The Seattle Seahawks have already kicked off NFL free agency with a one-year deal for offensive lineman Luke Joeckel, formerly of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Seattle will also soon be meeting with veteran Packers right guard T.J. Lang, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Lang is also visiting the Detroit Lions, which is important to note because Lang is from Michigan and played his college football at Eastern Michigan. Schefter also reported that re-signing with Green Bay is still a possibility for the 29-year-old.
Lang made the Pro Bowl for the first time with his stellar 2016 season. Green Bay chose him in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He’s a versatile lineman who started his career out at left tackle but was soon switched to the right side. From 2011-2012, he made 27 starts at left guard and 5 at right tackle. He made the full-time switch to right guard in 2013 and was named a Pro Bowl alternate in 2014.
Pro Football Focus graded Lang as the eighth best guard (out of 72 who qualify to be ranked) in 2016. Here is their assessment of him from a recent article about the top 50 free agents.
Lang is two years older than Cincinnati’s Kevin Zeitler, but like seemingly all Green Bay offensive linemen, he is one of the best players in the league at pass blocking. This past season, Lang didn’t allow a single sack or hit on quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and surrendered just 10 QB hurries all season, despite Rodgers recording the second-highest average time to throw in the league. If you are a team in need of guard help, and the passing game is the foundation of your offense, Lang would be your ideal target.
As far as his recent health is concerned, Lang broke his left foot in a November game against the Titans, then reinjured it and had to be carted off in the 2017 NFC Championship Game vs. Atlanta. Following Green Bay’s playoff exit, Lang underwent successful hip surgery, but could miss the entire offseason. Apart from that, since earning a full-time starting spot in 2011, Lang has only missed five games out of a possible 96.
It’s early days, but Lang is absolutely one of the top free agent offensive linemen on the market, and I’d absolutely love if Seattle’s major splash was signing him up. For now, we just wait and see how this all unfolds.