Now that the draft has come and gone, former Raven and current free agent left tackle Bryant McKinnie is expected to find himself a new employer shortly.
NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington reports that McKinnie is on his way to Miami to visit the Dolphins today. For the past few weeks, the Dolphins have been trying to work out a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs for their eft tackle, Glen Burnie’s own Brandon Albert. With the two sides unable to agree on compensation, they did not strike a deal this weekend.
McKinnie, the former Miami Hurricane – and current resident of Miami/Dade County – could be the Dolphins’ alternative option if they’re ultimately unable to work anything out with the Chiefs for Albert’s services.
Two weeks ago, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said he has been in contact with McKinnie’s agent Michael George and the two have a very good relationship. McKinnie has a Super Bowl ring to show for his time in Baltimore, but may still feel a little slighted knowing that the Ravens asked him to reduce his salary by $1 million just six days before their 2012 season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
On the final day of the draft, the Ravens selected G/T Ricky Wagner from Wisconsin with the 168th overall selection (5th round). Wagner is 6-foot-6, 320 pounds and started three years at Wisconsin (at both tackle spots). It may be premature to judge, but Wagner probably won’t be starting the season at tackle, as most draft “experts” project him as more likely to play guard professionally. Wagner is a great value in the fifth round considering his tenure at Wisconsin and the high level of competition he faced while there.
During the Ravens’ pre-draft media luncheon, head coach John Harbaugh stated that second-year G/T Kelechi Osemele would have been likely to open the season at left tackle had the season started that day. With Wagner being the only major addition into the mix, unless the Ravens can make a last ditch effort to sign McKinnie, it appears that K.O. will become the new starting left tackle.
The Ravens addressed most of their needs over the weekend, finding a new starting safety and inside linebacker. However, starting left tackle is still up in the air, despite being one of the most important positions on the offense, especially after the team invested $120 million in Joe Flacco.