The Miami Dolphins have worked hard to address their interior offensive line, but the recent availability of Larry Warford might just change things.
A number of players capable at playing either guard position were added by the Miami Dolphins during the off-season, both in free agency and through last month’s draft.
The Dolphins sported arguably the worst offensive line in the entire NFL in 2019 and it was the top priority for improvements once the season was over.
Ereck Flowers and Ted Karras were brought in through free agency to provide veteran experience and quality to upgrade at the guard and center positions, while the likes of Solomon Kindley and Robert Hunt were selected in the draft to provide extra competition and options heading into the 2020 season.
While the team looks to be in a strong position through the middle after their recent acquisitions, the surprising availability of a three-time Pro Bowl guard may give Brian Flores and Chris Grier something to think about.
Larry Warford, who has played for both the Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints during his seven-year career, was cut by the latter organisation, despite being named to the Pro Bowl in each of the past three seasons.
The 28-year-old right-sided guard was most likely a cap casualty, with the Saints freeing up around $7 million as a result of the transaction.
This could potentially benefit the Dolphins, who still have around $28 million available in cap space for the 2020 season.
If the Dolphins were to pursue Warford, he may command a deal worth more than the three-year, $30 million one signed by Flowers during the off-season, which may potentially raise questions as to whether or not the Dolphins would have to cut players in order to accommodate him.
This could potentially spell a swift end to Michael Deiter‘s career with the Dolphins, with last season’s third-round selection already set to compete to retain his starting position on the team with Robert Hunt, assuming the rookie isn’t able to cement his spot as the starting right tackle.
Warford’s age and quality over the past few seasons make him a top free-agent target in the NFL and he would be the perfect addition to the Miami Dolphins roster, especially with left-handed Tua Tagovailoa expected to take over the starting quarterback role in 2021.
Giving the young gunslinger a reliable presence close to his blindside would be a sensible move for the Dolphins, who could build a far stronger unit along the trenches overnight if Warford was brought down to South Beach.
The Dolphins have taken steps in the right direction with their ongoing rebuild and it isn’t often a Pro Bowl-calibre players becomes available so soon after the draft, something that the team should seriously consider if they have hopes of being more competitive in a wide-open AFC East in 2020.
Adding the veteran could also pay dividends for the team’s young players, being able to learn from him and absorb the knowledge of how to play the game the right way, which he clearly has done since linking up with Sean Payton in New Orleans.