We will at best need a solid guy with pro experience to be a backup OT. Sam Lightbody fits the bill. Won't hit the salary cap as he would get league minimum. A higher guarentee as he is giving up his UFL job if he is cut. But that can be cheap too. This is a no-brainer. An experience, huge OT who is an athletic OT who can pass block. Your options. a rookie with no experience or a 29 year okd guy who is stronger, as hungry as a rookie, no injuries and the pedigree of playing at a higher level.
Many of you know I am friends with Sam (my honorary nephew thru a tight friendship) but I am not being biased. Spoke with him. Is he NFL ready or capable? Appatently the Ravens have told him to stay in tip top shape while they sort thru FA so he is a viable option to one tam for sure. Some contacts on availability from 2 teams and an informal visit to SD. No tryout but his agent having contacts and bringing him in for a visit. Now I should have told him this in our chat but why would his agent go out of the way and host an informal visit? To get Philip Rivers autograph?
The guy has family roots in Minnesota and would have played there had the coaches felt obligated to overlook an All Southern Calif O lineman and sign a 3 rd team Minnesota boy who never cut it. Sam goes on to play for one of the toughest pairs of tackles the pac 10 had on one team. Proboly the vest pair in WSU history. Story goes that he was only 2nd team as too many from one school on the 1st team is frowned on. But many thought he was the best. I remeber one of the most athletic plays I have ever seen a college OT make. They bluffed the corner into holding with the WR at the LOS. A few plays later Sam pulls from his takle spot and while the CB os waiting for the WR to block or go he is layed out by the "Light One" and literally hit onto the sideline. Result. Totally uncovered WR for a TD, The replay was done about 4 times showing the corner totally senseless. Announcers, Kids, This is how to pull and move, then hit a man clean..
Sam was a victim of Grudens promises never kept to players. He was the last to be cut in year one and guaranteed reserve year 2 til Gavin Joseph went down and Gruden cuts him and other guys after they had started their living arrangements.
So is this guy capable. Absolutely! Can he start? I think he might just beat out Johnson or relieve Loadbutt when he can't move a guy outside in pass pro. If not ya got a guy who has been broke in against pro-level coaches and players. NFL players ? No but, many of the guys he played against and for were pros and many became pros. Including one of our DE signees.
Money needs to be saved for AD and Chad. We got a OT but will need a good backup sheap. Here is the answer. Nor an untested rookie. So why not try him out?
Come on Vikings. This is a smart move.