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Veteran tackle pool becoming more shallow

Max Starks Pic

The Dolphins have signed one of the top offensive tackles left, agreeing with ex-Falcon Tyson Clabo Sunday. And Clabo off the market, it was time to add another tackle to PFT’s All-Unemployed Team.

After some contemplation, we went with Max Starks, a 16-game starter at left tackle for the Steelers a season ago.

The 31-year-old Starks has played on both sides in his NFL career. In fact, he started at right tackle and left tackle in different Super Bowls for Pittsburgh. However, it’s his ability to play left tackle, coupled with his overall dependability, that gives him a slight value edge over the rest of the field.

The tackle market isn’t completely barren. There are a few serviceable right tackles left, with Eric Winston the top unsigned tackle available and Winston Justice and Barry Richardson other experienced options. Those looking for left tackles, however, don’t have many great choices, with Demetress Bell perhaps the best of the group. Jared Gaither also remains unsigned, but as Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune detailed in January, Gaither’s stint in San Diego was notable in the resentment he allegedly created among his teammates.

Will Gaither get a shot with another team? Will someone take a short-term flier on Bell? Those are a couple storylines to watch at the position now that McKinnie and Clabo have found employment.