Sunday, May 5, 2013

New Dolphin Clabo in somewhat familiar situation


The Miami Dolphins' newly-acquired right tackle Tyson Clabo is probably experiencing a little deja vu.

It was just a little more than five years ago that Clabo was brought on to an Atlanta Falcons team in the middle of a major overhaul. He joined a slew of new faces on the roster that included running back Michael Turner, wide receiver Tony Gonzalez and rookie quarterback Matt Ryan.

Five years later, Clabo has reportedly signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with yet another team in flux, and he's inherited another young quarterback hopeful to protect.

Miami agreed to terms with the Pro Bowl tackle Sunday. Clabo started every game the past five years with Atlanta, and he brings a strong body of work to the right tackle position.

While speaking with reporters after the announcement, Clabo drew comparisons to his early work in Atlanta, saying the Dolphins' moves this offseason have put the team in a position to turn things around, much like the 2008 Falcons.

"Well, over the past five years I’ve been in Atlanta we have had a young quarterback at the time and he turned out to be a pretty good player," Clabo said. "We have a young quarterback here and he has the potential to be a very good player, and with the addition of some free agents, we have some guys that can take the top off the defense and have a vertical threat, run the football well."

The one-year deal means Jonathan Martin will likely take over full time at left tackle after his work there at the end of last season.

The short-term agreement also implies that Miami isn't fully sold on Clabo just yet, with general manager Jeff Ireland leaving himself an out in case the 31-year-old doesn't meet expectations. Clabo certainly proved he's up to the task last season, ranking fifth among all right tackles, according to Pro Football Focus.

"I am not here to prove anything to be honest with you," he said. "I am here to play football and have a good time and win. If I play well, then it will give us a chance to do those things. I am here because I want to be, I am here because I still like to play football and I think that I can still do it at a high level.

"So as far as having something to prove, I just want to play and have fun and win football games.”

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