Miami Dolphins are looking at the start of the 2015 NFL free agency period. Just a few months a..."/> Miami Dolphins are looking at the start of the 2015 NFL free agency period. Just a few months a..."/>

Miami Dolphins 2015 Free Agency Primer


Well, here we are the Miami Dolphins are looking at the start of the 2015 NFL free agency period. Just a few months ago I thought this day would never come. While we all get into the draft so heavily with all of the combine activities and bowls, we tend to forget that what comes first is actually free agency. This free agency season is already off to a bang with plenty of big names already being jettisoned from their respective teams, however before we get too far into this we need to establish exactly what the Dolphins needs are.

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I will be listing these needs in order of what I believe to be the most important to the team,  breaking this up into two sections, necessities and upgrades. To be clear necessities are positions that absolutely must be addressed before next year. Upgrades are areas where I feel the team must improve but are not completely broken at this time. Feel free to add your own in the comments.


  1. Defensive Tackle

To anyone watching the Dolphins last year this will plainly be our biggest need. The second half of the season saw our defense collapse. CJ Anderson looked like the second coming of Eric Dickerson, it was atrocious. The worst part was that this was only the beginning. The Dolphins would continue to see opposing teams run all over them the rest of the year. This position is especially important to address considering the best player we had at this position last year, Jared Odrick, is an unrestricted free agent who very well might not be with us next year for one reason or another.

  1. Offensive Guard

Had Branden Albert not gotten hurt last year this position would be far lower on this list. However he did thereby exposing the interior of the line for what it really was, an area that needs serious help. Ryan Tannehill, who I personally believe in, may not be the greatest quarter back of all time, yet, but he certainly might be the toughest. This guy has been sacked and hit more times than any of us fans care to remember and yet always bounces back up. If we don’t continue to beef up his line his days are numbered. Apart from keeping Tannehill off his backside, strengthening the interior of our line will really help our run game too. Lamar Miller did some good work last year and for him to build on that we need to give him more room to work with and bigger holes.

  1. Inside Linebacker

This is a big one, and defensively speaking really flirts with top overall spot as far as needs go. This is the quarterback of our front seven and yet for the past couple years we have been putting square pegs into round holes and praying for the best. First it was Ellerbe as we signed him to be our 4-3 MLB even though in Baltimore he had never played a down of 4-3 MLB, expecting that to go well in year one was foolish. Did he have talent? Sure, but that doesn’t meat it’s a good idea to go all in on a guy that is converting to a new position with no previous evidence to support success or a viable back-up plan. Last year we essentially did the same thing with Koa Misi. He had never played inside in the NFL. This has to stop. We need to go out and get someone who is comfortable and confident playing inside in a 4-3.

  1. Safety

This one is kind of a bummer because I thought this was fixed already, but alas Delmas got hit with the injury bug yet again. When he was healthy his impact was really felt but unfortunately he is not healthy anymore and probably won’t be to start the season. This leaves Walt Aikens as the day one starter at free safety, while I am rooting for the kid I don’t think he has shown us anything to suggest we go all in on him taking firm command of the starting role here just yet. We need to find another safety, specifically a free safety so that Reshad Jones can continue to dominate from his strong safety position.

  1. Wide Receiver

I felt like this was a need even before Mike Wallace benched himself and we got rid of Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson. We need height.  We need red zone weapons of which we have painfully little. Wallace, assuming he is here next year, is not the jump ball guy. Landry can be, see touchdown in the Packers game, but that is more him exceeding expectations than being the consistent guy you just throw it up to. We need someone that Tanne can throw up the post corner fade to, and that guy needs to be able to secure that out of reach of the defender…in the air. Height, and the ability to highpoint the ball is a serious need for this receiving corps, one that is even more dire being that we just released our tallest receiver.


  1. Cornerback

This might actually be a necessity depending on how our younger guys are coming along. It was admittedly a tough call for me. However, I am hopeful specifically when it comes to Jamar Taylor. I feel like he could be a real stud, that is if we could ever see him on the field enough to really gauge that. We struck gold with Grimes, who is one of the best at his position, so we don’t need a world beater opposite him, but we do need someone who can take advantage of the fact that they will get thrown to far more than he will. We need a decent playmaker across from him, nothing crazy, but someone who is solid and can make the plays when they are presented to him.

  1. Tight End

This is an area that needs to be upgraded assuming Clay is resigned. If he isn’t this becomes a serious need. The NFL is a passing league and tight ends lately are a huge reflection of that. They are expected to be playmakers in the passing game more than ever before. Clay is a playmaker, make no mistake, but there comes that ugly issue of height again. Clay is only about 6’2, not exactly a behemoth. We need someone that can work the seam AND be a towering force in the red zone. Can Sims be that guy, I sure hope so, but until I see proof of that I will keep ranting about our need for a big red zone tight end.

  1. Running Back

I like Lamar Miller, I really do. He is productive and a seemingly model citizen. However he is in no way a guy that on the one yard line I feel confident will punch it in. I like Miller as our starter but I think we need a bruiser who can catch to truly solidify our running back stable. Someone who can catch consistently and be our touchdown vulture. In Fantasy Football guys like this drive people crazy. In real life these people are absolutely invaluable.

  1. Kicker

Let me start off by saying I am a Gator. This means that in literally every way possible I want Sturgis to succeed but up until this point I cannot say that he has really been getting the job done. He has been serviceable, but I am sure that we can find someone else who is better at what they do than him.

In the coming days I will be breaking down how to fill each one of these needs in Free Agency. I understand that we as a team will use a mix of the Draft and Free Agency to fill our needs but I want to give you my thoughts on how to solve all of these issues in Free Agency, and then I will do the same for the Draft. Stay tuned as this should be interesting. Also be sure to comment and let me know if you agree or disagree.