NFL free-agent rankings: Top 5 OL includes longtime Cowboys star Tyron Smith, who went to Jets

Offensive line help is hard to find. That's why it costs a lot in free agency.

Last offseason, offensive linemen like Mike McGlinchey (five years, $87.5 million to the Denver Broncos), Jawaan Taylor (four years, $80 years to the Kansas City Chiefs) and Orlando Brown Jr. (four years, $64 million to the Cincinnati Bengals) got huge deals in free agency. This class of free-agent offensive linemen isn't as strong, but due to supply and demand, many of them are about to be paid well. Guard Kevin Dotson already got a three-year, $48 million extension from the Los Angeles Rams, taking one prime option off the board for free agency.

Yahoo Sports is ranking the top five NFL free agents by position. (Mallory Bielecki/Yahoo Sports)
Yahoo Sports is ranking the top five NFL free agents by position. (Mallory Bielecki/Yahoo Sports)

Here are the top five offensive linemen in free agency:

1. Dallas Cowboys OT Tyron Smith

(UPDATE: Signing with Jets)

When Smith plays, he's still very good. The issue is he hasn't played a full season since 2015, and usually durability doesn't get better at age 33. The Jets need offensive line help, so they took on the injury risk to sign one of the best left tackles of this era and hope that Smith gives them closer to the 13 games he played in 2023 instead of the six he played in 2020 and 2022 combined.

2. New England Patriots OT Trent Brown

Brown is still a competent tackle, which means he's valuable. Injuries and age (Brown will be 31 next season) are a concern, but he's still a top-end run blocker and has experience with 93 career starts, so he can be a steadying player on an offensive line as long as he's healthy.

3. New England Patriots OT Mike Onwenu

(UPDATE: Re-signing with Patriots on three-year deal)

Unlike some of the other offensive linemen in free agency, he has age on his side. He's just 26 years old, which is why he earned a sizable deal reported at three years and $57 million to remain in New England. He has started at guard and tackle and spent most of his time last season at right tackle, and had a fine season. The former sixth-round draft pick has great size at 350 pounds and will be a priority for plenty of teams with salary-cap space and offensive line needs.

4. Miami Dolphins G Robert Hunt

(UPDATE: Agreed to five-year deal with Panthers)

Hunt has experience at tackle but mostly played right guard for the Dolphins after being the team's second-round draft pick in 2020. He was Pro Football Focus' sixth-best guard last season, though he played just 11 games due to a hamstring injury. He'll turn 28 years old just before next season, which means he should have plenty of prime seasons left when he joins a Carolina team in desperate need of protection up front.

5. Baltimore Ravens G Kevin Zeitler

In 2017, Zeitler signed a five-year, $60 million deal with the Cleveland Browns that at the time made him the highest paid guard in NFL history. He won't be getting a record-breaking deal this time around but he's still a reliable player who just made his first Pro Bowl. Zeitler will be 34 years old next season but can still help a team looking to fill a hole at guard.