Things have not been going well for Marcus Gilbert in recent years. the former Pittsburgh Steelers tackle has seen his career detoured following a series of serious injuries. Incredibly, he has been able to play in just 12 games over the course of the past three years. He missed the entirety of the 2019 season after suffering a torn ACL, during his first season with the Arizona Cardinals.
Prior to the injuries suddenly mounting at a maddening level, Gilbert had been able to raise his level of play to the point in which he was, or at least deserved to be, in the conversation as being among the best right tackles in the NFL.
Because of that, Pro Football Focus remains high on the 10th-year veteran, arguing that you can buy low on him this offseason as he enters unrestricted free agency in the hopes of getting strong return on investment.
That, of course, would depend entirely on whether or not he is able to stay on the field. He has said that he would like to remain with the Cardinals, but it remains to be seen what their plans are. Either way, one would figure that his market would be relatively affordable, given his injury issues.
PFF has twice brought up Gilbert when discussing cheap options for good value this offseason. In an article entitled “Viable low-cost options at each position in free agency”, Gilbert was the player whom they mentioned for the tackle position.
“When healthy in Pittsburgh, Gilbert showed that he could be a quality starting right tackle”, the entry reads. “The upside with Gilbert is an average to above-average option at the position on a depressed contract given his lack of availability in recent seasons. He just needs to stay healthy to make that upside a reality”.
In another article about offensive line options to target, both in free agency and the draft, Gilbert fell into the “Undervalued” tag, and not the “Buyer Beware” tag. “There is definite risk involved with targeting a player with that kind of injury history, but the cost should be cheap enough that I would risk it”, it reads. “The value he could provide as a quality starting right tackle on a low-cost deal would be advantageous to a team as it looks to fill out the rest of a roster”.
Personally, I would love to see Gilbert have the chance to finish out his career strong. He just recently turned 32, so his opportunities are starting to slip away if he can’t put together a strong, healthy season in the very near future. I wish him the best wherever he lands this offseason.