Back when Florida Danny was looking at potential offensive tackles for the 49ers, he looked at the various starters around the league. Most of those folks have been getting locked up, requiring the team to consider other options. One guy mentioned in the comments was Ray Willis, a backup offensive tackle in Seattle. I mention him now because Mike Sando did a piece today discussing the best match for each NFC West in the rest of the UFA pool.
Best match: Ray Willis, OT
Signing Willis wouldn't help sell tickets, but it might help solve a lingering problem at right tackle. Willis could come cheaper than once anticipated. He's a big, young, physical right tackle with a mean streak and relatively low miles.
For those wondering about Warner, Sando said that he wasn't the "best match" because he is more suited for the Cardinals offense. However, back to Willis, in Danny's post, briandean asked about Willis. Danny's response:
Willis hasn’t been the “starting” RT for the seahawks. this season was the first time in his career that he had started any games, and 5 of his 10 starts came at G. he only started games at RT due to injuries along the line. sean locklear has been SEA’s starting RT for a few years now. for the piece, i focused only on free agents who were starting RTs for their team.
It's understandable that backups would be hard to assess. So, really I'm just opening the door to everybody's speculation on the subject. Willis was a 4th round pick of the Seahawks in 2005. To give you some context, Willis was the 105th overall pick. At 94th overall, the 49ers selected OT Adam Snyder. The OT right before Willis was Nick Kaczur at 100 (starting in NE) and right after was David Stewart at 113 (starting in Tennessee).
The Seahawks played him behind Sean Locklear and Walter Jones is the left tackle. So clearly there's talent ahead of him in Seattle. I don't know if that's an excuse or not for him not starting, but given that he's been around for four years, that can't be a good thing.
So, should the 49ers make a run at Ray Willis? He certainly won't cost a lot, but that doesn't mean he'd be "cost-effective." If he is absolute crap, then any money is wasted money. So it basically comes down to whether he can beat out Adam Snyder at right tackle. Thoughts?