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The other free agent OL possibilities

The NFL's worst kept secret now is the Miami Dolphins are going to sign a left tackle in free agency. And it's also no secret that if Baltimore LT Eugene Monroe is available, the Dolphins will chase him. They will also chase Kansas City LT Branden Albert and hoope to land one of the two.

But as the Dolphins have four open offensive line spots and not just one, it must dawn on folks that the free agency derby that starts Monday is going to include at least one and perhaps two more workhorse linemen.


Because even if the Dolphins land Monroe or Branden Albert or some other left tackle, they cannot play a game with just that player and center Mike Pouncey. And believing the Dolphins can go into the draft and pick three linemen to fill the other spots is not very football savvy.

One does not simply draft three rooks, count on all of them to come in and learn the offense, learn the nuances of the game, be good enough to start, and then become cohesive and effective all while playing under a head coach whose record through two seasons suggests he's not fond of starting rookies other than Ryan Tannehill.

So veteran shopping beyond Monroe et al. the Dolphins must go.

The problem with that?

The free agency market at guard and right tackle is not exactly teeming with great possibilities.

There are a couple of good possibilities. But not great.

The guard market is so depressing that Richie Incognito would be the catch of the group were it not for his emotional problems and history. John Jerry will also be in that group and I suppose the Dolphins could bring him back -- if they don't want to upgrade, and don't mind mediocre play, and don't have a problem with him being a key player in the harassment scandal the past couple of years.

Assuming the Dolphins do want to upgrade there are a couple of guards that offer that chance:

Chad Rinehart, 29, showed himself a valuable, tough inside presence for the Chargers last season. He was battling a nagging toe injury much of the year but still showed up on Sunday and did OK work. Obviously, the Dolphins need to do their homework on the injury and decide how much that really limited Rinehart's play. Rinehart graded out slightly better than Jerry but, again, he was hurt, Jerry was healthy and there's the other stuff hovering over Jerry.

Geoff Shwartz, 27, is the brother of Cleveland Browns tackle Mitchell Shwartz and he became a very pleasant surprise for the Chiefs when he took over at right guard for them last year. Shwartz was previously the backup right tackle but when he stepped over to RG the Chiefs got better pass protection from the position. His run-blocking in adequate. (Hey, I"m not saying pay the guy like he's Jahri Evans).

(Peanut gallery: But Mando, we watched the playoffs and the Super Bowl and saw the Broncos have this guard Zane Beadles and he's a free agent. The guy played on a good team so he must be good. Let's get him!)

I was coming to him, gallery. He is a free agent -- like the others, unless he re-signs -- and he was good enough to start on a very good team. And he was good in 2012. But in his contract year, Beadles didn't shine. He was the No. 51-rated guard, according to ProFootballFocus.com. And while the metrics site is not the Bible and thus inerrant, it is widely recognized Beadles didn't play up to his previous heights last year despite being surrounded by Super Bowl talent.

So what happens if he's surrounded by non-playoff talent? What happens if he expects Tannehill to get rid of the ball like Peyton Manning but Tannehill is still holding the ball like, well, Ryan Tannehill?

Maybe he steps up to previous form. But would the Dolphins want to pay the premium Beadles is going to want to bet on a good answer to that question?

I'm thinking Rinehart and Schwartz have a lower ceiling but their asking price is also going to be much, much lower than Beadles'.

That addresses the guard possibilities. Obviously, there are a couple of right tackle possibilities.

The best of those is probably Austin Howard of the New York Jets. He played quite well for the NYJ last year and that team does not want to lose him.

But there's a market for a 26-year-old, athletic, two-year starter, who happened to handle being in New York well.

Also, adding him would mean weakening the Jets.

The other accomplished right tackle on the market is Zach Strief, who is actually a better player than Howard but is mentioned second here because he wants badly to return to New Orleans and the Saints want him as well.

