Today is March 2nd and to many it’s just another day. To NFL fans, it’s 3 days before the start of free agency and that means rumors, assumptions, and one helluva late night on Thursday. How many actually stay up for the start of the NFL new league year? A lot.
Free agency will kick off at 00:01 Friday morning and with it will come a flurry of talks, chats, and “has anyone heard anything yet?” forum posts. It’s a yearly ritual that is one of the reasons the NFL is the America’s real national past time. Does any other league draw so much interest in a simple off-season? No. Not even remotely close. And that is why each year Miami Dolphins fans salivate in the days leading up to the start of that “new year”.
This year however, the Dolphins are not likely to go hog wild and spend despite the fact that there are no cap ramifications because of no salary cap. In fact, it could be a little of the opposite…salary purge instead.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Stephen Ross informed him that the Phins will not be listed at the top of the highest spending teams. Last year Miami was number 2. He said they wouldn’t be at the bottom either which means they will try and fall somewhere in between.
“Money doesn’t buy victories” Ross said.
So what does this mean for Dolphins fans? Well, it likely means that the Phins won’t throw 30 plus million at LB Karlos Dansby. It means they won’t likely toss a 2nd round pick plus a new contract to get oft injured WR Anquan Boldin, and they likely won’t pursue soon to be free agent Antrelle Rolle with such a large sum of guaranteed money paid out last year to current safety Gibril Wilson.
They will save some dough by the impending release of Joey Porter and could cut a few others if need be but in reality the Dolphins are in pretty good shape with their free agents and are not likely to lose much more than special team standout Nate Jones.
The Phins also could move Ronnie Brown, if you believe the Brown to Detroit rumors that seem to be flying all over the place…I don’t buy into them personally. Not the one involving Calvin Johnson and not the ones involving a duo of LB’s either. Ronnie Brown will be a Dolphin this year.
So that brings us to who the Dolphins may look at in free agency and unfortunately, this years crop isn’t all that impressive. With a slew of would be free agents saddled with their current clubs because of no CBA, the Dolphins will look at 2nd and 3rd tier players to fill some holes and address the rest in the draft.
I don’t think the team will land a stellar starter at any spot to be quite honest. Why? Well not necessarily because of the desire not to spend but the fact that GM Jeff Ireland and Bill Parcells won’t over-spend.
Last year the rumor heading into free agency centered around LB Bart Scott and Center Jason Brown. The Dolphins got neither. This year it seems to revolve around the members of the Arizona Cardinals. Two will be free agents and the other could be had in a trade. It all adds up to very little however in the grand scheme of things.
Midnight will come, midnight will go, and names like Dansby and Peppers will be mentioned and may even be signed by 1:00 AM but not by the Dolphins. Who the Dolphins will target is a mystery but you bet they won’t break the bank. Even when salary cap doesn’t matter.
The Miami Dolphins are willing to spend, but they aren’t willing to over spend. Right or wrong, that feel should at least keep Miami out of the upper tier range of free agents.