Monday, April 22, 2013

Dolphins consider Martin at left tackle a 'last resort'


The Miami Dolphins have yet to secure a replacement for left tackle Jake Long, who was lost to free agency. So with the 2013 NFL Draft looming a few days ahead, talk has heated up regarding how the team will fill that void.

If somehow the Dolphins get through this week without a new projected starter, they could continue to try and develop second-year tackle Jonathan Martin, who moved from right to left last year in spelling the injured Long.

But according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, "That's not what the team wants." (photo: photo-gator, Flickr)

Miami is interested in trading for veteran tackle Branden Albert of the Kansas City Chiefs, but Albert's asking price is reportedly too steep for a team that wouldn't pay the same to one of its own.

The Dolphins' other out-of-house option is the draft, where a trio of "elite" tackles in Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson are projected to go early. The Fins, at No. 12 overall, would likely have to trade up for one of them.

If none of the three fell to the Dolphins, and they felt no other tackles available were worthy of their position, Miami could get one later and hope he turns into something -- maybe via a trade-back or the second round. But that would probably mean Martin enters camp atop the depth chart on the left side.

Salguero said the team considers that "a last resort."

"I feel good at both left and right tackle so whatever I’m asked to do I’ll be willing to step up and play and do it," Martin, who started the last five games of the 2012 season at left tackle after Long was lost, said after the season.

Martin gave up a sack in his first professional game but went the next six without surrendering a quarterback takedown. However, he allowed a sack five of Miami's next six games, according to Pro Football Focus. He bounced back with a pair of solid showings in Weeks 15 and 16, but he was beat more times Week 17 than in any of his first 15 games.

In run-blocking mode, Martin was serviceable early on and improved noticeably in the second half of the season.

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