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Rams’ Free Agent Tackle Joe Barksdale Worked Out For Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons brought in St. Louis Rams’ free agent tackle Joe Barksdale for a workout.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the release of veteran offensive lineman Jake Long and Scott Wells, many viewed the re-signing of free agent tackle Joe Barksdale as one of the team’s main offseason priorities.  And as of today, the team has yet to do that.

In early April, he met with the Tennessee Titans, yet left without a deal.  According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Barksdale is still meeting with potential suitors.  
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Source: the Falcons tried out free agent OT Joe Barksdale (Rams).</p>&mdash; Field Yates (@FieldYates) <a href="">May 4, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>
Barksdale, again, left without immediately inking a deal.  It’s widely believed he’d be an upgrade over the team’s current right tackle, Ryan Schraeder, and would most likely step right in as their starter.  Offensive line hasn’t been a major focus for the Falcons thus far in the 2015 NFL offseason.  They drafted Jake Rodgers in the 7th round of the draft last weekend, and signed former Rams’ backup lineman Mike Person. 

The Rams claimed Barksdale off waivers in 2012 after being cast off by the Oakland Raiders, who drafted him in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL draft.  The Rams paid out the remaining three years of his rookie contract, which equated roughly to $1.5 million. He started 29 games for them over the past two seasons.

Barksdale is, in all likelihood, looking to be paid like a premier free agent tackle, and appears to be in no rush to sign with the Rams, or any other team.  The Rams, however, appear to be standing firm on their offer price [$3-4 million per], and used the 2015 NFL draft to add a bit of insurance in the event another team is willing to pay Barksdale the contract he seeks.

The Rams addressed their most dire need[s] in the 2015 NFL Draft by selecting Wisconsin offensive tackle Rob Havenstein in the 2nd round, Louisville OT Jamon Brown [3rd], Iowa OT Andrew Donnal [4th], and Fresno State offensive guard Cody Wichmann in the 6th.  They've been known to move lineman along their front, and a few of these players possess the versatility to do so.  This could allow them to plug in a few holes around the team’s only known starters, Greg Robinson and Rodger Saffold.  The team also has high hopes for third year center/guard Barrett Jones.

According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch beat writer Jim Thomas, Barksdale has shown interest in returning to the Rams.  As of yesterday, aside from his recent visit to Atlanta, the subject had been tabled at Rams’ Park...
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Been told RT Joe Barksdale remains interested in re-signing w/Rams, but there have been no talks today.</p>&mdash; Jim Thomas (@jthom1) <a href="">May 4, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>