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Saints And Broncos After Lehr
Posted Mar 16, 2008 by Anwar S. Richardson
Updated Mar 16, 2008 at 05:57 PM
Tampa Bay unrestricted free agent G/C Matt Lehr is actively being pursued by New Orleans and Denver according to Bob Lattinville, his agent.
Lehr did not start last season, but appeared in every game. His biggest contribution occurred against New Orleans on Dec. 2, 2007.
After spending the majority of that game on the bench, center John Wade developed a cramp in his leg with two minutes remaining and Tampa Bay facing 4th-and-1 on New Orleans’ 28-yard line. Lehr was thrown into arguably the biggest play of 2007, and his role became more prominent when Gruden decided to go for it instead of attempting a field goal to tie the game at 23.
“I just said to myself, ‘Let’s get the first down’” Lehr said after the Saints game. “That is about all you can do. You practice all week, and you watch the team film like everybody else, so when you get an opportunity, you have to make the most of it.”
QB Luke McCown handed off to Earnest Graham, who ran 2 yards off tackle for the first down. Three plays later, TE Jerramy Stevens caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from McCown and Tampa Bay won, 27-23.
New Orleans and Denver are attracted to Lehr’s ability to play two different offensive line positions. Tampa Bay may examine bringing Lehr back for offensive line depth, but at this point, it appears unlikely.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Every available free agent is about to face an enormous amount of pressure if they do not sign with a team soon.
Most teams are getting geared up for the NFL Draft (April 26-27). Teams that have specific needs are now deciding if it is worth signing an available free agent, or attempt to improve through the draft. Essentially, teams have more options and leverage as the draft gets closer.
That is why DE Kevin Carter and RB Michael Pittman need to find homes quickly. Carter is still vacationing in Hawaii and might not make a decision until later this week, while Detroit has shown interest in Pittman, but teams are not fighting for him so far.
The longer free agents wait, the fewer options they will have.