Stief gave up only three sacks in over 1,000 snaps last season and that caused PFF.com to rate him right along with Drew Brees as the highest-graded Saints offensive player. Remember, if you will, Jimmy Graham also played on the Saints offense so this is a big deal.

Strief comes with the added value that he is a leader. And the Dolphins are looking for that. Strief was one of his team’s offensive captains and is known to be a top lockerroom leader.

Obviously, Strief prefers to stay with a Super Bowl contender and at a place where he's already comfortable. But at 30 years old, he must understand this will probably be his last big contract opportunity.

And the Saints, like most teams with a highly paid quarterback, don't have a lot of flexibility within their cap.


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Coyle repeatedly marching Wheeler out here was not only a fireable offense but enough to march him out front of a firing line

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | March 07, 2014 at 12:52 PM

We've had this discussion many times Mark, I still believe he should have been gone before Sherman even!

By th way who are the OL you feeling in this draft you always seem to focus on the group in the combine and nailed it with your assesment of Martin!

Shazier sounds like a good LB prospect. He is a bit undersized to be a OLB. Probably WLB in our 4-3,replace Wheeler. Great athlete. Will be better as MLB than OLB.

Depending how Free Agency goes. We should be drafting one of the best LBs early.

If the Fins fix the line in FA. They can go after the best ILB early in the draft.

Henne is back with the Jags. Where is Exposing The Fraud.

In all honesty, I think Henne will make a decent stopgap/backup.

Coyle is the best coach we have. His D is the best part of the team. He will be given careful consideration for HC when Philbin is fired.

hahha, Julian opened upa bar and gym in his trailer ... the picture of Julian about to bench while drinking a rum n coke lives to me to this day. Same idea maurice Clarett had with teh Grey Goose in his water bottle leading up to the combine. Worked better for Julian.

Henne > Tannehill


I liked Bubbles' "Shed & Breakfast" LMAO

Armanda has got to be the worst football evaluator to get paid to write about football. Dude is terrible, reminds me of some of the daily comment makers around here. Hmmm....

Henne wears onesies. No man can ever do this and then be able to be a man again.

f4l, there are several guys available early, middle and late in this draft.

1st rounders are obvious to everyone - the usual 4 suspects.

2nd - Gabe jackson and Su'Filo at G. Cyril Richardson is an option but he may be too much of aplowhorse for this zone blocking stuff. yankey is ok but really wouldn't spend the pick on him. - Billy Turner form North Dakota State is a RT candidate , but probably not day one because of his school.

3rd - Joel Bitonio and Juwuan james are candidates and I would consider taking Bitonio in the 2nd. To me this is the Terron Armstead of this year's draft. At g, I love Brandon Thomas of Clemson almost as much as I love Bitonio.

Charles Leno of Boise St in the 4th at OT - excellent feet and lower body strength.

Theen there are several late round projects I think are worthy - chief among them is John Urschel of Penn State and Ryan Groy of Wisconsin.

The bust candidates to me are Cyrus Kouandijo and Morgan Moses.

Incomplete on james hurst. Anxiously awaiting that UNC pro day to see him and Eric Ebron go at it.


Do you ever dress up like Barbara Eden in 'I Dream of Jeannie?'

I think it would be marvelous if you did that and strolled down Spadina Avenue on a lovely Spring morning.

I would snatch Bitonio up with our 2nd rd pick in a heartbeat.

Dashi, I know you like LBs, check out a guy I think is getting a raw deal from this draft process ... Kevin Pierre-Louis pf Boston College. Guy is the mirror image of Shazier as far as athleticism and production but has a fifth round grade on him which is extremely puzzling. Especially since he is known to have a high football IQ and a model teammate and citizen.

I really can't figure out why the grade is so low.

I really can't figure out why the grade is so low.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | March 07, 2014 at 01:23 PM

Canadiens arent expected to be able to figure football out, Dont worry bout it.


