It was no secret that Miami had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL this season.
The line was at its worst in the middle of the season, when the Dolphins were on pace to allow a record number of sacks. Said sacks cost the Dolphins pivotal games against New Orleans, Baltimore, Buffalo and New England early in the season that eventually prevented the Dolphins from reaching the playoffs.
The blocking scheme employed by offensive line coach Jim Turner and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman had a lot to do with many of those problems, but it wasn't like there was an overflow of talent on the line to begin with, especially after the Dolphins allowed Jake Long to leave for St. Louis.
This isn't about why the Dolphins should've re-signed Long (I will defend that move due to Long's injury history), but why they didn't make a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs to bring in Long's replacement.
Throughout last spring, leading up to the draft, the Dolphins were in talks with the Chiefs to acquire left tackle Branden Albert. Albert was given the franchise tag by the Chiefs, and he looked to be on the way out, especially after Kansas City used their No. 1 overall pick on Eric Fisher.
The thought was that Fisher would supplant Albert at left tackle, while the Chiefs could use the tag on Albert to acquire a second-round pick to make up for the one they traded to San Francisco in exchange for quarterback Alex Smith.
Luckily for the Chiefs (and unluckily for the Dolphins), Miami said no to the deal, as NFL.com's Dan Hanzus reported that Miami only offered a third-round pick in exchange for Albert, while Kansas City wanted a second-round pick.
Albert only played in 12 games in 2013, as he was kept out of the season's last four games as a precautionary measure after hyperextending his knee, per Randy Covitz of The Kansas City Star. In those 12 games, Albert was rated as the sixth-best pass-blocking left tackle by Pro Football Focus, according to Rotoworld.
Instead Miami played its first seven games of the season with Jonathan Martin at left tackle. In those seven games, Martin was graded as the 55th best pass-blocker by Pro Football Focus (h/t to The Palm Beach Post).
Acquiring Albert would've kept Martin at right tackle, thus providing him with some stability. Had Martin had stability, who knows if the bullying scandal would've occurred, especially since it would've meant that Martin wouldn't have played alongside Richie Incognito.
The Dolphins likely wouldn't have signed Tyson Clabo during the offseason either if such a trade had been made.
Every "could've" is merely speculation at this point, especially with the Martin and Incognito mess being a non-football issue in the end. Better blindside protection for Ryan Tannehill would've been the result, which could've meant one or two more wins for Miami in the end.