As Anthony Collins is set to make his first start at left tackle in five years this weekend, it's only fitting that we update the file on Nate Livings. Say, what? How is that even remotely connected?
When Collins made his first career start in 2008 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Nate Livings was pressed into starting duty that same night, making his own starting debut in the NFL.
Now the Bengals lost that game, but the team that won four games all season, actually finished the year winning three of the final six games with Collins and Livings starting; greatly due to the team's decision to focus more on the ground. It worked. And it led to Cincinnati's broomstick of the AFC North and a postseason berth in 2009. Granted, there was disputes whether the team should have started Livings or Evan Mathis in 2009 (most of you know my personal opinion on that), but Livings was the starting left guard for a Bengals squad that qualified for the postseason twice ('09, '11).
Dallas signed Livings to a five-year deal worth $18.7 million in 2012. And he played well, especially as a run blocker but questionable in pass protection allowing six quarterback sacks, 11 hits on the quarterback and an additional 14 hurries. In truth, his production wasn't that much worse than Cincinnati's guards last season.
The Cowboys released Livings on Thursday after agreeing to an injury settlement. Livings underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in August, the second in six months. He was placed on Injured Reserve during final cuts.
Dallas can re-sign Livings after week nine, but if another team acquires Livings, then Dallas only pays the difference of the $1.7 million that's owed to Livings (part of the settlement guaranteed his 2013 salary) compared to any new deal.