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Fins Will Have To Spend Big At Left Tackle

DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins need a lot of help along the offensive line and the first chance to address that need is free agency. While players can't officially sign until March 11, teams can contact free agents starting Saturday.

At the top of the Dolphins' wish list is left tackle Eugene Monroe. According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, the Dolphins "covet" Monroe. A former top 10 pick, Monroe is a superior pass blocker but sometimes struggles as a run blocker.

Monroe has started 73 of 76 career games since he entered the league in the 2009 draft. At just 26-years-old, Monroe is in the prime of his career, which is rare for a good left tackle to hit free agency at that time.

Remember, the Jacksonville Jaguars gave up on Monroe and traded him for a fourth and fifth round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Baltimore was pleased with his production after the trade, but with just a few days until free agency begins, hasn't been able to come to a contract agreement with Monroe.

At his age and with his potential, Monroe may be looking for a deal that approaches the prices of tackles like Duane Brown and Ryan Clady, roughly $9 to $10 million per season plus $22-$33 million guaranteed in the contract.

The question though is Miami ready to pay a tackle that has been good, but not elite, top level money. With the salary cap increasing this year and next, there is room for error.

At the same time the Dolphins are working with Monroe, they will likely be talking with former Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert. The Dolphins almost pulled the trigger on a trade for Albert last year, but were hesitant to give him a $9 million contract.

But, unlike last year, the Dolphins are in desperate need for help at every position along the offensive line, especially at both tackle positions. So, a large contract will have to be handed out to someone to play left tackle.

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