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The Miami Dolphins tackle direction

PHOENIX -- Remember the names Sebastian Vollmer, Eric Winston, or any of a number of draft picks on the board that might be able to play left tackle, including Oklahoma's Lane Johnson.

All are options the Dolphins have confirmed to me, through sources, they will study in an effort to fill the void left by Jake Long's signing with St. Louis.

But for the moment, and perhaps much longer, Miami's new left tackle is Jonathan Martin. The man who played the spot last season when Long went on his now habitual December injured reserve sabbatical  is today the Dolphins new left tackle.

"Right now he is," Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said today at the NFL annual meeting.

Are the Dolphins upset Jake Long is gone?

Yes. And no.

The team will miss his grittiness. The players may miss his leadership. 

"I've got nothing but LOVE for Jake! The Rams just got themselves one hell of a leader! Not to mention the toughest dude I know," guard Richie Incognito tweeted today.

But Miami's coaching staff and personnnel departments were ready for this possibility. They set a price for Long -- that was not as high as what the St.  Louis Rams gave him, but in the ballpark. And although the club could have increased its offer to Long, they really didn't to any significant degree.

In the end, as I wrote here, Long picked the team that offered him the most money and with whom he felt most comfortable. A source close to Long told me this morning the Rams simply made Long feel more wanted. (Obviously the money was part of that but there were other issues at play including lifestyle issues.)

So where do the Dolphins go from here?

The club is closing in on finalizing a deal for Nate Garner, according to The Herald's Adam Beasley, but that is not the answer. Garner is viewed by the team as a solid and valuable backup tackle who can start in a pinch. But, again, he is not the long-term answer.

A club source told me this morning the team plans a corresponding move to upgrade the offensive line. That move isn't necessarily the signing of a left tackle. Indeed, the best offensive lineman on the market now is New England's Sebastian Vollmer, who is a right tackle.

It is possible the Dolphins go after Vollmer to upgrade at right tackle and move forward with Martin at left tackle. It must be noted that Vollmer comes with red flags. He missed all of training camp last year with back issues. He played throughout the season, even practicing during the week, but the back was constantly an issue for him.

He also suffered back issues in 2011.

So the Patriots have not bent over backwards (pardon the pun) to re-sign Vollmer.

Eric Winston is a short-term possibility. He's been cut two consecutive offseasons and that speaks to his relative value or over-value in some sense. If the Dolphins show interest in Winston, and they have not yet, it will likely be as a stop-gap situation -- perhaps a one- or two-year deal. Winston is also a right tackle.

If the Dolphins wanted to make a commitment at left tackle, I suppose they could chase Andre Smith. Hard to believe they'd do that. Smith has struggled with weight issues in the past. He solved those last year but, of course, that was his contract year.

He is a mauler. He was good last year, but not great. He wants big money.

I'm thinking Smith is not a Dolphins kind of guy. He's not a great system fit. He's doesn't sound like a Joe Philbin guy. He's expensive. And there are lots better (also cheaper) options in the draft.

Bryant McKinnie?

Don't see it. He's going to be 34. He was a backup for Baltimore all of last year until the playoffs because he was out of shape. He finally got in shape in time for the playoffs and played very, very well. McKinnie also has obvious South Florida ties as a former University of Miami player.

But, again, he's not a system fit. He's not a Philbin kind of guy. He's a guy that you have to worry about being out late at night at the local clubs. He's going to be 34. Did I mention that?

Maybe he's an short-term injury option. Maybe he's a desperation pickup after the draft. I don't see him as the answer now.

Comments

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1) DJ Fluker would be the top RT prospect available in the draft. We can pick him in the first round (probably after a trade-down), although he looks a bit slow -even for the RT spot- and could have problems with faster rushers in the NFL unless he keeps losing weight and getting faster.

2) Vollmer is a better rounded pass-rotector than DJ Fluker right now (injuries apart), no doubt about it.

3) If Dolphins want a new LT they would have to trade-up... or pick an enigmatic alternative who goes by the name of Terron Armstead. And this is the point when our possibilities become interesting and complex.

