DAVIE – Desperate times are calling for desperate measures.
The Miami Dolphins, on a three-game losing streak, were clearly running out of options when it came to fixing the struggling offensive line, so a week before the NFL trade deadline arrived General Manager Jeff Ireland pulled the trigger on a trade for veteran offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie.
The Dolphins acquired the former University of Miami from the Baltimore Ravens with the hopes that he'll patch up Miami's leaky pass protection, which has allowed 26 sacks.
"He is a proven and experienced player who will be a great addition to the offensive line," Ireland said.
The Dolphins gave up a conditional late-round pick for McKinnie, but the trade for this 34-year-old is contingent on McKinnie passing a physical. The Dolphins released second-year linebacker Josh Kaddu to make room from McKinnie.
Considering McKinnie has been plagued by a sore knee this season, and has had it drained more than once this season, there is some concern about his health.
If healthy, and motivated, it is possible that McKinnie could fortify the offensive line by replacing one of Miami's starting tackles, who have allowed 14 of the team's 26 sacks.
"I know the fans are going to love that," said starting linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who played with McKinnie in Baltimore last season.
Michael George, McKinnie's agent, told The Baltimore Sun that his client is happy about the move, which brings his hometown.
"It is a good opportunity for him," George said. "This should be a positive change for Bryant and he's very excited."
But can McKinnie still play?
"Big guy, 6-foot-8, 360 (pounds)," defensive end Olivier Vernon said. "A lot of man!"
McKinnie, who has started 152 games in his 12 NFL seasons, is rated the 65th best offensive tackle by ProFootballFocus.com. Tyson Clabo, the Dolphins struggling right tackle, is rated 66th.
According to website, McKinnie had his worst game of the season against the Dolphins two weeks ago.
The Dolphins produced two quarterback hits and four quarterback pressures against McKinnie. Rookie pass rusher Dion Jordan also beat McKinnie to tip a Joe Flacco pass that led to Reshad Jones' pick-six against the Ravens.
"I'm happy for Bryant," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I think it's a good opportunity for him more than anything. It's an opportunity for Bryant to go down there and play and do well."
McKinnie, 34, was recently replaced as the Ravens starting left tackle by Eugene Monroe, who the Ravens traded to acquire from the Jacksonville Jaguars two weeks ago.
So far this season McKinnie has allowed one sack, four quarterback hits and 15 hurries. However, he's been a liability from the run blocking standpoint, possessing PFF's second worse run blocking grade.
The Dolphins explored signing McKinnie as a free agent this offseason, but opted to go another avenue, signing Clabo and Lance Louis in free agency, and drafting Dallas Thomas in the third-round of the 2013 draft.
None of those players have panned out, which explains why the Dolphins are ranked 31st in sacks allowed per pass play.
At this point it is uncertain if Miami will use McKinnie in Miami's offense, and how long it will take him to learn the Dolphins playbook, and zone-blocking approach.
Jonathan Martin, the team's 2012 second-round pick, is presently manning the left tackle spot. However, Martin played right tackle for the first 12 games of the 2012 season. The Dolphins need to fortify the right side of the offensive line.
Clabo allowed two fourth-quarter sacks in last Sunday's 23-21 loss, which includes a Mario Williams sack that featured a forced fumble the Bills recovered at Miami's 34-yard line, leading to the game-winning 31-yard field goal.
"He's got to come in and do his best," veteran offensive lineman Nate Garner said. "He's a great football player. He's been in the league for a long time. If he does come in here I'm pretty sure he can come in and make a difference."