DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins haven't been able to run the ball or protect the quarterback, so Sunday's regular-season finale against the New York Jets could be a last-chance audition for most of the offensive line.
Center Mike Pouncey and right tackle Jonathan Martin -- who hasn't played since Oct. 27 -- are the only starters under contract next season.
Left tackle Bryant McKinnie, right tackle Tyson Clabo, right guard John Jerry and left guard Richie Incognito -- who is suspended indefinitely -- are unrestricted free agents. Nate Garner and Sam Brenner, who have filled in for Incognito, are signed for next season, but both could be cut with minimal salary-cap consequences.
All this could mean sweeping changes to the line.
NFL Network analyst Jamie Dukes, a former Florida State and NFL offensive lineman, said Miami should keep McKinnie, 34. He was acquired from Baltimore on Oct. 21 after the Ravens benched him.
"He's a head case, but he's talented when motivated," Dukes said. "A guy with that kind of skill set is hard to find, but at the same time keeping him motivated, he comes and goes."
McKinnie took offense to that assessment, saying that in his career he has played despite broken hands and high ankle sprains, so that if he struggled it wasn't because he lacked motivation.
He has had off-the-field issues in the past but none in Miami's locker room.
"I have years left in me," McKinnie said. "I think I've done all right. This is my first time having to join a team in the middle of the season, so I don't have a full understanding of everything I'd want to."
Former NFL agent Joel Corry, a salary cap expert for National Football Post, believes the Dolphins will try to replace McKinnie by going after Kansas City left tackle Branden Albert, 29.
"I think they'd want an upgrade," Corry said.
Miami considered trading for Albert last offseason. He is playing on the Chiefs' franchise tag and, Corry believes, could command $9 million a season with $25 million guaranteed.
Albert is graded by Pro Football Focus as the 28th-best tackle in the NFL this season out of 76. McKinnie, since joining Miami, is No. 58. Clabo is No. 52 and Martin was No. 61.
Martin is under contract through 2015 but is not expected to return.
Corry said Indianapolis, which is led by Martin's former college quarterback, Andrew Luck and has a struggling offensive line, is Martin's most likely destination.
The Dolphins might get a late-round pick for Martin if the Colts believed another team such as San Francisco -- which is coached by Martin's college coach, Jim Harbaugh -- is interested. Otherwise, Miami might have to release their second-round pick from 2012.
Dukes, however, believes the Dolphins could bring Martin back as a right tackle despite the belief of some teammates that he abandoned them.
"You do your job and I do mine, I don't need to have breakfast with you -- that's really what the NFL is supposed to be about -- people just doing their job," Dukes said. "That will pass over time, but I would bring him back just because of the economics."
Clabo, 32, said he hopes to return. He was benched for one game after the Dolphins brought in McKinnie and moved Martin from left tackle to right tackle. Clabo returned to the lineup after Martin left.
"I feel like I'm playing similar to the way I played in the beginning of the season. I just haven't had the lapses -- like one- or two-play lapses that shouldn't have happened," Clabo said.
The Dolphins should have a first-round draft pick in the high teens or low 20s. If Martin and the Dolphins can't work out their differences, and Clabo isn't brought back, Dukes said Miami should draft a right tackle in the first round who could eventually play left tackle -- the original plan for Martin. Premium left tackles are usually drafted in the top 10.
The Dolphins traded up to the No. 3 overall pick last spring and had a chance to draft a left tackle but instead selected defensive end Dion Jordan, who is buried on the depth chart. The Dolphins parted ways with Jake Long, who had injury issues with Miami and was having a Pro Bowl-caliber season with St. Louis this season before tearing his ACL last week.
Dukes said there are always plenty of guards on the free agent market, so the Dolphins should be able to sign a guard or two or tap the draft if they decide not to bring back Jerry or make Garner or Brenner a full-time starter. Jerry is graded as the 51st-best guard of 79.
Despite an offseason spending spree that brought in receiver Mike Wallace and linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler, Corry said the Dolphins will have $28 million in cap room this winter, more than all but about six teams.
He said the Dolphins could afford to sign a quality left and right tackle but that Miami should also be looking for cheaper labor in the draft to give GM Jeff Ireland future flexibility.
Cornerback Brent Grimes and defensive tackles Randy Starks and Paul Soliai are free agents, which could affect how much Miami spends on the offensive line.
Corry said Miami also needs a running back, but could draft someone in the second or third round.
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