4) This guy is not just fast, he is the fastest EVER. Speed-rushers WILL have a problem every time they face him, although he needs to improve his technique and gain a bit of lean mass in his lower body to avoid being bull-rushed back. He also lacks any college experience against serious rivals. Still he offers availability to start right away, speed, great heigth, arm-lenght and athleticism; everything for a late 1st round to early 2nd round pick.

5) Dolphins can also draft Menelik Watson at 2nd round to have a competition between he and J. Martin for the starting LT spot. Loser plays RT.

Good to see we're not wasting any more time waiting around for Long.

The words Dolphins and Draft in the same sentence concern me.

leave martin at LT and draft a RT to compete with garner. If we can get volmer for a decent price I would do it.

"The words Dolphins and Draft in the same sentence concern me."

Fintasy,

If Philbin wasn't the HC I'd probably agree.

I think we are closer to the answer then most think. The question I would be asking is what is up with Will Yeatman and John Jerry? What are this clubs future plans with those two? just saying.

Dolphins should draft an offensive lineman in every round this year.

Amando, You go aplozie to a l reporter for spreading lie about him reporting thbat Jake Long was at Dolphins HeadQuarter Last Sat.

Another option in the Draft, who I really like is Kyle Long. He is Howie Long's kid an has moved up the boards projected in the 2nd round. You can move Martin over and use this kid as a backup for a bit and let him develop a little. He definitely has the build for LT

Just get Lane Johnson ... the most athletic guy in this draft for his position ... DO IT

How many teams are scheduled to take OTs before us anyway??

Mando, thrilled with Ireland right now! Got rid of the dead weight that would want excess money. Bush could have stayed but, there are reserves in numbers!

Not chasing Long was the RIGHT move! Getting younger & cheaper at LB'er was a good move & there is potential for bigger plays now!

Take Jakes money & bring in a Corner and a tackle & go into the draft being able to take the best available!
That's what good teams do!

Hey Fed Up (from the last blog),

I'll address it ONCE and then I'm done. You can rant and rave all day for all I care (do we know anyone else that does that....think for a second....yep)

I didn't say what you are claiming I said. I said I read it more than once last week. One of the places I read it was from Omar. So are you saying he made it up?

Last time, I said, I read more than once that the two guys we brought in fared worse in TE coverage last year than the guys we originally had. That't not my claim. That what I READ. You're all how to trot with capital letters, insults, threats, the whole nine years.

Sources? I gave you one in Omar. There were other places I read. I don't need to post them or tell you where, cause really you're not that important to me. I'm not on here 24/7 like you. Go do a little research yourself and tell me what you find.

I talked about TE coverage and you give me posts (that don't open where you wanted to direct me, btw) about pass rush and completion yards, which again was not the point I was making.

I'm done....I'm sure you'll rant on, likely under different names. Good day!

"he finally got in shape for the playoffs and played very, very well".
Brian is definitely worth a 1 year contract.

1-Eifert
2a-Banks
2b-Woods
3a-Long
3b-McDonald @ Safety
4a-Amerson or Bpa @CB
4b(compensatory)-Warford
5-bpa@-Olb
7a-Bpa@DT
7b-bpa@ PK

Mark,

I could see the Eagles, Chargers, possibly the Jags and possibly a team like the Cards or Bills taking a LT. Ideal situation would be for us to get Johnson at LT but don't we need a back-up plan? Is Garner or Jerry the back-up plan? I could very easily see all three tackles go top ten. Does McKinnie become the back-up plan?

bobby, I'm a fan of Kyle Long in the 2nd too.

"How many teams are scheduled to take OTs before us anyway??"

Mark,

Honestly...I think all eleven teams ahead of us can use either a LT or RT. Some of the teams can use just about everything. And then there are the teams who pick after us who need a Tackle.

If we're going to trade up I'd do it for Fisher who I believe is the best player in this draft. I'm aware that Lane Johnson won the combine BUT Fisher is the man.

"I could see the Eagles, Chargers, possibly the Jags and possibly a team like the Cards or Bills taking a LT. Ideal situation would be for us to get Johnson at LT but don't we need a back-up plan? Is Garner or Jerry the back-up plan? I could very easily see all three tackles go top ten. Does McKinnie become the back-up plan?"

