5 left tackles who could help the Vikings in 2017

Here are some of the names the Vikings could look to for help at left tackle.
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The Minnesota Vikings' hopes for a more explosive offense may rest solely on the team's ability to rebuild it's offensive line.

There is no debating the Vikings have a serious need upfront and especially at the tackle position. The problem is that there aren't a lot of options available in free agency.

Here are five players who could help the Vikings at left tackle:

Matt Kalil – age 28

While Vikings fans have certainly grown tired of Kalil, they probably didn't understand how bad things could be until he wasn't able to play anymore.

Kalil missed 14 games last season because of a hip injury. But until that point he'd been very dependable, starting every game through the first four seasons of his career.

While it would seem that Kalil could be headed out, the Star Tribune notes Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has a propensity for choosing the known over the unknown, and Kalil may also be the Vikings best chance at rebuilding their offensive line.

Andrew Whitworth – age 35

Cincinnati's Andrew Whitworth is the top name on the free agent market. Whitworth had a terrific season, he was ranked No. 2 among all tackles by Pro Football Focus.

Throughout his 11-year career, Whitworth has always been regarded as one of the best pass protectors. According to 1500 ESPN, even at 35, Whitworth hasn't shown a lot of signs of aging.

Cincinnati moved him to left guard for a few games last season, and Whitworth has told Cincinnati media that he wants to remain at left tackle.

Riley Reiff – age 28

Reiff, a native of Parkston, South Dakota, was drafted in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. He started 47 of 48 games at left tackle for the Lions between 2013-2015.

He moved to right tackle last season after the Lions drafted Taylor Decker. Like Kalil, Reiff has been dependable. He missed just three starts in the last four seasons.

Reiff, who made just under $2 million in 2016, could be in line for a major pay day if teams see his 6-foot-6, 313 pound frame as an option at left tackle.

The Vikings have had quite a bit of success with the South Dakotans they have brought in.

Ryan Clady – age 30

Ryan Clady is a former All-Pro that has been dealing with a lot of injuries over the last four seasons. He's started all 16 games just once.

During his four seasons with the Jets, Clady missed 37 games because of Lisfranc, ACL and shoulder injuries. When healthy though, he is very talented. Clady was a four-time Pro Bowler with Denver.

While the injury issues may scare the Vikings off, 24-7 Sports notes they could work to Minnesota's advantage, as well. Those injuries mean Clady won't command the salary he would have earlier in his career.

Bradley Sowell – age 28

Our darkhorse on this list is Bradley Sowell. The journeyman offensive tackle is entering free agency for the second time in as many seasons.

While some of the guys on this list may have already peaked and are now on the downhill side of their career, Sowell may be headed the other direction.

In five seasons he has played for Indianapolis, Arizona and Seattle.

He started nine games for the Seahawks last year and is looking for an opportunity to get on the field in 2017.

"(The Seahawks) have expressed interest in keeping me, but at the same time, I started quite a bit of games this year that I got on film," Sowell told Scout.com. "You never know what teams are looking at you, what teams like you or what they're going to offer you. You never know what Seattle can afford at the moment, so you have to wait until March and see how it all shakes out."

It wouldn't be the first time the Vikings gave a relatively unknown offensive lineman a shot.

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