Miami Dolphins Free Agent Necessities 2015


For those that missed the last article, I broke down exactly what I believe to be the Miami Dolphins’ biggest needs going into the 2015 offseason. I broke these needs into two categories, necessities and upgrades. Today I will be breaking down the necessities and how they can fix these all in free agency.

I understand that the Miami Dolphins will use a mix of both draft and free agency, however in these next couple articles I will be detailing my ideas on how to fix each need through FA specifically. These moves are also suggested independently as I understand that they don’t have the money to do all of these. Without getting any more technical and nit-picky than we have to, let’s get to it.

Defensive Tackle– The first thing I would do here is to resign Jared Odrick. I know this is not sexy or particularly innovative, but it might be the most imperative move they make. This signing has a very interesting dual functionality. Not only does it make them better on the field, as Odrick had a heck of a 2014 campaign and is highly regarded for his ability to work all over the defensive line in a 4-3 or play end in a 3-4. This move would also send a strong message through the locker room. It would send the message that the Miami Dolphins take care of our own provided you are productive and not disruptive. It would be very solid and help the culture overall. That would be step one as far as I’m concerned.

As far as new guys I am not in the Suh camp, as although he is excellent I cannot honestly imagine him gelling with our coaches from a personality standpoint. There are a few guys on my radar and all of them have one very important thing in common, they all stuff the run. This is what Miami needs more than anything, with Odrick making the push inside against the pass, they need someone that will eat blockers and allow the rest of the defense to be more opportunistic.

My personal favorite here would be Dan Williams, an unrestricted free agent from the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards were quite the defense last year and he was no small part of that. He is a premier run stuffer and commands two blockers almost every play. This would make life for the ends much much easier as they will not simply be able to double Wake and call it a day. The beautiful thing about Williams is he will not be the most expensive run stuffer in this free agent class, making him a solid value signing.

Terrance Knighton will most likely command the most money in this class when you are talking about run stuffers. He is not a bad option either but again will be very expensive and will probably tie up too much money and hinder them when it comes to filling other holes. Another good option would be Cedric Thornton from Philly, again a top notch run stuffer and someone that could really help us.

Offensive guard– The Miami Dolphins need to sign one top notch guard in FA. Some people have stressed not giving too much to a guard, but having a stout o-line makes every single player on our offense better. Great o-lines allow an offense to do so much that it’s not even debatable to me how some people don’t want to just make sure we get this position group fixed once and for all. I think Billy Turner should be able to hold down one spot although he hasn’t necessarily proven that to us yet, but I just have a hunch.

The guy I would throw money at is not Mike Iupati who most are Ga-Ga over just because he is a Pro-Bowler. Iupati is good, very good, but he is great at run blocking and not good at pass protection so Lamar Miller will love him but Tannehill might come to not like him all that much and if I am going to pay big money for a guard I don’t want someone I have to scheme around when it comes to their deficiencies.

The guy I would go after guns blazing is Orlando Franklin of the Broncos. He is a balanced pass protector and run blocker, he had his share of holding penalties but still did very well for the most part. He also used to be a Tackle so if something should happen to Branden Albert he could also step in and take over. This guy is also a South Florida native so hopefully that helps them in their pitch to him. Not to sound fixated but I really think this is the one guy they should go after no matter what and there is not really anyone else I would look at. Is that a little obsessive? Sure, but if you believe in something you go for it no matter what.

Inside Linebacker– As I talked about before, I think the Phins need to go out and get a 4-3 ILB who is just that a 4-3 ILB, not some guy they are converting into that. Having said that there is one guy who I believe could take over and do well here, David Harris. This guy has held it down year after year for the rival Jets and it would be nice for him to help us and we would be weakening them in the process. He would be great in that it would let the Phins draft someone and bring them along slow under his tutelage until he is ready to retire. He might be a little pricey but is probably worth it.

If we are going for the long term fix than our attention should probably shift to Mason Foster. He is plenty productive, plays in a 4-3 and is also young at only 25 years of age. Foster had a rough 2014 but that is not totally his fault as it was mostly marred by injuries. The Miami Dolphins have struck gold before, taking chances on a defensive player who was injured the year before(see Grimes, Brent). Who says lightning can’t strike twice here.

A dark horse here is Rolando McClain although his prospect dimmed with reports that he has failed another drug test and will be missing 4 games this coming year. This will also drive his price down meaning he could be a steal and as soon as he is done serving his (reported) suspension they could have him take over for Koa Misi and move Misi back to his natural OLB spot. The contract would have to be decidedly incentive laden, but previous to his impending suspension being reported he was my choice for the ILB the Phins should go after.

Lastly a great back-up plan would be Brandon Spikes, he is definitely just a two down guy but he really rocks those two downs. He plays the game with a serious ferocity having once tried to gouge a guy’s eyes out. He isn’t my first choice but also would not be someone I would be mad at the Dolphins signing, in fact I would be pretty excited about it considering the clear deficiencies against the run.

Safety– I really like suggesting ways to help the Miami Dolphins. The only thing I like more than that is suggesting ways to help the team and hurt a rival. They have the option to do that with two different safeties this year, Devin McCourty and DaNorris Searcy. McCourty is going to be expensive but may very well be worth it, they should look into him if he is not asking for anything too crazy.

The guy I think will end up being a great fit though is Searcy, previously of the Bills. He is young, and will come relatively cheap having only one year of real production on his resume. He snagged three interceptions last year and was a very solid center-fielder. He could help to form a formidable tandem, as alongside Reshad Jones they could theoretically terrorize opponents for years to come. Outside of these guys most of the safeties in this class are better suited to be strong safeties, something the Dolphins already have in Jones. If Delmas will be healthy for the start of the season then he should also be considered as the defense was decidedly better with him on the field last year.

Wide Receiver– This was a need in my eyes even before we released Hartline and Gibson. It was a need for me even before Wallace benched himself. The wide receiving corps lacks one very important attribute, height. Quick, let’s say Miami gets into the red zone and you are Ryan Tannehill, who are you throwing it up to? Did you say Jarvis Landry? Ok I wouldn’t fault you for that, but did you say it with oomph? Did you say it with utter certainty? My guess is no. Is Landry good in the red zone, yes, absolutely. Having said that I would feel more comfortable throwing it up to someone who is taller, but right now that person is nowhere to be found on the roster.

The first guy I would take a strong look at is Michael Crabtree of the 49ers. He has been vastly underutilized in his offense and coming off a serious down year will not command the same type of money as most of these tier 1 guys but at the end of the day still very well might produce like one. He runs solid routes, is relatively tough and has playoff experience. He also is the type of receiver that meshes perfectly with Ryan Tannehill as he excels in the short to intermediate range but can get the deep ball if called upon. He could be a sneaky great addition and eventually become the Miami Dolphins’ number 1.

Now another receiver they should look to sign ALONG WITH Crabtree is Kenny Britt. This guy is really tall, and is a playmaker. He also will not break the bank and is someone who is keen on continuing to turn his career around. He can make plays all over the field and would give them some much needed height in the receiving corps. Hopefully with these additions you will have no problem answering that red zone question with serious certainty.

Stay tuned for my next article where I go over the other needs this team has that aren’t as serious as these. Be sure to comment and let me know what you agree with and what you disagree with.