Free Agent Options At Guard

Mike Iupati. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Mike Iupati. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

The Eagles have a hole to fill at right guard after deciding to part ways with respected veteran Todd Herremans.

While it’s possible someone in-house (Matt Tobin, Allen Barbre, etc.) steps up, there is no clear-cut answer on the roster. It seems likely, then, that Chip Kelly will be hunting for options both in free agency and the draft. First up is free agency, which opens March 10.

Here is a look at the top-five available guards, according to Rotoworld:

1) Mike Iupati (49ers)
Age: 27
Height/weight: 6-5, 331
Games started in 2014: 15 (LG)
Pro Football Focus rank: 14
Buzz: Iupati has been named to the Pro Bowl the past three seasons.The Washington Post expects Jay Gruden and co. to have interest in him.

2) Orlando Franklin (Denver)
Age: 27
Height/weight: 6-7, 320
Games started in 2014: 16 (LG)
Pro Football Focus rank: 13
Buzz: Franklin suffered a concussion in December against the Raiders. Mike Klis of the Denver Post expects Franklin to be paid handsomely by another team other than the Broncos. Played right tackle for first three seasons before switching to guard this past year.

3) Clint Boling (Bengals)
Age: 25
Height/weight: 6-5, 310
Games started in 2014: 16 (LG, RT)
Pro Football Focus rank: 19
Buzz: According to the team’s website, the Bengals are interested in bringing Boling back but probably won’t do so prior to the start of free agency.

4) James Carpenter (Seattle)
Age: 25
Height/weight: 6-5, 321
Games started in 2014: 13 (LG)
Pro Football Focus rank: 47
Buzz: Carpenter missed some time with an ankle injury this year. He started 23 games at left guard for the Seahawks over the past two seasons.

5) Rob Sims (Detroit)
Age: 31
Height/weight: 6-3, 312
Games started in 2014: 16 (LG)
Pro Football Focus rank: 40
Buzz: Michael Rothstein of says the Lions will probably overhaul their offensive line. Sims has started all 16 games for the Lions in each of the last five seasons, per Pro Football Reference.

If the Eagles want to net Iupati or Franklin, they’ll have to come with the dough. For reference, the Titans signed Andy Levitre to a six-year, $46.8 million deal ($13 million guaranteed) in 2013. Rodger Saffold inked a five-year, $31 million contract ($11 million guaranteed) with St. Louis last year.

They could also attack the position in the draft. The top three prospects, per CBS Sports, are South Carolina’s A.J. Cann (6-3, 313), Duke’s Laken Tomlinson (6-3, 323) and Florida State’s Tre’ Jackson (6-4, 330). Jackson told us at the combine that he had both formal and informal talks with the Eagles in Indy. All three are projected to be Day 2 picks.