Dolphins acquire OT Bryant McKinnie from Ravens

Dolphins address dreadful tackle situation, trade for Ravens' McKinnie

10/22/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

The Miami Dolphins were among the most active teams in free agency over the offseason, locking up big names such as Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe, and Brent Grimes, just to name a few. What general manager Jeff Ireland failed to address, however, was the team's offensive tackles.

Second-year Jonathan Martin struggled at left tackle as a rookie in 2012, and has predictably been doing the same as the full-time left tackle this season. Meanwhile, the team scooped up Tyson Clabo late in free agency, and he has been horrendous through six games - he ranks 68th among 75 qualifying tackles according to Pro Football Focus.

Thanks in large part to the tackle tandem of Martin and Clabo, quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been abused by opposing pass rushes, getting sacked a league-high 26 times. Ireland has finally acknowledged his offseason mistake and addressed the team's abominable tackle situation - the Dolphins have acquired Bryant McKinnie from the Baltimore Ravens in return for a late-round pick.

Jan 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens tackle Bryant McKinnie (78) against the Denver Broncos during the AFC divisional round playoff game at Sports Authority Field.  Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsMcKinnie really stepped up in the postseason for the Ravens a year ago, playing very well throughout the Ravens' run to the Super Bowl. This year, however, McKinnie - as well as the entire Ravens' offensive line - has struggled. The Ravens traded for Eugene Monroe as an upgrade at left tackle, which relegated McKinnie to the bench.

The Dolphins get a nice value on McKinnie, who is worth taking a flier on for a "late-round pick." However, he is still risky in the sense that the Dolphins are gambling on him playing well at one of the game's most important positions. Protecting Tannehill is one of the keys to the Dolphins taking the next step and becoming a playoff-caliber football team. McKinnie should provide an upgrade at left tackle, but he'll have to play a lot better than he has thus far in the year to be the savior on Tannehill's blindside.

Jonathan Martin will kick over to the right side, where he should be much more comfortable. Martin was significantly more effective on the right side than the left last season. Clabo is expected to be benched, traded, or released, with the trade being the least likely of the three.
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