Work Ahead For Miami Dolphins Dennis Hickey


Free agency will begin one week from today and there is a lot of work to be done by Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey. For starters he still needs to free up more cap space and then he needs to rebuild areas of the roster. It won’t be an easy task.

Last week the Dolphins opted to release two of their wide-receivers, Brandon Gibson and Brian Hartline. Hickey also opted to transition tag tight end Charles Clay and then release offensive lineman Nate Garner and cornerback Cortland Finnegan. It has been reported by various Twitter users that the Dolphins are now in the neighborhood of $12 million below the cap although I can’t get a firm confirmation on that.

More from Dolphins News

As of today the Dolphins need wide-receiver help and corner back help thanks to the released players and we already knew coming into the off-season that an upgrade at linebacker and offensive guard was a must as well. Yesterday we learned that the Dolphins would not likely get a deal done with safety Jimmy Wilson and Louis Delmas is set to become a free agent as well. Safety too is a concern.

With Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler still potential cap casualties and Randy Starks another player who could possibly be released the Dolphins will need to improve on both sides of the ball if they have any hopes of competing next season.

Taking a look at wide-receiver, the Dolphins could turn to the draft for their replacement for Hartline. The Dolphins select 14th overall and there are five wide-outs who could go in the top half of the draft. Free agency doesn’t appear to offer much in the way of possibilities but Randall Cobb and Jeremy Maclin both have ties to Dolphins coaches. Cobb played when Joe Philbin was the Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator and Bill Lazor was the quarterback coach two seasons ago in Philadelphia. Both players will command good free agent money and it’s unlikely the Dolphins can afford to spend in that direction. With the success of Jarvis Landry last season the draft could be where the Dolphins look again.

More from Phin Phanatic

Ndamukong Suh has received a lot of attention in the Miami Dolphins rumor department over the last 24 hours. Mark Dominik who worked with Dennis Hickey in Tampa Bay and now is an ESPN analyst believes the Dolphins will indeed target the top defensive tackle in free agency. Dominik believes the Dolphins are one of the top three possible landing locations. Agent Drew Rosenhaus believes that Miami is one of six potential landing spots.

Suh is going to be very expensive. Expensive like J.J. Watt was who signed a deal with $50 million guaranteed. Adding Suh would eat up cap space immediately and while his addition would immediately improve the Dolphins run defense, holes could go unfilled in other key areas. If the Dolphins do indeed go after Suh it will likely mean the end of Jared Odrick in Miami. Odrick is set to become a free agent next week as well.

The issue at hand for Dennis Hickey is how will he spread the money he gains by releasing veteran contracts. The Dolphins face a critical season in 2015 and both Hickey and head coach Joe Philbin could be on the hot seat at seasons start. Heading into that season with issues at guard, linebacker, safety, and corner won’t give Miami Dolphins fans confidence. Until the Dolphins make a decision on their two linebackers, their remaining defensive lineman, and begin to mold the roster for next season no one will really know what kind of team the Dolphins will field. Hickey however has a lot of work to get this team ready to be coached.

With one week left there is still work to be done with the salary cap and once that is completed the Dolphins and Hickey will begin to bring in potential free agent signings. Money is going to be a big factor to lure some players to the Dolphins and Miami will need to make some more tough decisions to find it.