Craig,

And the Chiefs??? What do they do??? If they don't take Fisher or Joeckel then they're reaching.

Im tired of stopgaps in free agents which all available sound like they fall under...go to the draft to replace long, save the money!!!

Mark in Toronto, his dad has called him the most athletic in the family. This is one of the guys who we can develop through the Draft IMO who can be a monster player for us for years to come. Have to see how this plays out

Almost every mock out there has Lane Johnson being drafted before our Dolphins pick at #12.

yeah Craig, looks LT hungry in the top 10. Best opportunity in the draft may be Armstead or Long in the 2nd.

WNPs,

Possible the Chiefs but I heard a lot of talk with them being interested in Floyd these days. They may have sealed their fate when they franchised Albert.

Martin played as well as Jake I thought when he did fill in last year - But had some VERY ugly moments (bull-rush). If he can gain some much needed strength he will be very good. CB needs to be addressed - I like Marshall, but do not trust his back - letting Smith walk for less than 6mm was a mistake IMO. He wasnt great, but easily worth that kind of money. Hopefully Ireland has a plan for this. Been a long time since I have been excited about teh club - I even liked the logo update on Ellerbe's Twitter.

I hope they trade a third or 4th round pick to get up into the top 10. I'm a big Lane Johnson fan and would love if they took him. If not I like Armstead in the 2nd.

Possible the Chiefs but I heard a lot of talk with them being interested in Floyd these days. They may have sealed their fate when they franchised Albert.

Craig,

I'm still not sure why they franchised him with the Tackles in this draft but whatever. If they take Floyd I think Mel Kiper may have a heart attack on the air.

WNPs,

I'm very surprised they franchised Albert too. Now I hear they are open to trading him.

I didnt realize Long had moved i.to the 2nd rd, crappp..... That just totally screwed up my draft plans. Back to the drafting board i guess lol. This has been a complete waste of my offseason, hope Ireland doesn't fire me... Lol

I hope they trade a third or 4th round pick to get up into the top 10. I'm a big Lane Johnson fan and would love if they took him. If not I like Armstead in the 2nd.

Nemo,

Or maybe Philbin thinks Martin will improve @ LT & he likes this kid Flueker from Alabama to play RT. I don't think you can go wrong with the players from that Alabama O-line. Although my favorite Guard in this draft is Cooper b/c of how well he moves--Warmack is a f#cking beast & their Center Barrett Jones is no slouch either.

I suspect that Miami will go into this OT rich draft draft with Martin, Garner and Yeatman. Everyone keeps forgetting that the Phins have been bulking up Yeatman, who is a terrific athlete, for this role.

All I know is something has to be done because martin did not play an NFL caliber LT tackle last year and i have no faith that he will be good enough this year. Sure he could improve but I would have other plans.

Word is Fluker is gonna slide to possibly 3rd round, I forget why exactly but I'm thinkin it was cuz of his lack of movement and stiff hips (not positive but I wanna say he's who I'm thinkin of)
Yea I'm definately high on Long, take him i. 2nd if necessary...

Jake handled this messy, but it will blow over. Miami needed to either move on from his services or get someone else to play OT. That hasn't changed. OT void gets filled with free agency or draft. Moving on.

I'm very surprised they franchised Albert too. Now I hear they are open to trading him.

Craig,

Sounds odd to me. I honestly don't remember a team franchising a guy & then trading him. I thought the point of the franchise was to keep a guy that you couldn't afford to lose. So if they can't trade him then they're stuck with a $10 Million bill???

I think the Chiefs have already screwed up by overpaying for Bowe who is going to be 29 & they will regret signing Sean Smith. Bowe is a good player but he's not great.

One thing we all seem to be missing is Armando said in his article, "the team is finalizing a deal to upgrade its offensive line". Could that be one of he Guards Miami bought in last week for a visit?? I find that interesting

We don't need to pick a LT in this draft....we picked one last year with our second round pick. He was one of the best LT's in last years draft. Protected Luck's blind side for several college seasons. He's under contract already. How is Lane Johnson (a former QB, TE, RT, and 13-game LT wonder) a better bet than Martin. Martin was projected first round material last year. Let's move on!

