Miami Dolphins offensive tackle situation ahead of free agency and the draft


The Miami Dolphins offensive line issues are not strictly shouldered by the lack of play by the guards. The tackles bear a lot of that responsibility as well and for the Dolphins, a solution may not be easy.

When Miami watched Laremy Tunsil drop like a rock in the 2016 NFL Draft it was no surprise they jumped on the opportunity to draft a book end tackle. After spending the 2016 season at guard Tunsil moved back outside to his natural left tackle position. But he struggled.

Tunsil has a long way to go before becoming an all-pro left tackle and if last years performance is an indication, it may be a very long time. Tunsil has all of the tools and the power to make for a great left tackle but he needs to work on his first step and for the love of the Dolphins he needs to stop the pre-snap penalties. Something he excelled in last season.

Heading into the 2018 season there is no question that Tunsil will be the starting left tackle but there are questions as to whether or not Ja’Wuan James will be the starting right tackle.

James is scheduled to make north of $6 million in 2018 after having his 5th year option picked up last season. Miami has since rescinded that option but indications are they still are considering bringing him back on a lesser salary.

If that is the case does James want to come back and make less money? He may hit free agency and see what his market value is. At 26 years old and a better than simply average tackle, James should find suitors on the open market despite missing a lot of games last year with an injury.

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The Dolphins beyond those two really don’t have the depth to simply plug and play behind James should he leave and that means Miami will need to address the position in free agency or the draft.

Sam Young is probably the most experienced but his time at the position last year was up and down. The Dolphins may have a future tackle in Zach Sterup but he is still raw and needs to develop more but he could be a long-term solution if he can make that turn.

Miami has taken the easy way out with their offensive line in the last few years and that needs to change. The Dolphins can’t have a great offense until they have a solid offensive line and that starts with the tackles. This off-season, Miami will have to make a decision on the right tackle position.