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The Miami Dolphins' beleaguered offensive line has shown little improvement through six games, and the team has decided to shake things up by acquiring former Pro Bowler and Miami Hurricane LT Bryant McKinnie from the Baltimore Ravens.
Fox Sports' Jay Glazer first reported the deal, and McKinnie has confirmed the deal to other media outlets. He told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, "Great to get a chance to play in front of a lot of fans I had since college and to join and help improve a team."
Terms of the deal, including what the Dolphins gave up to acquire McKinnie, have not been disclosed.
The Ravens will receive a conditional late-round draft pick, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "It's a good move for us, good move for Bryant," Harbaugh said.
McKinnie could compete with RT Tyson Clabo for playing time. The move could also allow Dolphins coach Joe Philbin to place current left tackle Jonathan Martin at right tackle, where he played last season. Clabo has struggled mightily this season. On the play in Sunday's game that turned out to be decisive, Bills DE Mario Williams beat Clabo in pass protection, allowing him to strip the ball from QB Ryan Tannehill.
The Bills recovered the ball in Miami territory, and kicked a go-ahead field goal shortly thereafter. The Dolphins have given up 26 sacks through six games (4.3 a game), and are averaging 3.9 yards per carry on the ground. In 2012, Miami gave up 37 sacks (2.3 a game) and averaged 4.1 yards per rush.
Miami Dolphins general manager allowed LT and former first-overall draft pick to leave via free agency last offseason (Long now plays for the St. Louis Rams), forcing the shake-up that moved Martin to the left side. Clabo was signed to fill in the right side of the line.
McKinnie is playing his 12th season in the NFL. A two-year starter at UM, McKinnie was a two-time first-team All American and won the Outland Trophy (given to the best interior lineman in college football) in 2002. He was taken with the seventh pick of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.
After spending his first nine seasons in Minnesota (going to the 2009 Pro Bowl as a Viking), he joined the Ravens before the 2011 season as a free agent. He was a backup for the Ravens when they won the Super Bowl last season, but he started all four postseason games for the Ravens.
He has started five games at left tackle for Baltimore this season. In all, the 34-year-old McKinnie has started 152 games in his 12-year career.
The Dolphins explored the possibility of signing McKinnie this spring, when he was a free agent. But he signed a two-year deal with the Ravens worth roughly $7 million in May.