The Miami Dolphins are 24 hours away from opening up the 2014 season. Off-season but it’s still their new season. The 2013 failures can be put to rest as the fans and the team begin a new journey. At the helm of that ship is new GM Dennis Hickey. Hickey has been praised of late for the way he is handling his job. It is good to see positive feedback from such an unknown. On Tuesday, he makes his first clear mark on the team.
Just over a month ago Dolphins fans were riding through ridicule and one of the side notes to the drama was last years desire of Joe Philbin to trade for Branden Albert. Jeff Ireland felt the price was too high. One 2nd round pick and another possibly a 2nd pick in the same round. A lot of rumors flew around about that trade on draft day. Ireland chose to wait and while it makes sense now because they will get him for free, it ultimately helped in costing him his job.
Most reports today suggest that the Albert/Miami marriage is all but a certainty. It’s being said that at the strike of 4:00 tomorrow the Dolphins will consummate the move and will have a new LT. It’s a good move but the Dolphins may have taken at least a small look at Jared Veldheer of Oakland first. It doesn’t really matter as Philbin will get his guy and make no mistake this IS a Joe Philbin move.
Following Alberts signing with Miami or somewhere else, the Dolphins will take a look at a few other lineman including Rodger Saffold of St. Louis and now it appears that they will go hard at NY Jets RT Austin Howard. The Jets are trying to lock him up as the clock ticks towards free agency but the Dolphins will be players in many of the offensive line free agents. Stealing a division foe’s player isn’t bad either.
The Jets are not the only team in the AFC East Miami is looking to poach from. It’s being reported that the Dolphins are kicking the tires on Buffalo safety Jarius Byrd. Byrd however wants 9 million per season. I would caution however that while Miami can afford Byrd it still may not be a cost effective buy for a team who has quite a bit of money locked in to Reshad Jones. But what a combination that would make. Byrd who was franchised last season will not simply test the free agent waters but swim the backstroke through them.
Free agency will be kicking off tomorrow at 4 Eastern.