As you all probably know the Dolphins have a lot of options and choices to look at this offseason. Many of which can turn the Dolphins playoff team as quickly as next year. But then again the Dolphins NEED to avoid longterm deals that while break the Dolphins on players that do not play up to their contract.
Lets start with what we know. Jake Long has the ability to play as the best left tackle in the game. But can he stay healthy? Is Jonathan Martin good enough to replace him at left tackle? Martin can be a good replacement for Long at left tackle but that means there is now a hole at right tackle. If the Phins can get Long for a contract that saves the team from if he gets hurt then jump on it. Worst comes to worst, the franchise tag could be very useful in terms of signing Long.
Reggie Bush is getting better and better at making plays for the Dolphins as both a running back and a WR. The Dolphins also want to resign bush, he is good as not just a player but as a leader for the dolphins. To resign him though, there is no franchise tag in the Dolphins back pocket, because Reggie is not worth the 9 million that they would have to pay him to use it. But he should be a priority for the Dolphins.
Brian Hartline, who had his breakout year for the Dolphins in 2012, needs to be the number one free agent on the Dolphins that needs to be signed. Hartline isn’t a number one play making wide receiver but he is better then most teams second wide receiver. He is Tannehills safety blanket that will catch almost anything that comes to him. Bess is a great receiver too, don’t get me wrong. But he is a slot receiver, who would play even better if Hartline was resigned and the Dolphins were able to get an explosive number one receiver.
The roller coaster ride that is Sean Smith is another interesting case. He could be in the same category as Hartline, but on the other side of the ball. Most teams these days need at least three consistent cornerbacks. The only thing Smith has not been able to do is make turnovers, or you could argue that he is a number one Cornerback. If they can get Smith for number 2 cornerback money they should resign him. Remember also Richard Marshall will also be back next year. With a solid secondary starting with Reshad Jones, Richard Marshall and Sean smith the dolphins will have a good base. Then hopefully use two of those picks in the first three rounds on the secondary that could develop into a really solid secondary to complement the Dolphins strong front 7.
A major part of that front seven is Randy Starks, or Starks island if you will. He is also a free agent that the Dolphins should push to resign. He is a major reason the Phins have been in the top 10 against the run all season. He is another candidate for the franchise tag. I expect him to get a deal that is about the same that Paul Soliai got the year before.
These are the four major free agents the dolphins need to look into resigning. Even though they may not be able to get them all they have to get most of them. Each player the fins let go it is another hole they need to fill on a team that has its fair share of wholes as it is.