NFL Rumors Suggest That the Miami Dolphins Are Willing to Allow Free-Agent Offensive Starters/Stars to Walk

By Craig Ballard

The 2012 Miami Dolphins were poor on offense, but word is that they are willing to let some of their best in-house offensive free-agents walk. Head coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman talked a good game about how high-powered the ’12 Dolphins would be, but they were bad and Sherman was awful. This team was No. 26 for passing, No. 17 for rushing, just six teams earned less first downs and only five teams scored less than the Dolphins this past season.

The skill level on offense is not high, but guys like Jake Long, Reggie Bush, Anthony Fasano and Brain Hartline were four of their best players,, however all are free-agents and it looks like the only one who could potentially be back with Miami is Fasano.

Long and Bush are looking for massive paydays and so far the Dolphins are not willing to come anywhere close to their salary demands, even though they have a ton of money to spend this off-season. General Manager Jeff Ireland reportedly feels that the ‘Phins have in-house replacements for these two in Jonathan Martin and Lamar Miller who will each be second year (extremely affordable) players next season and Philbin believes he can raise their level of play and he can develop them.

Hartline is looking for somewhere near $7-8 million per season and I do not think the Dolphins will bite at that price. I would think that the Dolphins will be in the market for one (possibly even two) “big name” free-agent wide receivers and if so would be looking to re-up with Hartline at a price-tag much closer to $5 million per season. There is a definite chance that Miami can upgrade from Hartline in free-agency so these two parties may part ways (for financial reasons only as Hartline is easy to like as an employee/teammate).

The word is that Fasano could be back, and while I like him I would very much like to see Miami spend money to upgrade the tight end position (I really want Jared Cook). If Fasano is brought back as a depth guy to play behind the new tight end then I am all for it, but there are numerous upgrades that exist so I do not want Fasano to be the main tight end anymore.

It looks like the 2013+ Dolphins offense will look very different than the 2012 version (thank goodness!). An interesting side note if they do lose Bush and Long (I think they will let both leave as they are so far apart on contract terms currently) is other than Ryan Tannehill (and a smattering of Davone Bess and Hartline jerseys) these names are the only offensive jersey sales that the Dolphins have. They may be counting on their new logo plus they are sure to make a splash (maybe a few) in the free-agent market so we will see how those jerseys sell.

Craig Ballard is a NFL/NBA/MLB writer for Follow  him on Twitter @craigballard77, and you can find all of his NFL articles HERE


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