Dolphins bring back OL Nate Garner
While the move does not compensate a replacement for the overall No. 1 draft pick in 2008 Jake Long who left for the St. Louis Rams, Nate Garner is still a proven backup who provides the Miami Dolphins’ offensive line with some flexibility. Over the past five seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Nate Garner has played all five positions along the offensive line.
"We are happy that Nate has reached an agreement to stay with the team," Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said after the re-signing of Nate Garner. "He is a respected and versatile player along the offensive line and we are glad to have him back."
Nate Garner has combined 13 starts over 48 career games, all with the Miami Dolphins. Although Nate Garner was drafted in the seventh round out of Arkansas by the New York Jets in 2008, he was waived at the end of training camp and claimed by the Miami Dolphins. Despite remaining on the roster throughout 2008, Nate Garner remained in-active through all-16 regular season games and the AFC Wildcard game in 2009. Nate Garner was also sidelined for the entire 2010 season due to a foot injury.
Last season, Nate Garner played all 16 games, but only came into a starting role after left tackle Jake Long ended up on the injured reserve. The Miami Dolphins moved right tackle Jonathan Martin to the left to as Jake Long’s replacement, while Nate Garner slipped into a starting role at right tackle for four games in 2012
The 6-foot-7, 325-pound Nate Garner has previously also started five games at left guard and four at right guard.
Signing Nate Garner open up a lot of options for the Miami Dolphins on the offensive line. They could let Nate Garner compete for the starting right tackle job during training camp while moving Jonathan Martin again to left tackle; or keep Garner as the versatile backup that he has become.
It is also likely that the Miami Dolphins could further add to the position while rebuilding the offensive line through the free agency or during the 2013 NL draft. The Miami Dolphins have picks in the first three round of the 2013 draft.