When the free agent period start a couple of weeks back, some of the biggest needs for the Miami Dolphins included, offensive line, wide receiver, tight end, and cornerback. While the receiver and tight end position has been solved, the Phins are still in search for a cornerback and a couple of new offensive linemen.
There was already a huge hole on the line and then their best offensive lineman, Jake Long decided to sign with the St. Louis Rams. His switching of teams led the Dolphins into an even deeper hole then they were already in. The offensive line will most likely be addressed in this year’s draft, as they possess five picks within the first three rounds in the draft. Despite the likeliness that this hole will be filled in the draft, I think it is important that the Dolphins go out and sign a veteran tackle. One tackle who has interest with the Miami Dolphins is Eric Winston.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Eric Winston, he is a right tackle who formerly played for the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs. Last season, after being cut by the Texans, Winston signed a contract to play for Kansas City. Despite being ranked as one of the best right tackles in football last season by Pro Football Focus, the Chiefs decided to move in another direction after they franchised tackle Brandon Albert and then cutting Winston.
For the Dolphins, Winston is a match made in heaven. Winston is very athletic for the tackle position and would fit perfectly into their zone blocking system. Winston also has familiarity with the team, as offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was his offensive coordinator for his first couple of seasons in the NFL. Eric’s brother, Matt, is also a scout for the Miami Dolphins. Along with his familiarity with the team, Winston would fit in perfect with the city of Miami, having played his college ball at the University of Miami.
Winston’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has expressed Eric’s interest in playing in a Dolphins uniform. While being on WSVN Channel 7, Rosenhaus said, “Eric would really like to play for the Miami Dolphins.”
Despite the good chance that Winston would work out in Miami, the Dolphins don’t seem to want to pull the trigger. One reason as to why they might not want to sign Winston is because of his age. This November, Winston will be turning 30. Even though that isn’t necessarily old, the Dolphins have been going in a younger direction as of late, after releasing veterans Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett and then signing younger players such as Phillip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe.
In my opinion, Winston would be a great signing. At this point, I don’t believe money is the issue. Over the past couple of weeks the Dolphins have set aside money with the hopes that Jake Long would re-sign. We all know that he didn’t, therefore the Dolphins have some money that they could use on Winston. Not all of the money of course, but some of it. Even though I think he would be an ideal person to fill the hole at the right tackle position, the Dolphins most likely don’t agree. If they really wanted him you would have to think that something would have been done by now.
Wherever it is that Winston goes (hopefully Miami), that team will be signing not only a great player, but also an experienced leader for all of the young guys in the locker room.