Fridays’ free agency flurry by the Miami Dolphins was like trying to catch a chicken who finished off a 20 oz Red Bull. It was almost impossible to keep up. Consider that for the better part of 10 hours, a refresh hit to your browser seemed like a magic button that brought a new signing. The Phins were that busy a whopping 9 players were added to the roster. NINE! Day two however promises to be much quieter.
The Jeff Ireland/Bill Parcells/Tony Sparano era has begun.
A short 1 hour after midnight on Friday morning, the Dolphins made their first pick up of the NFL new year. In fact, the Phins made the first free agent signing of the NFL. Road grader guard Justin Smiley from SF, they wouldn’t finish that first day until late Friday night.
Although all of the reported free agents have not officially signed, they have all reportedly agreed to a contracts and only need to pass physicals or get to town for those who were not. The laundry list of names is unspectacular as individuals. Together they form the basis of a foundation that this team lacks. Each player is one cog in the unit. They way the function as individuals is almost as important as they function as a team.
Consider that of all the players signed, only 1 is prior to the 2005 season, Jason Ferguson and he was traded for. The majority of the others came out of the 2004 draft and all are coming off their rookie contracts. This is a youth movement. In one day, the Miami Dolphins became younger, stronger, and have a foundation for the future. In one day, the Dolphins now have more players from the 2004 draft than what made this team from their own draft. In 2004 5 players made the Dolphins roster. Only Vernon Carey is left after Derrick Pope and Rex Hadnot became free agents this year.
Yesterday the Dolphins added Charlie Anderson a 6th round 2004 selection of the Texans, Randy Starks, a 3rd round 2004 pick by the Titans, Ernest Wilford, a 2004 4th round pick of the Jaguars, Justin Smiley, 2004 2nd rounder from the 49ers, Reggie Torbor a 2004 selection of the Giants, and Sean Ryan a 2004 pick by the Cowboys and Bill Parcells. 6 players from the 2004 draft. Not bad.
In addition to the 2004 class, Calvin Pace is from the 2003 class. Jason Ferguson was added via trade for a swap of 08 6th rounders and an 09 6th rounder. Rounding out yesterdays 9 is veteran QB Josh McCown.
So day two of the free agent market has started and it should be quiet compared to yesterday. Perhaps the biggest news of any importance may be how much money was actually spent yesterday out of that 40 million dollar cap space. There is some rumors floating around that Jevon Kearse and Javon Walker could both be in town and although both carry the names, neither carry the weight of those names anymore. No, the Dolphins will likely regroup and refocus their energy and efforts for the long haul.
So while the fans wait out the next name that pops across the NFL ticker on ESPN or NFL Network, the Dolphins will be scheduling more interviews, working the phones for trades, and continuing their process of laying a foundation of work on the field. If there is one thing that is certain after yesterdays signings is, the Dolphins are going to run a 34 defense. At least that has been put to rest now.