The Miami Dolphins have holes on both sides of the balls and there are a few free agents that the Dolphins could look at and make this team immediately better. While the team has 60 million in cap space heading into free agency come the league new year, players will fill that up quickly when they come off the street.
Here is a quick look at a few key players that I would like to see Miami target in free agency…four months before it starts.
QB - The Dolphins don’t need a starting QB but they do need a back-up. Why go outside? Matt Moore is more than capable of staying in Miami and he has to realize at this point in his career he will only be a bridge QB elsewhere. In Miami, he could become the next Don Strock.
RB – The Dolphins will likely lose Reggie Bush but they don’t need to make a splash here. They have 9 draft picks in April’s draft and easily could add a 5th or 6th rounder to fill out the roster.
WR – Ah, the biggest point of contention this past off-season. Will the Dolphins make a splash? The obvious is Greg Jennings from Green Bay and fans will also yell for Mike Wallace of Pittsburgh or even Wes Welker if he hits the streets. Dwayne Bowe will also get a lot of talk. But remember, last year Vincent Jackson got a 55 million dollar deal from the Bucanneer’s so that will likely become the bench mark this off-season. Even second and third tier WR’s got paid very well last season.
TE – This will be a fun position to watch. Anthony Fasano is a free agent and the Dolphins like his ability to block but his passing game is very erratic. I like Fasano, he is one of my favorite players on the team . I just like the guy’s attitude. That doesn’t mean he is right for the team. If the Dolphins can get him cheap, fine but I would rather see them go after a Jared Cook from Tennessee or my first choice, Heath Miller from Pittsburgh. Miller to me is one of the most under utilized and under rated TE’s in the league. If the Dolphins landed him, I would be more than thrilled.
Oline - The biggest question of this off-season will be what to do with Jake Long. At times I think they team keeps him and at others I think they let him go. I wouldn’t rule out the franchise tag either. Regardless there are other needs on the line, specifically with Richie Incognito who getting up there in age. If the Dolphins look to replace anyone at guard, Andy Levitre of Buffalo would be a good choice but honestly, I think we pick up some depth and then draft a couple of mid-round lineman to develop. I have no clue what happens with Long.
Dline – It’s imperative to maintain your defensive line and Randy Starks is a good place to start. Paul Solia got 6 mill a year last off-season so I have to assume that Starks will get at least 5. It’s worth it. The Dolphins do have money to spend and if they want a complimenting pass rusher, Cliff Avril of Detroit would be an amazing addition. The Dolphins however will not likely look to spend that kind of money there. They will allow their younger guys to progress more. Or at least they will in my opinion.
LB’s - Karlos Dansby is not a leader. In fact, he is nothing close to what he was in Arizona and aside from his mouth running about what his expectations are, nothing seems to come close actually achieving them. If I were Jeff Ireland, I would cut my losses and move on without him, but I’m not Jeff Ireland. Dansby is still under contract and I do no know the cap hit if he is released or traded. I will say that regardless, I’m looking to add some LB’s in free agency. Connor Barwin and Anthony Spencer are two OLB’s that come to mind as possibles, but again the Dolphins will have to weigh the cost of a contract vs. other needs. The LB’s in Miami are not “bad” they just are nothing great.
S/CB’s – If the Dolphins don’t make a move in free agency for a corner you can pencil in a first round draft pick being spent on one. The Dolphins need a shutdown corner in the molds of Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain. Not what they got with Vontae’ Davis and at least lately Sean Smith. But here is the crutch to this off-season. There simply are no shutdown corners available. The best prospect for FA is Jarius Byrd but he is already negotiating a deal to stay in Buffalo. Aqib Talib will be a free agent but the Patriots may opt to re-sign him. The safety position is really no different. The Dolphins will add some players from the market but their best option is through the draft.
While this is still really early as in the process of the future free agents is still internal discussion in team offices, many players will be re-signed and others will be released. What the Dolphins do in the off-season will have as much to do with their future as any other season in the last decade. Who makes those calls will be a point of contention as well.
Regardless, this should be a very busy and interesting off-season for the Miami Dolphins.