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Dolphins, Eric Winston staying in touch

Colts defensive tackle Guy points at Chiefs tackle Winston, who was called off sides, during their NFL football game in Kansas City

Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Lawrence Guy (L) points at Kansas City Chiefs tackle Eric Winston, who was called off sides, during the second half of the Colts’ win in their NFL football game in Kansas City, Missouri December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Dave Kaup (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)


Talk of a trade sending tackle Branden Albert from Kansas City to Miami turned out to be more smoke than fire.

The two sides could never agree to terms for a deal during the draft, leaving the Chiefs with a $9 million left tackle to with first overall pick Eric Fisher. The Dolphins, on the other hand, drafted Dallas Thomas in the third round of the draft to be their only offensive line addition. Thomas can play guard and tackle, but it may be a stretch to think he’s stepping in to start at either one from the first day.

So they still have Jonathan Martin, Nate Garner and a question mark about one of their starting tackle spots. Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins have maintained “a steady dialogue” with free agent Eric Winston, who is believed to be looking for $3-4 million a year from a new team after getting cut by the Chiefs early in the offseason.

Winston is a right tackle, so Martin would likely be starting on the left side if he came to Miami. Unless Bryant McKinnie were to wind up in Miami, it seems like a safe bet that Martin’s going to be at left tackle regardless of Winston’s whereabouts because there aren’t too many other options available for the job in 2013.

According to Beasley, we should know in the “near future” if a Winston deal is happening. If it isn’t, the Dolphins will likely continue the hunt for more options at tackle than they currently have on the roster.