In 2010, he was rated by PFF as a top 15 right tackle. In 2011, the Dolphins drafted Mike Pouncy (Center) and picked up tackle Mark Columbo (coming back from injury) in free agency to help upgrade their o-line. Then when faced with starting a rookie center they asked Vernon Carey to move inside and play guard so they could add protection and a veteran presence to play next to Pouncy, a rookie.
In 2011, he played pretty well, but not great and not as well as he has played in the past at tackle. He was still dominant in the run game (Reggie Bush had a career year) but gave up some QB pressures. The thing that is really intriguing to me and I think we have to take into consideration is the guy made a position switch during a shortened off-season. He then ended up playing much better as the season progressed, as evident by the Dolphins record down the stretch compared to early in the season.
He's 6'5 340 lbs. and pretty athletic. I do NOT think he's as good as Carl Nicks and maybe even Ben Grubbs (although I'm not as high on Grubbs as everyone else), I actually think he's about on par with a healthy Bobbie Williams and maybe even a little better, which is pretty good. He is 31, so he's not exactly young but he's still 5 years younger than Bobbie and I think he may have at least 2-3 more solid years in him (FYI - Evan Mathis is 30 so he's only year older than him as well).
The final reason we should sign him is unfortunately I think we are going to loose Anthony Collins to free agency. Don't get me wrong, I think we make a real effort to keep him and we will give him a competitive offer but I still think he ultimately walks for an opportunity be a starter some place else (I would). If we loose Anthony Collins to FA, Vernon Carey would offer us a real good insurance policy as a back tackle for Andre, who has had a history with injuries. In all honesty, tackle is still probably his strongest position to play on the o-line.
Best of all, it appears the Dolphins are not going to retain him this year. He was making 4-5 million dollars last year with the Dolphins and I think we could get him in here for around 3-4 million dollars a year as a guard. He fills a huge need for our team and provides versatility and a veteran presence to the guard position. Behind Nicks, he's actually the guard I want the most in free agency and he will be half the price of some of the others guys on the market.