There are more questions than answers when it comes to the Dolphins’ interior offensive line, but if nothing else, they’ll have plenty of bodies from which to chose two starting guards.
On Wednesday, they signed veterans Jeff Linkenbach and Jacques McClendon, versatile linemen who will presumably compete with Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner and J.D. Walton for playing time.
“That’s all you can ask for,” Linkenbach said. “You compete to try to put the best five out there or seven or eight on game day.”
Both Linkenbach and McClendon signed one-year deals. In all, the Dolphins worked out five linemen Wednesday; Linkenbach and McClendon apparently impressed the team enough to earn roster spots.
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The Dolphins were particularly keen on Linkenbach’s ability to play most anywhere on the offensive line. The Chiefs used him at both tackle and guard last year.
Linkenbach, 27, spent his first four years with the Colts. He has appeared in 76 games in five NFL seasons, starting 36. In that way, he’s a younger version of Daryn Colledge, who announced his retirement early this month.
But Colledge was better in pass protection a year ago, allowing a quarterback pressure just once every 36.3 snaps. Linkenbach, meanwhile, allowed one every 18.8.
McClendon, who can play both center and guard, has appeared in just 22 games (starting five) in a four-year career spent with the Jaguars, Lions and Colts. He started the first two games for Jacksonville last year, but lost the job after struggling.
“I’ve definitely been a round the block a little bit,” McClendon said. “One of the things that has kind of kept me in is that I can serve more than one purpose.”