In spite of the Miami Dolphins‘ pressing needs along the offensive line — one of which is at right tackle — the team has no interest in re-signing Bryant McKinnie, who started 10 games for the team last season at left tackle.
The Dolphins did sign tackle Branden Albert to fill the left tackle void created by McKinnie becoming a free agent, and the franchise also eventually signed Shelley Smith at guard. However, the team is still without a starting right tackle, and McKinnie has vocally stated that he would be willing to return to South Florida.
Although he has started his entire career at left tackle, McKinnie told 560-WQAM, a local South Florida sports radio station, that he would be willing to make the transition to right tackle for the Dolphins: “It shouldn’t be too hard. I have done it in practice a few times. It shouldn’t be too much of a transition.”
At the moment, Nate Garner or Dallas Thomas would be projected as the team’s starting right tackle if the season began today. Neither player took a snap at the position in 2013.
McKinnie is 34 years old and has been in the NFL for 12 seasons. Though he has never been a dominant tackle, he has always been a steady player who has been a starter in the NFL since his career began in 2002. He has played in 179 games for the Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens and Dolphins, starting in 162 of them. He was a starter on the 2012 Ravens team that won the Super Bowl.
Because no NFL teams are knocking down the door to sign an aging left tackle, re-signing McKinnie would come on the cheap. In the process of re-signing McKinnie, the Dolphins bring back a guy who knows the blocking system, can step in at left or right tackle, and can teach the young offensive lineman how to play their positions.
The Dolphins have a little more than $19 million in cap space remaining. Basically, there are no excuses to not re-sign McKinnie.
If the franchise wants some stability along the offensive line, it would be wise to bring back the 6-foot-8 veteran.