Fins Could Have 5 New Starting O-Linemen Next Year
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In the aftermath of the Ted Wells report on the Miami Dolphins harassment scandal, it’s entirely possible the Dolphins will start the 2014 NFL season with five new starters on the offensive line.
The line that finished last season included Bryant McKinnie at left tackle, Nate Garner at left guard, John Jerry at right guard, Tyson Clabo at right tackle and Mike Pouncey at center. Garner, Jerry, McKinnie and Clabo are all unrestricted free agents heading into the next month.
McKinnie has previously said he’d like to finish his career with the Dolphins and could be re-signed to a one year contract as a free agent. Clabo and Garner are possibilities, but neither played exceptionally well last season.
Jerry and Pouncey are the two biggest question marks along the offensive line. Both were implicated as being Richie Incognito’s running buddies in the harassment of Jonathan Martin and others. Pouncey is a Pro Bowl center and remains under contract with the Fins.
Jerry was a multi-year starter, but was never regarded as a great player and would likely not be re-signed. He could face a suspension from the NFL as well for his part in the Wells Report. Pouncey could be traded, but it’s not likely. He may face a suspension from the NFL as well for participating in the harassment of Martin and others.
If Pouncey is suspended and no lineman from last year is re-signed, the entire starting lineup in front of Ryan Tannehill will be new next year. Given that Tannehill was sacked the most times of any quarterback in Dolphins history last season, he will probably welcome the news.
The Dolphins have to look to free agency and the NFL Draft to rebuild the line in time for mini-camps and offseason training activities that start up later this year.