All I know is something has to be done because martin did not play an NFL caliber LT tackle last year and i have no faith that he will be good enough this year. Sure he could improve but I would have other plans.

Mark,

I'm giving Philbin the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the O-line. I have no idea if Martin will be our LT this year but not re-signing Long speaks volumes about what he thought about Long's 12 starts last year. Apparently he saw what I saw--sh#tty protection.

Long wasn't worth it for the money. Had they paid him what the Rams did and he ending this year on the IR (again) it would have been a major issue. Better off starting fresh, be it Martin or someone else.

Martin needs to get stronger to handle LT. He's smart and athletic enough otherwise.

I expect the three premier LT's in the draft to be gone before Miami picks so I think they'll address the O-Line in rounds 2, 3 and a bit later on.

They could move Jerry to RT and draft a zone blocking OG that can move a bit better. That wouldn't surprise me a bit.

So lots of options for the Fish and nothing to be too concerned about.

we dont need any guys with back troubles forge that route....unless we are willing to draft a OT #1 ....martin is the man,maybe sign Vallos (jax) to play RT

Please do not draft another fat slob in the draft or Im going to puke, Im so sick of drafting irrelavant OL's I rather have my nails pulled from be with a pliers.

Yea Craig, OMAR! Yea Craig, the links don't work! You can't make this stuff up! Where did Omar provide any factual basis to support his comments?

HE DIDNT!

Omar is pis*y because Dansby was his guy who would actually talk to him. Notice his baby pouting routine by adding (drop mic) after making the initial tweet!

He's bitter!!! You have yet to provide ONE shred of evidence that Ellerbe & Wheeler can't cover TE's when I provided you the ypc against them is BETTER than Dansby & Burnetts from 2012.

THAT REFUTERS YOUR CLAIM! BTW, Omar was ridiculed over how he is hating what Miami has done because the guys they got rid of are "his boys"! Some source!

You have no factual basis to make your claims but, you still do. So yea, I'll rant on & on until you post something factual.

No worries, anyone who read the blog knows who they believe and who they don't.

Martin was a rookie, so we have to cut him some slack for that. I hope he steps up. Assuming a rookie will play better than him at LT is riskier than banking on Martin in the first place. There risk at the tackle position this year for sure especially if we don't bring in a seasoned vet at RT.

Like I said earlier, WNP, I wouldn't fart rainbows about everything being ok. They did offer the man $8M a year which would've been their 2nd biggest signing and held off on all other O line moves until this was settled. Doesn't sound to me like this is what they wanted to do.

This is what happens when a team is constantly changing coaches. The players one administration chooses do not fit the scheeme and plans of the next guy. Jake Long is a power tackel. He is not a small athelic lineman that Philbin's offense calls for. Parcells wanted smash mouth football Philbin wants slap your face football. Long will flourish with the Rams because Jeff Fischer's teams are more into physicality than the ballet type of football Philbin has planned for Miami.

And on and on and on that guy goes.....anyone surprised?

Do we know anyone like that on this blog? Nah, couldn't be. Must be some other guy, cause we KNOW that guy doesn't use multiple names. Just find it interesting the way he rants.

I told you bud, I'm done with you. Keep going because we know that's what you do. Very likely Canadien Bacon will be here too, out of the blue.....and all your other buds.

I've stated my case. Can't make it any clearer than I did. But keep going....

Any chance of Lydon Murtha getting healthy and adding depth at OT? He looked really good in limited action before getting hurt.

Mark, I agree... Thinkin thats why they were waiting on Jake to make a decision before continuing in FAcy. I know they like Martin but thinkin they prefer him at RT after seeing him for a few games get blowed up at will sometimes. Then again the guy was a stud at LT at Stanford, i think the whole offseason at RT and practice there all season just killed his comfort at LT. HE's still our best option rite now and looks like we're stuk w/him there unless a 2nd or 3rd rounder out plays him cuz I don't thi.k Ireland drafts another O-lineman at 12, he said himself he wants a difference maker at 12 with explosive ability. So I'd bet linemen don't come till 2nd rd unless someone like Warmak or Johnson slide to 12. I'm still hopin for Eifert at 12 cuz with all the big plays TEs have produced the last couple yrs I'm betting someone takes him before 20 so if he's on the Dolphins radar they better take him at 12 cuz Fisher mite snatch him at 16 in all seriousness to give them two Biggons...

