Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Grading Free Agency


Grading Free Agency

Re signing Brent Grimes: A+

Was this even a question? No real need to elaborate.

Signing Louis Delmas: B

This is a smart sign. I wrote earlier about how I was concerned Miami was going to drop $9 million a year on a safety in Jairus Byrd. Well, they didn’t and instead New Orleans did. That being said, I’m not sold that he’s that significant of an improvement over Chris Clemons. But, hey, we’ll see.

Releasing Dimitri Patterson: B+

When he was on the field, Patterson was great. The key to that sentence is “when he was on the field” and the reality is that it wasn’t enough. He had a $5 million cap number and it was too much for what Miami got last season.

OT Branden Albert: A-

Did I want Miami to drop $46 million on Albert? No, but was it necessary? Yes. He’s a probowl left tackle and it was so badly needed, it is what it is. And hey, now we have two offensive linemen! Wohoo! Very good signing.

DT Earl Mitchell: B/B+

First of all, Mitchell is 26, so that’s a huge plus. Additionally, the deal is just 4 years $16 million, solid numbers all around. Here’s to hoping he can fill Paul Soliai’s shoes and work well with returning players, Jared Odrick and Randy Starks.

Trading Jonathan Martin: A+

All to the points to Dennis Hickey. All the points.

Resigning Randy Starks: A

2 years, $12 million is totally reasonable. Starks is a two time pro-bowler and will provide a good anchor to the Mitchell-Odrick rotation.

Signing Cortland Finnegan: C+

Umm what? He’s got an attitude and doesn’t strike me as a “Philbin guy,” but I guess that he’ll have to become one. He’s less than a year younger than Grimes, so both can provide a veteran presence to Will Davis and Jamar Taylor. I just can’t believe Miami went this direction.

Signing Shelley Smith: A-

A guard was badly needed there’s now way to badly look at this deal. The question is, is he better than what Miami currently has on its roster?

Grade (thus far): B+

A very admirable start for Dennis Hickey and he’s not overpaying for the talent either. Let’s see if he can carry the success through the draft and into the season.

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Tags: Dennis Hickey Free Agency Miami Dolphins

  • corners

    i would have rather kept nolan carrol then signing finnegan.

  • Johnny

    CB Finn, G Smith :: D+
    DT Mitchell :: B
    LT Albert :: B+
    DT Starks :: A-
    CB Grimes :: A+

    Overall::: C+, borderline B-

    Not so good:: too many holes on OLine left unattended, a back-guard and has been CB with injury history, a S who’s also often injured…
    The good:: resigning Grimes and Starks and a young athletic DT in Mitchell I believe will prove to be a steal..
    LT Albert filled a need even though they overpaid a guy who has played 16 games only once in his career…

    • Miami Jules (Julian)

      YES! My response will be similar to yours, not exact but similar however the areas which need addressing the most, are the same, because in my opinion, as the OL goes, so will the season. I think with a reasonably good OL, the existing QB will complete more passes maybe even the long go routes, WRs will catch, RB’s will run and the defense will not be as exhausted.

  • Pygskyn

    Grimes: A+ (Duh)
    Albert: A- (Grade is if he stays healthy this season, otherwise it looks like a grade from Billy Madisons Report Card)
    Starks: A- (Seems to be feeling his age, but is a rock solid vet for the right price)
    Mitchell: B+ (Going to be the steal of the offseason for us)
    Delmas: B (I’m not completely sold on him either, but it IS technically an upgrade)
    Finnegan: B- (Very low risk, potentially high reward signing. I mean, a DB that was injured and found other teams scared off by it picked up by Miami in a “Prove it” kind of deal. Hey, it worked pretty well with Grimes, why the heck not?)

    Overall Grade: B+ (Could upgrade to an A- if Finn recovers from his injury and returns to his old form)

  • Patrick Keegan

    So far its all graded out toa C+. We do need more depth on the line, which will most likely come from the draft. But we need a FB real bad this year, no doubt about it.

  • Miami Jules (Julian)

    Good article there Alexa.
    Grimes: A+.Duh! A no brainer, however, the fact he was a addressed first is what I love the most.
    Albert: A-. He wasn’t my guy but we couldn’t afford to wait for anyone else. Not a consumer’s market for LT.
    Finnegan: D
    Shelley Smith: C
    Starks: A-. This was a necessary re-sign but we should start looking towards the future soon and if not during this upcoming draft soon thereafter.
    Delmas: C
    Mitchell: B-
    OL Needs: D-. The only reason Miami is even however barely above an F is because they addressed LT on the first day of free agency but then shockingly, we just go a “we think he’s going to good guy” and fell off the radar when should’ve been addressing OL fast and furiously C’mon man, I know we signed Albert and Smith but it isn’t as if we satisfied those needs. Hickey/Philbin get a bonus point for being aggressive with Albert, but Smith so far has been better in run blocking than at pass protecting and I for one do not want to see our QB go down with concussions. In the past, Miami has gone out a drafted someone high (as in Jake Long) and then just tried to fill remaining spots with mediocrity. After that, it’s been the 2nd and later rounders which have led to chronic mediocrity, and as it is, Albert has had back issues which can take a player out of games too often when these flair up. The Dolphins need to take care of the BASICS, I know basics are boring BUT no basics no play offs.
    Total F/A grade (so far): C+