By BARRY JACKSON
Posted on Wed, Feb. 27, 2008
The Dolphins' major retooling starts Friday, when they enter free agency with the most salary-cap space in the NFL (more than $40 million), but faced with a market that is not deep in high-impact players. A quick preview (all free agents mentioned are unrestricted):
* Contact with opposing players' agents isn't permitted until Friday, but Dolphins management has told people it knows it needs a talent infusion at most positions (center and kicker among the few exceptions), with the offensive and defensive lines expected to get attention.
Miami will add a tackle to replace L.J. Shelton, and likely two guards (they have shown no interest in re-signing Rex Hadnot and Chris Liwienski).
There is speculation of Dolphins interest in Cowboys left tackle Flozell Adams, 32, who will have numerous suitors. But there is a huge drop-off at tackle after Adams, with the next tier including Jacksonville's Maurice Williams, the 49ers' Kwame Harris and Washington's Jason Fabini, 33 (who was drafted by Dolphins czar Bill Parcells with the Jets and was mostly a tackle before the Redskins used him at right guard last season).
- Pittsburgh's Alan Faneca has been linked to Miami -- and Parcells likes him -- but an associate expects big offers from teams in a win-now mode. Among other available guards who fit the Dolphins' size preference: the Saints' Jamar Nesbit, the 49ers' Justin Smiley, the Titans' Jacob Bell and the Seahawks' Floyd Womack.
- A defensive end on the Dolphins' radar is San Francisco's Marques Douglas, 30, who is excellent against the run and ideal for a 3-4 defense. Douglas and ends Antwan Odom (Tennessee) and Bobby McCray (Jacksonville) should draw league-wide interest. But the market is weak at defensive tackle and at inside linebacker, where the Dolphins need to add a starter.
- Patriots cornerback/Fort Lauderdale native Asante Samuel ''would love to hear from the Dolphins,'' agent Alonzo Shavers said. But Foxsports.com reported Samuel wants $10 million-$11 million annually, and New Orleans is the front-runner. The Dolphins figure to explore lesser-priced options, potentially including Cowboys backups Jacques Reeves and Nate Jones.
- Among safeties, New England's Eugene Wilson -- who also can play cornerback -- is on Miami's radar. Former Giants and Texans safety Will Demps wouldn't be surprised if he ends up with Miami, an associate said.
- Although the Dolphins would like to upgrade at tight end, they consider other needs more pressing and haven't pursued Alge Crumpler and Bubba Franks.
- The Dolphins figure to add at least one receiver from a list that includes Jerry Porter, Jabar Gaffney, Ernest Wilford, Andre Davis and Bryant Johnson. But the market will be high for Chicago's Bernard Berrian, who is being linked to the 49ers. FYI: Miami issued a tender to retain receiver Greg Camarillo, who got the overtime touchdown catch in its only victory.
- The Dolphins have shown no interest in re-signing Cleo Lemon, leaving them seeking a veteran quarterback in a weak free agent pool, including Todd Collins (whose agent will contact Miami), Josh McCown, Billy Volek, Quinn Gray, Daunte Culpepper and Byron Leftwich.