Defensive Line Free Agent Targets For The Miami Dolphins

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

The Miami Dolphins have one of the premier pass rushers on earth in Cameron Wake, and the offseason will have a few opportunities for the franchise to add a defensive end to play opposite Wake, which would give them a pass rushing presence on every snap.

The Dolphins spend a significant amount of money on their defense, and they do have a starter in place at left end in Jared Odrick but A) the 6’5″ 310 pounder could be traded as he does not really fit the 4-3 base defense that Kevin Coyle runs, and B) even if there was hope for Odrick to improve as a pass rusher there are still free agent upgrades available at that position so I do think the 2013 Dolphins will have a different left end than Odrick.

Cliff Avril is good, but he is looking for a massive contract somewhere in the Mario Williams neighbourhood which is six years $100 million with $50 million guaranteed. Wow. Avril is good, and Miami has the coin to spend, but I would think they may allocate big funds differently and thus take a pass on Avril (but he is available).

Michael Johnson is a guy that may get the Cincinnati Bengals franchise tag applied to him, and even if he doesn’t he may still re-up with Cincy, but this guy is coming on strong and Coyle has had his hands on him before. Johnson had 11.5 sacks this season (including 1.0 vs the Dolphins) and his arrow is pointed upwards, big-time, and there is a small possibility that the Bengals will not be able to get their salary cap to work by retaining Johnson so if he does become available I think he would be great in Miami.

Veteran Dwight Freeney could be an affordable (for Miami anyway) option that I would be all for as well. The veteran will surely be looking to get back into a 4-3 defense as his former team switched to a 3-4. Michael Bennett is also available and he is a fantastic depth guy who is very versatile on the defensive line. A wild-card for me is a guy like Matt Shaughnessy, who had just 3.5 sacks in 2012, but one was vs Miami so they saw his potential up-close, and I feel like this guy has an untapped upside.

Thank you for reading my work.

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


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