Dec. 2, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller (81) celebrates on the field against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Dolphins have been quite busy during this year’s free agency period. With fresh new faces coming in and some familiar faces on their way out, the Dolphins will look like a completely different team next year. Going into day four of free agency it will be interesting to see if the Dolphins continue to make major moves or if they will go after lesser known players. So far I am enjoying seeing the Dolphins being busy. I never thought I’d say this, but Jeff Ireland, I applaud you. Although we are unsure if the signings are actually going to work, I think what is important is the Dolphins are finally showing a winning attitude. Below, I am going to give my opinions on what the Dolphins have done so far.
When 4 P.M. came around on Tuesday (the start of the new NFL year), there was plenty of buzz going around the South Florida. The Dolphins, who were expected to be big time players in this year’s free agency, were anticipating a big day. Prior to the start of free agency, rumors were going around that the Dolphins were almost guaranteed to sign wide receiver Mike Wallace, and as soon as the clock struck four, it was released that the Dolphins and star wide receiver Mike Wallace were actually in the midst of negotiating a five year contract. Signing Wallace would be huge for Miami as they would have finally found their big play receiver that has been absent over the past couple of seasons. Low and behold around thirty minutes after four, it was announced that the Dolphins have reached an agreement with the former Pro Bowl receiver on a five year deal, worth 60 million dollars. Even though the Dolphins had made a big time splash early, they were certainly not done with making big roster moves to help win ball games. Even with the signing of Wallace, the Dolphins are still looking for another receiver. They have shown their interest in St. Louis Rams receiver, Brandon Gibson. Gibson, who is certainly no push over when it comes to the position, would be another nice addition to this now above average receiving group.
I really like what Wallace brings to the table for the Dolphins. His speed will give opposing defenders a tough time when guarding him and that is exactly what the Dolphins need.
Along with cornerback and offensive line, wide receiver was one of the biggest needs the Dolphins had coming into this year’s free agency period. With Wallace inked to a new deal with Miami, the Dolphins were expecting to continue to surround quarterback Ryan Tannehill with weapons. Tight end Jared Cook arose on the Dolphins list of players they wanted. Cook, who was one of the top free agent tight ends, would’ve fit in nicely with the Dolphins offense. They finally would’ve found a threat up the middle of the field. Unfortunately, Cook decided to sign with the Rams, leaving the Dolphins still looking for a tight end. With Cook going to St. Louis, and now former Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano landing a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Dolphins are left with an extravagant hole at the tight end position. If the season were to start tomorrow, the Dolphins starting tight end would be Michael Egnew. Fortunately for the Dolphins the season doesn’t start tomorrow and they will have almost six months to find another tight end. They have already had discussions with New York Jets tight end, Dustin Keller. Keller would be a good signing for the Dolphins after they were unable to reel in Jared Cook.
I really wanted Jared Cook on this team, but I guess we can’t get everyone. Hopefully the Phins can go out and get a tight end either in the draft or sign someone like Keller.
Sep 3, 2011; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies cornerback Desmond Trufant (6) defends Eastern Washington Eagles wide receiver Brandon Kaufman (1) in the game at Husky Stadium. Washington defeated Eastern Washington 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
So far the Dolphins have yet to address the cornerback position. Last season, the play that we witnessed from the cornerbacks was terrible. You have to wonder why the Dolphins have yet to do anything with the cornerback position, now four days into free agency. Their best cornerback last season, Sean Smith, recently signed a three year deal to be the cornerback of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Dolphins are likely to address this position mainly in the draft. With the 12th pick in the first round, and two picks in both the second and third, you’d have to imagine the Dolphins will draft a cornerback; maybe even two. This year’s draft class is loaded with tons of defensive backs with first and second round potential. Cornerback will certainly be a hot position in April. We will just have to wait and see which one(s) the Dolphins will select. Along with drafting a corner, I also see the Dolphins trying to add another corner through free agency. Not a star corner, but a veteran cornerback that can immediately come in and make an impact, while helping the younger ones blossom into what the Dolphins are hoping, top tier CB’s.
At first I wanted a WR with the 12th pick. However, with our group of receivers looking good, a corner is a must at 12. I’m thinking along the lines of Desmond Trufant or Jonathan Banks.
Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) is hit as he is unable to complete a pass as he is hit by Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (59) on fourth down in the fourth quarter in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Dan Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe; names that people might want to start getting used to hearing. Those two are the new linebackers in Miami. With the signing of both of these two young talented players, the Dolphins have released veterans Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett. Although Burnett and Dansby might be the better players right now, it isn’t by much. Ellerbe and Wheeler have tons of potential and they are much younger and cheaper. Signing the two of them and then cutting Dansby and Ellerbe saved the Dolphins almost four million dollars in cap space. That four million could be used to go to a new corner, the offensive line, or a new tight end. Ellerbe and Wheeler are two really good players in the NFL and hopefully they can bring their game that they had in Oakland for Wheeler and Baltimore for Ellerbe.
Although it might be a bit of a risk, I like it. It is important that the Dolphins were aggressive. I think Ellerbe and Wheeler will produce very well for the Dolphins, much like they have with their respective former teams.
Much line cornerback, the offensive line has been a position on this team that seemed to struggle at times and much like the cornerback position, the Dolphins have yet to address it in free agency. Not to leave out that the Dolphins top offensive lineman, Jake Long, might leave to St. Louis. However, the Dolphins are recently making a strong push to retain the services of Long. The offensive line is a position that will most likely be addressed in the draft as well as long as the possibilities of signing veteran players. The line is important in making sure the offense runs smoothly. Mike Wallace will be unable to play to his abilities if the line isn’t good, the backs won’t be able to run, and most importantly, Tannehill will have issues growing into the franchise quarterback the Dolphins want him to be. There are going to be some good offensive line talent in this up and coming draft class.
The offensive line needs a ton of help. It’s unfortunate too, because for the past few years we would constantly see the Dolphins draft this position high. It just never seems to work out. Whether it’s the draft or free agency, this line needs big time help in order to protect Tannehill. As I said earlier; the line is important if the Dolphins want to have success.
Before I end this post, I have some news to let out. The Miami Dolphins have reached a one year agreement with former New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller. Keller, had confirmed ESPNNewYork.com of the deal. Last season Keller had 28 receptions for 317 yards and two touchdowns.
Thanks for Reading!