Dolphins planning to be aggressive in free agency?


Over the last four years the Miami Dolphins have been very aggressive in the free agent market. If a new report that has surfaced today is true, you can expect a 5th year of aggressive pursuit.

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The Dolphins have brought in Mike Wallace, Branden Albert, Ndamukong Suh in free agency and have traded for Brandon Marshall and traded Brandon Marshall at the outset of free agency. Albert and Suh remain with the team and if Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald is correct, the Dolphins will be aggressive again.

"And the Dolphins, who need to make some cap room so they can work free agency aggressively (and they will be aggressive, I’ve been told), – Salguero via his blog."

Obviously the Dolphins will need to free up cap space and Salguero talks about Suh specifically in his article. The Dolphins also need to make decisions on several key free agents including Lamar Miller, Olivier Vernon, and Derrick Shelby. It was reported just after the Dolphins season ended and Adam Gase was hired that the Dolphins would be active in fixing their offensive line positions as well as cornerback.

Miami is expected to pursue guards in free agency and possibly a corner back to play opposite Brent Grimes. The Dolphins will also need to look at reworking his contract as well as he is scheduled to count $9 million against the 2016 cap.

When it comes to Suh, Salguero points out that a clause in his contract allows the team to convert portions of his contract into guarantees. He is scheduled to count $28.7 million against this years cap. Miami would be better off leaving that salary alone and taking the one year hit rather than add dollars to his cap number in future seasons. Here is the part of the contract that Salguero points to.

"“Player and Club agree that on one or more occasions and at any time during the duration of this contract, club shall have the option to convert a portion of player’s 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and/or 2020 Paragraph 5 (base salary) into signing bonus, subject to forfeiture only for the league year of such converted compensation. Player and club agree that an email an/or phone call from the club to the player or player’s certified agent shall suffice to notify player that club is exercising its rights under this paragraph and will make such a conversion, the amount thereof and the effective date of the conversion.”"

To be honest, I like when teams, excuse me, I like when the Dolphins are aggressive in free agency but only because it’s something to talk about. The truth is pouring money into free agent names has yet to work well for the Dolphins and it seems that they might be better off finding players that can fill in while they develop younger players at those positions. In my opinion, the Dolphins are not going to challenge the Patriots for the division next year and I doubt they will challenge the Bills and Jets for a Wild Card spot. In other words, eat the season and build for the future.

No one really expects Adam Gase to turn the franchise around in one year and by adding top free agents may sound like fixes to the problems the team has, the reality is that none of the free agents have made the impact the team was hoping for. Albert was a great signing but can’t stay healthy, Suh is fantastic when put in the right position but he lacks the support around him to truly be effective.

The annual free agency spending is a concern especially as we see it start to affect the salary cap. Dawn Aponte is good at structuring the deals in a team friendly way but eventually it’s all going to catch up.