NFL Miami Dolphins

5 Overrated NFL Free Agents The Miami Dolphins Should Avoid At All Costs

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5 Overrated Free Agents The Dolphins Should Avoid

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins and new GM Dennis Hickey, attempting to move on from a national controversy, have set their sights on the beginning of free agency in March and May's NFL Draft.

For as grim as the club's outlook appears at this moment in time considering all of the negative press, it shouldn't be forgotten that the Dolphins were one win away from the postseason in 2013. Despite the worst offensive line in franchise history, an oftentimes ineffective running game and a statically below average defense, the Dolphins were able to defeat four of the AFC's six playoff teams during the regular season.

Still, several difficult decisions await Hickey this offseason. If he's able to make sound ones during his first year on the job, the Dolphins could be positioned for a playoff run in 2014. Reconstructing the offensive line, keeping the defensive line and secondary intact, nabbing a power running back and adding a red-zone threat all remains in order.

With all of the resources the Dolphins have at their disposal and with so many needs to address, throwing large sums at money at free agents could become tempting. But last offseason's spending spree, when former GM Jeff Ireland overpaid for Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler, should serve as a prime example that, regardless of cap space, the Dolphins need to spend wisely.

Here are five overrated free agents that Miami should avoid at all costs.

Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.

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5. Peria Jerry

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins may be in the market for a defensive tackle this offseason if Paul Soliai and Randy Starks are both allowed to enter free agency. Peria Jerry will undoubtedly be mentioned as a potential signing, simply because he is the brother of John Jerry, who started at right guard for the Dolphins in 2013.

But his performance with the Atlanta Falcons suggests that he's not equipped to be a starter in Miami or anywhere else in 2014. According to Pro Football Focus, Jerry ranked as the NFL's 64th most effective interior defensive lineman out of 69 qualifying players at the position this past season. He's an overrated free agent that the Dolphins should steer clear of.

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4. Michael Oher

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Michael Oher has experience playing left and right tackle in the NFL and was profiled in the heartwarming film The Blind Side in 2009. However, none of that should make him any more coveted in free agency.

Oher had a fantastic rookie season for the Baltimore Ravens in 2009, but has since drastically regressed. This past season, Pro Football Focus slotted Oher as the NFL's 68th most effective offensive tackle thanks in large part to the eight sacks, seven quarterback hits, and 42 pressures he conceded.

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3. Bryant McKinnie

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An in-house free agent for the Dolphins, left tackle Bryant McKinnie is somehow being overrated by many. If the team is unable to snag a proven left tackle in free agency, some have suggested bringing McKinnie back for one more season as a band-aid solution. The Dolphins' offensive line began playing better as a whole after McKinnie was acquired in a trade with the Ravens, but that wasn't McKinnie's doing.

The veteran might have provided leadership, but he didn't provide reliable protection or the ability to generate a consistent push as a run blocker. As Pro Football Focus' 62nd ranked offensive tackle, McKinnie struggled mightily down the stretch with Miami. The line exhibited some improvement during the second half of the season, but it was mainly derived from right tackle Tyson Clabo's turnaround, nothing McKinnie brought to the table.

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2. Maurice Jones-Drew

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After Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas' underwhelming season as co-starters, the Dolphins will likely enter the market for a running back this offseason. Thomas should probably be flat out replaced, but Miami must at least bring in competition for him. A big back who fights for extra yardage between the tackles and can also provide reliable pass protection in the backfield should be the target.

Maurice Jones-Drew might fit the bill, but he'll be 29 years old next month. Running backs typically begin to decline once they've turned 30, and Jones-Drew is coming off his worst season as a pro in 2013 considering he only averaged 3.4 yards per carry. Seeing as though star running backs can be had in the middle-to-late rounds of the draft, the Dolphins should avoid addressing the need in free agency.

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1. Darren McFadden

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Another free agent running back that the Dolphins should avoid is Darren McFadden. As a home run threat who is only 26 years old, McFadden might be tempting to Hickey and other GMs around the league, but his red flags are alarming. McFadden hasn't played an entire 16-game season in six years with the Oakland Raiders. His inability to stay healthy, regardless of his talent level, should scare away the Dolphins.

Even if McFadden could stay healthy in Miami, there's no guarantee that he would become a highly-productive starter. The 3.3 yards per carry he's mustered over the past two seasons suggests he's one of the most overrated free agents on the market.