The release of Andre Gurode certainly surprised the NFL world, as he was a solid player for the Cowboys on their offensive line, but after failing to reach a deal on a restructured contract, Gurode is now a free agent. The Packers don't usually dip into big name free agents, but they should consider at least giving Gurode a chance to make the team, especially considering the struggles the team has had on that offensive line so far in the preseason.
Andre Gurode has not only a Pro Bowler, but he's a five-time Pro Bowler. Making the Pro Bowl is no easy feat, especially for an offensive lineman, whose role on the field is frequently overlooked, so to make the Pro Bowl five times is quite an accomplishment. Obviously, Gurode has proven to be more than a solid offensive lineman throughout his long career, and could certainly help the Packers shore up some of their issues at the position.
NFL Network came up with a list of the Top 100 players of 2011, a list that was decided and ranked the by NFL players themselves. Gurode ranked No. 57 on the list and second overall among all centers, which obviously shows that he is a respected center by his own peers. It also shows that despite his age, he is still relevant and a top performer in the NFL today.
Again, center can be a very undervalued position, so the fact that he is a five-time Pro Bowler and is considered to be one of the best centers in the league certainly says a lot.
At 33, Gurode is a seasoned NFL veteran, and while the Packers already have Chad Clifton on their offensive line as a veteran presence, a team can never have enough veterans on their team to mentor younger players, especially given the fact that Green Bay lost veteran Mark Tauscher in the offseason.
Nick McDonald has struggled this preseason, but many Packers seem to have a lot of confidence in him for the future. McDonald can certainly reach that potential, but he could use a veteran interior lineman to help mentor him or perhaps compete against him to give McDonald the opporotunity to step up against stiff competition.
The backups on the offensive line for the Packers have struggled, especially the interior linemen with Derek Sherrod, T.J. Lang, Marshall Newhouse and Nick McDonald. Perhaps Andre Gurode can help them with their struggles.
The quarterback has received way too much pressure in the preseason, which does not bode well for the regular season. Aaron Rodgers is the future of the Packers, and he can't have another season like he did in 2009, when he was sacked 50 times. The offensive line has to protect better, and while they have made some strides, they still need to improve greatly in order to protect the most valuable player of their offense.
Of course, it is unclear whether or not Gurode can help with this, but he is a solid, veteran lineman that could produce for the Packers quicker than some of the younger, developing linemen.