The Miami Dolphins will enter the 2013 with a new starting left tackle and today they will enter the 2013 season with a new starting right tackle. As the March new year rang in for the NFL, the biggest question was what would the Miami Dolphins do about their offensive line.
Jake Long left for the St. Louis Rams after a week of back and forth and the Dolphins then opted not to address the position during free agency. Most believed the Dolphins would slide last years rookie RT Jonathan Martin to left tackle where he filled in for an injured Long last year and address the position in the draft.
Today the Dolphins and former Atlanta Falcon RT Tyson Clabo have agreed to terms. Clabo will play the right side and Martin will indeed move to the left.
In the days leading up to the draft, the Dolphins were reportedly in heated discussions with the Kansas City Chiefs about a trade that would bring LT Branden Albert to the team. There are varying reports on how those trade winds blew. The Dolphins had reportedly offered their 2nd, second rounder while the Chiefs reportedly wanted the first. Then it appeared the Dolphins hadn’t offered anything less than a 3 or a 4. Regardless, the trade never happened.
As the Dolphins opened their end of the week rookie mini-camp, head coach Joe Philbin told reporters that “nothing was immanent” in regards to adding a left tackle. Apparently it was or a right tackle.
Clabo comes from the Falcons who came up one game short of a Super Bowl birth last year. He will join another former Falcon, Brent Grimes. Clabo was being courted heavily by the Dallas Cowboys who are looking for an upgrade over Doug Free who is still on the roster. The Dolphins had been flirting with another right tackle over the last two off-seasons.
Many believed that Eric Winston was the top choice for the Dolphins after the team flirted with him at the kick-off to free agency last season. Winston signed with the Chiefs after leaving Miami without a deal. Winston was cut this off-season by the Chiefs prior to the start of free agency. The Dolphins showed interest in Winston but never seemed to connect. They revisited the player after the draft but have now opted to go the Clabo route.
According to Pro-Football Focus Winston was the 9th rated RT in the NFL last season, Clabo was rated 5th. Clabo has started every game for the Atlanta Falcons since 2008. The only team he had ever played for. His release last month was a salary cap move that saved the Falcons 4.5 million.
The terms of the deal are not immediately known but it appears to be a one year deal for the 32 year old tackle. If true, the Dolphins will need to be exceptionally active in the 2014 off-season. The Dolphins have made several one year deals this off-season. Brent Grimes, Dustin Keller, Randy Starks on the franchise tag, and now Clabo.
CORRECTION: Tyson Clabo originally signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent. He was cut and added to the NY Giants practice squad. He signed with the Falcons in 2005.