The Dolphins are hosting a free-agent tackle today. But it’s not the player everybody thought it would be.
Bryant McKinnie is reportedly in South Florida and meeting with the Dolphins. He will receive a physical but no deal has been offered yet.
McKinnie made the Pro Bowl in 2009 with Minnesota and won a Super Bowl last season in Baltimore.
But he’ll be 34 years old in September and didn’t start a game in the regular season last year for the Ravens.
It has been perceived that the Dolphins’ solution to their problems at tackle could be signing Eric Winston and trusting Jonathan Martin to protect Ryan Tannehill’s blindside.
But showing interest in McKinnie indicates the Dolphins may be far from sold on Martin starting at left tackle.
While Eric Winston is much younger than McKinnie and has the potential to be more than just a short-term fix, he doesn’t play left tackle. McKinnie does. That would make McKinnie a better fit in Miami if the Dolphins simply don’t believe Martin is capable of holding down the left tackle spot.
But let’s wait to see how this plays out before we speculate any further. This could be nothing more than the Dolphins doing their homework and investigating one of their remaining options.
Don’t rule out this being Jeff Ireland’s attempt to gain some leverage in negotiations with a free-agent like Eric Winston or even with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs are reportedly still shopping Branden Albert and some have speculated that they will be willing to part with him for a 2014 second-round pick. Meeting with McKinnie could be Ireland attempting to bump down Albert’s price.
So still a lot of uncertainty here with what the Dolphins will do at tackle. But expect a solution, one way or another, sooner rather than later.