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Why break the bank for a guard?

Posted by Albert Breer  June 14, 2010 09:00 AM

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The Patriots are caught in the middle on a couple counts on this.

They've long built their lines on the "balance" model, but now one of their own has cracked the elite category. And also, while they do emphasize that "team" play, their offense does ask a lot of players at the guard position.

It's a sticky one, to be sure, and the Jahri Evans deal didn't make things easier on the team. The Saints Pro Bowler got a seven-year, $56.7 million contract, and the reason why is simple.

"Evans is one of the rarer offensive linemen in the league," said the scout. "He's a guy that has the athletic ability to move and get to the second level, but he can still take you on at the point of attack. I can't disagree with the (Saints') decision.

"So is it worth it? Yeah, if you can solidify one side. You don't want to pay astronomical money, though, to your left guard if your left tackle and center are (crap)."

The scout said that he'd always seen New England's line as one that thrived on its balance and not just one player or another. And so that makes this decision a very, very intersting one.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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