Grading every major Miami Dolphins move during first wave of free agency

The Dolphins' secondary will look a whole lot different in 2024.

Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins
Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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The first week of free agency is coming to a close, and the flurry of big moves are starting to slow down after a non-stop five day news cycle.

Miami was about as active as any team in football, signing more than a half dozen players in an effort to, apparently, reshape their defense. Key signings at safety, corner, and linebacker were the headliners in Miami, but depth additions on the offensive line and at pass-catcher filled out what, on paper, looks like a successful free agency so far.

It always take a little while for the full impact of new signings to become clear – although, in the worst cases, it's pretty obvious right away. But for now, let's hand out some grades for every major signing the Dolphins made during the first wave of free agency.

Grading every Miami Dolphins move during first wave of free agency

Jordan Poyer, S, Buffalo Bills

Grade: B

The Dolphins very clearly had plans to upgrade their secondary, and Poyer, who's been in the NFL for 11 years with the Browns, Eagles, and Bills, is a good start. And while he is 32, Poyer's still playing at a high level: he was Pro Football Focus' 46th best safety in 2023, and is only two years removed from being an All-Pro.

He's fairly dependable, too – he's played in at least 16 games in five of the last six seasons. The age concerns are fair, but on a one-year deal, it's not as big of an issue.

Shaquil Barrett, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: B+

Once everyone gets healthy, the Dolphins will have a pretty deep pass rushing unit. Adding Barrett to Bradley Chub and Jaelan Phillips is a real luxury, and even though Barrett's 31, he's still plenty viable as a 3rd pass rusher.

He never quite got close to replicating his 19.5 sack season in 2019, but again – it's a one year deal. It's hard to grade that poorly. Barrett was also a key locker room figure with the Buccaneers, not only helping them win a Super Bowl in 2020 but ushering in a new era of pass rush talent for Tampa Bay as a sort of mentor.

That's not going to show up in box scores but it's another key piece of this deal for Miami.