The Miami Dolphins spent their bye week and Week 7 preparation hoping to solve offensive line problems internally.
Following Sunday’s home loss to division rival Buffalo, Miami general manager Jeff Ireland decided it was time to seek outside help for his 3-3 team.
As first reported by Fox Sports Insider Jay Glazer, the Dolphins on Monday traded for Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie in exchange for a conditional late-round draft pick.
The deal reportedly is contingent on McKinnie, a former University of Miami standout, passing a physical. The 6-foot-8, 350-pounder has been dealing with a sore knee.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the Ravens for Bryant,” Ireland said in a statement. “He is a proven and experienced player who will be a great addition to the offensive line.”
Apparently, seeing right tackle Tyson Clabo beaten twice for sacks by Bills pass rusher Mario Williams was enough for Ireland to take a chance on McKinnie, who had lost his starting job with Baltimore.
“I have to take full responsibility. Those sacks are my sacks. There’s no way around it,” Clabo said.
McKinnie, 34, could compete with or replace Clabo, or possibly play left tackle with Jonathan Martin moving to the right side.
Considering the cost, giving McKinnie a chance to help the line seems to be worth shot. Perhaps returning to South Florida will re-energize the seventh overall draft pick in 2002.
But anyone thinking McKinnie’s presence automatically solves the Dolphins’ line issues should know this: he’s rated the 65th best offensive tackle, just one spot ahead of Clabo, by ProFootballFocus.com.
Plus, there’s a reason Baltimore traded for Jacksonville’s Eugene Monroe on Oct. 3 to replace McKinnie, who especially has struggled with run blocking.
The Dolphins, losers of three straight, have allowed 26 sacks (third-most in the NFL) and are ranked 25th in rushing (78.0 ypg.).
“Turnovers, sacks, that’s stuff that we can eliminate, that’s stuff that we can control,” right guard Richie Incognito said after Sunday’s loss. “That’s the most frustrating part, when you lose a game like that, that’s a tight ball game and you have so many mistakes and you’re still in it and then you have a mistake to end it.”
Miami will play at division foe New England on Sunday.
Head coach Joe Philbin likes to say the team puts a premium on high-character guys. McKinnie, however, has battled weight and off-field issues in his career.
It’s another move that shows, in the NFL it’s all about results.