If Miami were to grab Bitonio IMO they'd have to do it in the 2nd. I think same goes for J. James. I like both also. B. Thomas has been the recent talk about climbing boards.

Have you watched any of LT Kenarious Gates? He'll more than likely be a OG in the pros but I like what I've seen. He could be had 6th or 7th round and possibly UDFA. He wasn't invited to the combine.

If you watch you tube of Gurley you can check him out. #72.

OK, I will consider that when spring hits us here in about 2 months..

Thank you.


Will do.

From what I have seen, this Draft has better OLBs, than ILB. A couple LBs that I would like the Fins to get in the Mid Rounds. J.Attaochu OLB, and A.Hubbard.

If we draft A.Hubbard, I would switch to the 3-4.

Texas, Gabe jackson, Joel Bitonio and Brandon Thomas are my 3 favourite linemen available after round 1. Any one of the three would produce us a starter, IMO.

Not familiar with Green. I limit myself to the top 20 tackles and guards, and the top 10 centres as per CBS. Green wasn't on the list. Every year there are number of guys available late in the interior line that have the talent to be multi year starters. We drafted one in Donald Thomas but for some reason gave up on him way too early. A great o line coach to me is the most valuable assistant on a team. If you find a coach that can take a late round pick and cultivate that piece of clay - he's worth his weight in gold.

Several teams excel at this, we have not. Hopefully benton can do for us what he did for Houston.

I agree Dashi, a lot of good ones - DD's boy Jordan Tripp, Prince Shembo of Notre Dame and Carl Bradford of ASU also look promising.

Not Kyle Van Noy though - that mormon won't hunt.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | March 07, 2014 at 01:17 PM

Thanks for the breakdown, I saw Hurst plenty as a Canes fan given NC is ACC Conf. foe and think he moves up boards on their Pro Day at nearly 6'8"/310 Pds is very fast and feel he's a S.Vollmer type.I also noticed your not very high on either of the U's guys with Seantrel Henderson or Brandon Linder in the Middle Rds.?? Haven't seen enough of Brandon Thomas but love the physical play out of those Clemson kids! His QB T.Boyd did to much running for his interior guys on the OL to shine.

I think like Leonard Davis who didn't have the quick feet for Tackle a decade ago when picked Top-5 by Az. before moving to LG in Dallas much maybe the same in what awaits Kouandjio at the next level. I saw him a bunch this Yr. given Bama was on TV every Sat. and we needed an LT and he was a MAULER in the run game when he engages a DL it's over he's just to strong but when pressed by the speed guys off the edge like Auburn's smallish DE's (NFL 3/4 OLB's) He had a gang of trouble!

Could be in the mechanics but when you play for Saban and his Coaches and can't get quirks fixed at OL, LB or DB it's a bit of a red flag. Also everybody talks up Tennessee's T.Richardson but his bookend JuWaun James looks like a solid Day-2 draft prospect for RT.

A kid who entered this draft that I did see and is interesting in the Lower Rds with about as much upside as anybody at Guard is LSU's Trai Turner (6'3"/320) who prognostications say entered the draft a Yr. early (no Pro League punishes Underclassmen like the NFL in their draft with great prospects who need the polish)

You guys are coming up with Players here that not even Ireland would know about. Nuggets, anyone?

f4l, I'm on the fence re: Seantral. he measures out just ok. Not high enough I think to be selected but probably just well enough to be in the conversation.

Trai Turner looks promising. He's another pro day that will require monitoring. Again, he's one of those guys (like brenner) that have good raw skills but need good coaching and have the ability to be starters on down the line.

@ Fin4life Appreciate Pouncey reply good info!!


Trailer Park Boys - The Coolest Thing About The Show - is that when it 1st started & was catching on well here & they were working for literally peanuts - they were offered a deal but we're told they'd have to "tone it down" a bit, they said no way & cont'd..look at'm now!

Originally filmed a couple hrs away from me, not sure if it still is..

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