Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s a line you can repeat almost every season, the Miami Dolphins have question marks on the offensive line this year. With the likely exodus of left tackle Jake Long, the Fins need to address the offensive line again either in free agency or the NFL Draft.
One player who could be an answer for the Dolphins is recently released right tackle Eric Winston. A former University of Miami star has been in contact with the Dolphins, however, according to the Palm Beach post, no deal is imminent.
The Dolphins are likely to lose Long if his price tag doesn’t come down significantly. Long reportedly wants around $10 million per season, which is a lot for an oft-injured left tackle who played the entire season in two years.
If Long does walk away from Miami, the Fins will have a decision to make about second-year player Jonathan Martin. The former blindside protector for Andrew Luck in college played well at times and struggled mightily at times while manning the right tackle position to start the year before moving to left tackle after Long went out with an injury.
If the Fins believe Martin can hold down the left tackle position in the NFL, it means the Dolphins will have to once again fill the right tackle position. That would open up a spot for a solid veteran like Winston.
Beyond right tackle, the Dolphins would still have the position of right guard to decide what to do with in 2013. John Jerry manned the position last season, but the Fins would like a more athletic upgrade to the mauling Jerry.
There are several solid guards available in the NFL Draft including Chance Warmack and Barrett Jones, both of the University of Alabama.
Whatever the Dolphins decide, fans hope that this year will be the first time in several years where the team doesn’t have major question marks along the offensive line coming into and exiting the regular season.