2013 NFL free agents: Andy Levitre leads guard market

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

After starting every game for four years in Buffalo, free agent guard Andy Levitre should find a big pay day in 2013.

Andy Levitre could find himself making quite a lot of money this offseason as the best guard available in the free- agent market. A solid, versatile offensive lineman, Levitre has played at all five positions along the line during his four years in the league.


Incredibly durable, Levitre has started all 64 games of his career since being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2009 and turned into one of the top guards in the league at only 26 years old. This past season Levitre only allowed one sack and was considered a Pro Bowl snub, overlooked for bigger names in bigger markets. With the contract he will bring in, Levitre won't be overlooked for long.

The Bills would have liked to keep Levitre in Buffalo, but they chose to use the franchise tag on All-Pro safety Jarius Byrd, letting Levitre hit the open market. Still, Buffalo would love to bring him back if they can, but they may not be willing to commit the type of money Levitre will command elsewhere.

Next season, Bills center Eric Wood is set to become a free agent, and Buffalo Rumblings believes if they can only retain one of the two, the cheaper Wood is the better option. And despite all Levitre's talent, letting him leave wouldn't be the end of the world for the Bills.

Assuming the Bills don't lock him up before the March 12 deadline, Levitre will be a popular man in free agency. The market at tackle is quite deep this year, but teams looking for a solid guard have far fewer choices. With Levitre as the top option at the position, he should command a hefty salary.

There will be several suitors for Levitre outside of Buffalo. The Tennessee Titans have already been tied to Levitre, but any team looking for help along the interior of the line with cap space can be expected to take a good, hard look at him. He is better in pass protection than as a run blocker, and for that reason the Bears and Colts are two additional teams that could be a good fit. The Colts in particular, who allowed a league-high 58 sacks, would love to bring in someone like Levitre to keep Andrew Luck off his back.

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