WNPs,

The media is getting all giddy about what Andy Reid's doing in KC. I don't get it. Overpaid for Bowe, Smith isn't that good, franchised Albert, overpaid for Smith. And when the team isn't any better than 6-10 or 7-9 they'll wonder what went wrong. Andy Reid is making a lot of the same mistakes he made in Philly. He's trying to turn it around overnight and do it through FA. This is why I look at what we're doing from a position of caution. If guys want to celebrate based on one week of FA, then go ahead. I'll wait and see how it all comes together before I get to excited.

Posted by: Craig M | March 18, 2013 at 01:37 PM

Quit crying! WAHHH WAHHHH WAHHHH!

Take your lumps like a man.

Do you really think trying to fool the blog into believing someone is this person or that person is gonna make you look less dumb than you made yourself today?

NOT A CHANCE BLABBERMOUTH!

Sure thing fella....keep going. You're nothing if not entertaining.


I told you bud, I'm done with you.

Posted by: Craig M | March 18, 2013 at 01:37 PM

Yea, I can see you are. LOL! That explains the constant posting to me. You can't help yourself when someone exposes your nonsense.

More hollow comments from the blog resident big mouth.

Come on Craig, tell us more about your "sources"

The irony in this is that Ross wanted Fischer as his coach last year. He was the number 1 guy. Now Fischer determines that Long is worth all the money while the number 2 guy (Philbin) does not. Another irony while Miami has 0 guy's left from Parcell's first draft the Rams now have two. Long and Kendall Langford.

I gotta get back to work lol, chat it up later with yu guys. Hagd all....
Breaking news guys - Dolphins just traded their 1st rd pick in 2013 draft and Both 2nd rd picks for JAKE LONG.... Jeff Fisher SINKS HIS HOOKS INTO DOLPHINS... LMAO

Craig at 1:48, keep going! Cause, ya know, you're done with me. Remember?

You can't handle people settin you straight? Can ya?

Mr. Sources!

Bucs looking to trade Blount.

He's only 26...

Wonder if he would fit into "The Plan"?

Did the right thing by getting Wallace. Big money, but a specific need and that was the market price. Did the right think by not chasing Long. Was right for the Rams from their prspective with their need, but not for us at his asking price. Wise choices by the Phins FO. We are going younger, faster, zonier and Long was not that type of LT. Not sure if Martin is ultimate option for LT, but he showed some talent last year and I believe FO has a plan they intend to follow and we will see some interesting things unfold. I am more worried about our DB's but the new LB's give us some very refreshing choices. Faster, more athletic and aggressive Vs bigger and brusier. Hit hard but not slow That's the way to go and PLEASE give us a good draft for a change....last year not bad, but we will not be in such a god position for a long time.

Look sign Vollmer. He is another type Jake long. But RT. Rams gamble on Jake we should gamble on Vollmer. And he is not as expensive. Probably 7 or 8 mil. I sign him to a two year contract. With only sign bonus guarantee. Than draft OL in the middle rounds.

I did some research and thought I would share this with you Phin Fans.
His name is Will Yeatman, and the Dolphin coaches are very high on him, he could be our new left tackle. He is also left handed. Watch the video on finsiders in January.
He is a former tight end, and is now up to 305lbs from 270 when he was playing tight end.
He is being groomed by Hudson Houck right now in San Diego. For those of you who do not know who Coach Houck is, he is an offensive line genius. He has coach more all pro offensive line then anyone in the league, with over 29 years of NFL experience. He is now retired and working with Will Yeatman as we speak daily. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise. Maybe we have our Left Tackle already. I know New England very upset when we signed him off waivers from them.

How Doplhins let go of Jake Long?? Big mistake especially the money difference was not big (2M for 3 years!!!). I am sure he would have taken 1M less from the Doplhins if they offered and they had the money and you need to spend it on important positions. We are talking about the 2nd most important position (LT) in football after QB.

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