 49M good, but good nonetheless. If we end up paying Leonard Davis a comparable sum just so we can switch him from Tackle to Guard, I'd be inclined to say we should've just stuck with Dockery. And given the circumstances, I haven't the foggiest idea what Leonard Davis could make; it might be higher than 49M for all I know.
It's pretty clear that if we couldn't afford Dockery than we can't afford Kris Dielman. Meaning we're going to be worse at the guard position in 2007 than we were in 2006 (Dielman being the only remaining upgrade). That's life. My main concern is where this puts us in the draft; are we now forced to pick up a Guard while our pass rush and defense holistically is so miserable? Is Mike Pucillo ready to start (the answer is no)?
Hopefully some of our concerns will be answered in the next few days, though I'm at a loss for how we can reach a satisfactory end to our newfound shortage at Guard. Without a better grasp on what Leonard Davis will cost us or whether we even have a shot at getting him, I cannot honestly say I'm excited about the prospect of replacing our starting Guard with someone else's starting Tackle.
[editor's note, by Skin Patrol] By the way, we have some new Hogs Haven commenters in uniteddads and pookskins discussing some of the points addressed above. I'd love for you both to continue this discussion with our existing reader(s) here and in other threads. Great to have you on board. Cheers.