After a week of deliberation, the Miami Dolphins have finally decided on an offensive tackle. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, former Atlanta Falcons’ right tackle Tyson Clabo will sign with Miami soon as a deal is being finalized this morning.
Clabo’s agent has told Jackson the deal is only for one year but no financial parameters have been provided yet.
When Jake Long signed with the St. Louis Rams earlier this offseason he left a huge void at left tackle. The Dolphins attempted to trade for Branden Albert but were not willing to give in to the Chiefs’ outrageous compensation demands.
Jeff Ireland’s solution now is to move second-year tackle Jonathan Martin to Ryan Tannehill’s blindside to fill the void left by Long, which of course creates another need at right tackle. So signing Tyson Clabo to play right tackle fills the Dolphins’ last remaining void along the offensive line and potentially the roster when you consider the pieces Ireland has brought in this offseason.
At 31 years old, Clabo probably isn’t a long-term solution at right tackle for the Dolphins. They are only reportedly signing him to a one-year deal, after all. But if he plays well this season there is no reason to believe the Dolphins won’t entertain the idea of keeping him around to potentially hold down the fort on the right side for two or three more seasons.
And there is no reason to believe Clabo’s play will deteriorate any time soon. Last season he was ranked 14th out of 80 tackles according to Pro Football Focus. And in 2011 he was ranked 2nd in the entire league.
This isn’t a player that the Atlanta Falcons wanted to get rid of. They were facing a salary cap crunch and didn’t have enough space to sign their rookie class. The Falcons begrudgingly were forced to let Clabo go. And the Dolphins stand to benefit.
So there you have it. The cherry on top to one of the most eventful offseasons in franchise history has been placed.
Update: Clabo’s deal is indeed a one-year contract worth $3.5 million with $1.5 million guaranteed. The Dolphins now have an estimated $7.5 million in cap space but will have an extra $10 million freed up on June 1st when the Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett contracts are alleviated. Signing the 2013 draft class will cost the Dolphins somewhere around $8 million, giving them about $9.5 million in projected cap space. Most of that remaining cap will likely be rolled over to 2014.