NFL Free Agency: Robert Gallery Could Replace Logan Mankins in New England

Tony Santorsa@@TonySantorsaSenior Writer IIJuly 16, 2011

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 12:  Robert Gallery #76 of the Oakland Raiders lines up during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on December 12, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The New England Patriots may have placed their franchise tag on Logan Mankins, but that does not guarantee that he'll remain a Patriot in 2011.

Mankins could potentially hold out the entire season, in search for a long-term contract, and could even be traded—similar to the Deion Branch dilemma back in 2006.

Robert Gallery, who's spent his entire seven year career with the Oakland Raiders, is set to become a free agent once the free agent peroid is open, and could receive some interest from New England.

Gallery, who was orginially selected with the second overall pick in 2004, was projected to be Oakland's long-term left tackle and would flourish into one of the league's dominant blind-side protectors—ultimately, that did not happen. 

As Gallery struggled at the left tackle position, he was moved one spot inside to the left guard position back in 2007—and since then, he's emerged as one of the better run blocking guards in the NFL

The Patriots should show some significant interest in Gallery, according to Tom E. Curran of CSNNE, as the Patriots have been "enamored" with Gallery's talents ever since he entered the league. 

If New England did sign Gallery to a contract, he could potentially be New England's starting right guard, and could even possibly be the replacement of Mankins, if the two sides cannot reach and agreement. 

Ever since Gallery made the switch over to guard, he's only allowed four sacks over the course of four seasons, 

Many scouts may consider Gallery to be a top-tier run blocker and an average pass-blocker, however still has room for improvement. 

As of right now, New England currently has Mankins, Thomas Austin, Dan Connolly, and Marcus Cannon as the team's guards on their depth chart, and would certainly welcome the presence of the 6'7" 325 lbs. guard. 

As Curran reported, the Patriots have had their eye on Gallery for quite sometime, and once free agency beings, this may be the perfect time for Bill Belichick and the Patriots to swoop in and grab their long admired prospect.


For more articles like this, check out my blog at Be sure to follow Tony Santorsa on Twitter @   TonySantorsa.