Miami Dolphins trade for veteran offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie

Trying to shore up an offensive line that leads the league with 26 sacks allowed, Miami traded for veteran Baltimore tackle Bryant McKinnie.

10/22/2013 12:01 AM

09/08/2014 6:55 PM

Joe Philbin has his type of guy. Bryant McKinnie, at first blush, wouldn’t fit that mold.

But in a sign that anything and everything is possible this season, the two were joined in a marriage of convenience Monday, as the Dolphins traded for the towering offensive tackle.

Less than an hour after telling local media that “we have confidence in the guys that we have,” news broke that Philbin and the Dolphins greenlit a trade for the Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman, a magnet for trouble who lost his starting job earlier in the year.

The Dolphins sent a conditional late-round pick to Baltimore in return.

McKinnie, a former Miami Hurricane, was acquired to compete with a struggling Tyson Clabo — if not replace him altogether. Clabo has allowed eight sacks in six games this year, including one late in regulation Sunday that effectively cost Miami the game.

However, it wouldn’t be a one-for-one swap. McKinnie is a left tackle, and it is believed he would play there in Miami. That means Jonathan Martin would swap back to the right side, where he started 11 games in 2012. The Dolphins released linebacker Josh Kaddu to make room on the roster.

It was the team’s first in-season trade since Sept. 29, 2009, when the Dolphins acquired Tyler Thigpen from Kansas City.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the Ravens for Bryant,” Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said. “He is a proven and experienced player who will be a great addition to the offensive line.”

The acquisition was viewed in some league circles as a desperation move for a team whose season might be slipping away.

The Dolphins have allowed 26 sacks in six games, and rank second-to-last league-wide in sacks per passing play.

“Every week, we put the best guys in the best position,” offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said. “If we thought we had better at that position, we’d go in that direction, right or wrong.”

Now, they might.

Yet there’s an argument to be made that McKinnie hasn’t been much better than Clabo this year.

Pro Football Focus ranks him as the league’s 65th best tackle this season; Clabo ranks 66th. However, McKinnie has allowed just one sack all season.

He struggled in his last start — which, coincidentally, came in the Ravens’ victory in Miami on Oct. 6.

Though McKinnie didn’t surrender a sack, he did allow two quarterback hits and four hurries — one of 15 he has permitted this year. He started all four postseason games last season for the Super Bowl champions.

“He’s a really good player,” said Olivier Vernon, who matched up against McKinnie for much of that game. “He’s a big guy, 6-8, 360. That’s a lot of man right there. He’d be a great addition to the team.”

Added offensive tackle Nate Garner: “He’s a great football player. He’s been in the league for a long time. ... I’m pretty sure he’ll come in and make a difference.”

Assuming he steers clear of South Beach’s temptations.

McKinnie has battled weight, focus and personal issues during his 12-year career, including a 2008 arrest at Miami’s Club Space on charges of aggravated battery, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence.

He avoided a trial by agreeing to 25 hours of community service and counseling.

McKinnie also was involved in the Minnesota Vikings’ infamous party boat scandal and his most recent birthday celebration resulted in then-teammate Jacoby Jones’ notorious run-in with a female adult entertainer.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh told Baltimore reporters Monday that he is happy for McKinnie and believes the trade will be a good move for him.

McKinnie was not made available to Miami media Monday. The team returns to practice Tuesday.

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