I’m usually not one to believe in rumours which D-Led of the AJC starts as they usually don’t turn out that well. This time I’m buying into the story regarding a possible move by Atlanta for Chargers LT Marcus McNeill. Fansided’s Chargers site Bolt Beat has also been speculating about the move.
McNeill is on the verge of being released by San Diego after neck and back injuries have plagued him the last few seasons. After going through the first 4 years of his career relatively injury free, he missed 12 of the 32 games over the last two seasons.
After signing a pretty large deal last offseason, the financial aspect is also lending those close to the Chargers to predict he will be released sooner rather than later.
Atlanta are on the look out for a new left tackle after finally realizing Sam Baker is a bust and facing the reality that (despite good performances) Will Svitek is not the long term answer at LT (check out Greg’s post about fixing the offensive line). The McNeill situation would be something Atlanta could be interested in. Although he is recovering from a neck injury, the Falcons seem comfortable taking a low risk – high reward moves with these type of injuries; you just have to look at the Kelvin Hayden signing last year.
McNeill has already had good success in the league, getting nominated for two pro bowls and at age 28 he is in the prime age range for an offensive tackle. The injuries would obviously be a concern but the Falcons could well be interested in offering a 1 or 2 year deal to a player looking for a place to get his career back on track. McNeill (assuming he returns to health) would immediately start at LT protecting Matt Ryan’s blindside. While also being effective in pass protection, McNeill was very impressive in run blocking during his healthy stint in San Diego.
If/ when McNeill is released, Atlanta could well be on his list for free agent destinations. He played his high school ball in Georgia and attended college just over state lines in Auburn. He would also get the opportunity to start for a contender that is only a few players away from making a playoff run.
What do you guys think? Could McNeill be a good fit? Stick your thought in the comments box below.