The 5 Biggest Free Agency Rumors Around the Miami Dolphins
5 Biggest Free Agency Rumors Surrounding the Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins have had a busy offseason thus far. Since their season ended in agonizing fashion, having their door to the playoffs slammed shut by their hated rival, the New York Jets, the Dolphins have fired and hired a general manager, an offensive coordinator and an offensive line coach.
The Dolphins have replaced a linebacker coach and have yet to replace the recently fired Kevin O’Neill, the head athletic trainer involved in the infamous “bullying” scandal.
Through this discouraging whirlwind that swirled around the team came the news on Mar. 3 that Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes has been re-signed to a four-year contract worth $32 million.
It is just the thing fans needed to hear to be reminded that this team, despite all the negativity and controversy surrounding it, was an offensive line away from the playoffs last year and is probably still at that point.
New GM Dennis Hickey knows what he must do now that Grimes has been retained. Fortifying an offensive line which allowed a franchise-record 58 sacks in 2013 is now the top priority for Hickey.
Four out of eight of the men who started on the Dolphins' offensive line last season are free agents, and Mike Pouncey faces a likely suspension after he was named to be a culprit in the bullying of Jonathan Martin, who also won’t be returning to the team.
That leaves Nate Garner and Sam Brenner as the only offensive linemen with starting experience currently under contract for next season who will be available to start Week 1. It doesn’t matter if that scares you because it scares Ryan Tannehill.
The offensive line is the Dolphins’ main hole, but it isn’t the only one. Hickey has his work cut out for him, and it’s time to prove himself. He’s off to a good start with the Grimes deal, and he’ll have more chances to show he was the best choice to become the Dolphins GM instead of the fourth choice come the start of free agency on Mar. 11.
Here are the top 5 free agency rumors around the Dolphins.
5. D'Qwell Jackson Will Sign with the Dolphins
D’Qwell Jackson was cut by the Cleveland Browns, the team that drafted him in the second round in 2006, on Feb 26. He instantly drew interest from four teams, including the Dolphins who are visiting with him on Tuesday.
The Dolphins were unhappy with the way their two big free agent linebacker signings, Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler, performed last season. Now the team wants to bring in competition to either take the job of one of the two or drive them to perform the way they are paid.
4. Dolphins Will Sign Louis Delmas
Louis Delmas is a rumor that actually has some weight to it as he visited with the team last Friday. Delmas, a former second-round pick in the NFL Draft, has never played a full 16-game season in his career and has been said to be injury-prone.
Delmas, who was a 2010 Pro Bowl alternate despite missing five games, was cut by the Detroit Lions on Feb 13. Delmas is the 11th ranked free agent safety according to ProFootballFocus.com.
3. Dolphins Will Lure Maurice Jones-Drew
Jones-Drew doesn’t want to go back to Jacksonville to play for the team that ran him into the ground the past few years; this is no secret. Jones-Drew would likely want to play for a contender in the final years of productivity in his career, but staying in Florida and a nice contract could persuade him to sign with the Dolphins.
The 5-foot-7 Jones-Drew is a beast and is one of the toughest backs in the league to tackle because of his low center of gravity. As you can see from the picture above, it usually takes a few guys to get him to the ground.
His signing would provide the Dolphins with the power back they so drastically lacked last season and, with a successful offensive line overhaul, would likely energize the running game to provide balance to this pass-first team shouldered by Ryan Tannehill.
2. Dolphins Will Land Jairus Byrd
The Dolphins have told Chris Clemons, who has started the last two seasons at free safety for the team, to test the free agency market. This means they are in market for a new starting safety, one with playmaking ability as this was the main gripe with Clemons.
Jairus Byrd, who has 22 interceptions in his five years in the NFL, was not franchise tagged by the Buffalo Bills and, while they have not ruled out a long-term deal, Byrd will likely hit the open market. The Dolphins have the cap space to make a big move like landing Byrd, and it would instantly turn Miami’s secondary into one of the best in the league. Byrd will likely be pursued if one of the other big free agents Miami is eying doesn’t hit the market.
1. Dolphins Will Go All-In to Get Eugene Monroe
Multiple sources have stated that the Dolphins will be targeting Monroe if he reaches the open market, and that’s because anyone with a brain can put that together. The Dolphins' left tackle position was extremely unstable last season, and Monroe would solve that problem for years to come. The big question is will the Dolphins even get a chance to speak with him?
The Ravens have made re-signing Monroe a priority now that Dennis Pitta’s deal is done. The Dolphins are praying that Monroe hits the market on Mar. 11.