The top need for the Miami Dolphins this offseason has been, and still is, the offensive tackle position. The team lost Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long in free agency this year, seeing their former number one overall pick head to the St. Louis Rams. After long discussions with free agent right tackle Eric Winston and on-again-off-again trade talks with the Kansas City Chiefs for left tackle Branden Albert, another name has popped up in the discussions. According to a Baltimore Sun report, the Dolphins will be hosting Bryant McKinnie today on a free agent visit.
After the draft ended on Saturday, Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland sat down with Miami Herald reporter Armando Salguero to discuss the draft. Asked what the team is going to do to address the tackle need, Ireland responded, "The tackle position is an important position. I feel like we have some flexibility. There are some options out there. I have some things up my sleeve that might work out. We're going to have to fill the need probably with a veteran guy on the street at some point."
The 6-foot-8, 355-poiund McKinnie were certainly fill a need. Could McKinnie be the thing up Ireland's sleeve?
According to the Sun's report, the visit today is nothing more than just a visit. They quote an NFL source familiar with Ireland as describing is as a "look-see meeting." McKinnie is expected to take a physical while in Miami.
McKinnie has stated he wants to remain with the Baltimore Ravens, with whom he won the Super Bowl last year. However, no meaningful deal has materialized, so the Dolphins could end up with the left tackle they need.
Miami has maintained a dialog with Winston, and could be looking to sign him as a right tackle, moving Martin to the left side. Ireland also has not ruled out a return to the trade table with the Chiefs for Albert. "I never say never," Ireland told Salguero. "I don't want to get into the details of that trade right now when it could or couldn't happen down the road.
McKinnie has spent 11 seasons in the NFL, nine with the Minnesota Vikings and the last two with the Ravens. He has 147 start over that time, but did not start any games last season.