MIAMI GARDENS – By acquiring 330-pound tackle Tyson Clabo, the Miami Dolphins filled the biggest hole in their lineup.
Clabo signed Sunday and is expected to play right tackle, with Jonathan Martin moving from right to left tackle, where he’ll replace the departed Jake Long.
Long, the top overall pick in the 2008 draft, left via free agency for the St. Louis Rams.
The 6-foot-6 Clabo spent the past seven seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and was a 2010 Pro Bowl selection. He has 101 career starts, including every game the past five years, but was released by the Falcons this spring.
“It was very sudden when I was released.
Unexpected,” he said. “I’m a pretty tough critic on myself and I don’t feel like there has been much drop in my play to date. So I am just going to continue to take care of my body and try to continue to play at a high level.”
The Falcons reached the NFC championship game in January and Clabo wanted to find another competitive situation. He said among teams shopping for a tackle, the Dolphins were his best option, in part because of their offseason moves and the return of quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
“The draft looked like it went really well,” Clabo said. “You never know but it seems like there is some talent – the young QB with a lot of upside – and I just felt like we could make some noise.”
The signing of Clabo means the Dolphins can switch Martin back to left tackle, the position he played at Stanford protecting quarterback Andrew Luck’s blind side.
As a rookie for Miami last season, Martin started 12 games at right tackle, then four at left tackle after Long was hurt.
Sunday, Miami also signed undrafted rookie linebacker David Hinds, who played at Florida Atlantic University.