The St. Louis Rams have announced the release of offensive tackle Orlando Pace. Details on the release itself are available at ramsgab.com. As soon as the release was announced rumors swirled of possible interest from the Vikings. The rumors were fueled in part by a profootballtalk.com article pointing out that the Vikings were previously interested in offensive tackle Jordan Gross before he decided to re-up with Carolina.
It is no secret that the Vikings would like help across the offensive line, especially at the tackle position. So can we expect to see the Vikings make a run at Pace?
Well, it’s impossible to know what “The Triangle” is thinking at any given time, but I would have to say that I do not see them making a major play for Pace. For starters, they just let Viking heroes Matt Birk and Darren Sharper leave via free agency, and they are 32 and 33 years old respectively. Orlando Pace is 33 years old, so signing him would do nothing to continue the Vikings apparent goal of finding young talent.
Once a first overall draft pick, Pace has had a great career and stabilized the Ram’s offensive line for many years. In 2006 he suffered a torn triceps about halfway through the season and he was unable to play until the following season when his luck was even worse. He was injured in their season opener and remained on the IR for the entire 2007 season. In 2008, like the Rams entire team, Pace was unable to live up to expectations. So, the fact that he hasn’t been productive for almost four years now is another reason why the Vikings may hesitate to pick up the phone.
Many are speculating that Pace would fill in the Vikes need at right tackle. Another option mentioned is to have Pace play left tackle and move Bryant McKinnie to the right side of the line. Anything is possible, but I don’t see this one happening, folks. However, the pickings are getting slim when it comes to tackles, and depending on what the Vikings think about the upcoming draft class, there may not be too many choices left.