Tackle Tyson Clabo plugs a major hole on Miami Dolphins’ offensive line

With Jonathan Martin shifting to left tackle to replace Jake Long, the Dolphins signed 329-pound Tyson Clabo to play right tackle.

05/06/2013 12:00 AM

09/08/2014 6:38 PM

The Dolphins addressed their void at offensive tackle on Sunday by agreeing to terms with veteran Tyson Clabo on a one-year deal.

Clabo, 31, has started every game at right tackle for the Atlanta Falcons over the past five seasons and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2010.

“He will be a great addition to the offensive line,” general manager Jeff Ireland said.

His signing means Jonathan Martin will shift to left tackle to replace Jake Long, who signed with St. Louis.

Clabo signed a five-year, $25 million contract in 2011, but the Falcons released him April 4 — which he called “unexpected” — in a move designed to give them additional salary cap space to sign their draft picks.

“Miami didn’t come into play until late in the process, after the draft,” he said. “I was happy when the phone rang and Mr. Ireland was on the other side.”

Clabo, who auditioned for the Dolphins on Wednesday, graded out well the past two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus.

His 2012 performance ranked 14th among 80 tackles and fifth-best among right tackles, behind Andre Smith, Gosder Cherilus, Anthony Davis and Sebastian Vollmer.

Clabo, 6-6 and 329 pounds, was ranked 23rd in pass protection (he allowed five sacks) and 21st in run blocking last year.

In 2011, Pro Football Focus rated him second overall among all tackles.

Zone blocker

“I don’t feel like there has been much drop in my play [since the 2010 Pro Bowl],” he said. “I think I can still do it at a high level. I think I am going to fit in pretty well. I know the zone block scheme.”

Undrafted out of Wake Forest, Clabo began his career in Denver and spent the past seven seasons with the Falcons.

The Dolphins tried to sign left tackle Bryant McKinnie earlier this week, but he opted for a slightly better deal with Baltimore.

The Dolphins also explored trading for Kansas City’s Branden Albert but did not offer the second-round pick that the Chiefs were seeking.

The Dolphins signed Clabo instead of two other right tackles who auditioned: Eric Winston and Winston Justice.

Martin, who was rated 76th of 80 tackles by Pro Football Focus, played left tackle at Stanford but began his Dolphins career as a right tackle before shifting to the left side when Long was injured in the 12th game last season.

Martin played well against Jacksonville and Buffalo but struggled against San Francisco and New England.

He has said that he is more comfortable at left tackle than right tackle and has gained 20 pounds this offseason while increasing his strength.

Clabo’s representation reached out to the Dolphins a month ago but didn’t hear back until this past week. The Dolphins figure to have two new offensive line starters, with Clabo and right guard Lance Louis.

Roster moves

The Dolphins signed former Florida Atlantic linebacker David Hinds, who tried out at this past week’s rookie minicamp. Miami also released two undrafted rookies: quarterback Clay Belton and linebacker Rob McCabe.

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