Off-Season Strategy

I was gonna post this in another fan post as a response, but it got so large I figured what the hell, why not make it a fanpost? We all have our views on what the front office needs to do in this offseason. Many of us, myself included, say we need to draft defense, defense, defense (and TE) while others say we need to go get a #1 WR (like Matty, Fr8Trn, and others). After this though things get a bit murky. What position on defense needs to get addressed first?  What #1 WR is for us? Do we look to the draft or to Free Agency to plug the holes? I personally think that our needs go: 1.) ILB  2.) FS  3.) NT  4.) OLB  5.) TE  6.) WR 7.) OL (Depth) 8.) RB (Depth) and will address them, more or less, in that order.

Personally, I think after perousing the available free agents out there, that we will be limited heavily by the lack of a CBA on what needs can be addressed outside of the draft. We currently have a couple of free agents ourselves. We don't have to worry about Exclusive Rights Free Agents (ERFA) like Bess and Carpenter but we have JT, Lousaka Monster, Ferguson, Pennington, Fasano, Gerbil, Nate Jones, and Quentin Moses that we need to either re-sign or cut loose. Pennington and Ferguson are dependent on their health status while JT Polite, and Jones are almost sure things to return (Taylor will need a raise though). As for The Armageddon Gerbil Wilson, cut his worthless butt and put that money to use signing Taylor and other Free Agent pickups. As far as Fasano and Moses, both can be tendered the lowest amount ($927K) and if another team picks them up, Miami would get the same round draft choice from the team that takes either player as the corresponding round that they were orginally drafted in. This means Fasano would be worth a 2nd round pick and Moses would be worth a 3rd round pick. If we are VERY lucky someone will take Fasano and/or Moses off our hands before the draft.


As far as free agent pickups, with Vince Wilfork getting franchised the biggest name in free agency becomes Karlos Dansby of Arizona. Without question the Dolphins need ILB help and Dansby would take care of that role nicely, but there will be a bidding war for Karlos' services so there is no guarantee the Dolphins get him. I want Dansby more than any other free agent out there because we literally have got nothing at ILB. Crowder is a one dimensional run-stuffer at best (he's been less that) and every other ILB on this team isn't worth mentioning. Another veteran option would be Larry Foote (Detroit), but he would be a consolation prize at best in the Dansby sweepstakes. Look for Washington and/or New York to really drive the price up/get Dansby instead of us. Either way, screw the Skins and the Gnats.  Pisa Tinoisamoa and Elvis Dumervill are the only other OLB FAs besides Taylor that we would potentially pursue and one is likey not worth the effort (Tinoisamoa) and the other is nowhere near worth the price( Dumervill).

We may be able to land a good NT in Ryan Pickett but his prioritization will largely depend on Ferguson's situation. If Ferg's healthy and is willing to play another season, Parcells will probably stay with his guy.  There are some potential stud NTs in the draft but they may all be gone by round 3 and we might not have a second round pick (see WRs 2 paragraphs down). As for Free Safety, there really aren't any major players that jump out (that wouldn't cost draft picks) so we would probably have to address the position in the draft. If Antrelle gets "Rolled" out of Arizona (as most expect) he would be a possibility but there are some real good prospects in the draft that would come on the cheap. We are rather stout at DE so that will almost assuredly join QB as a position we don't need to draft for so there is no need to pursue Julius Peppers. We have bigger fish to fry.

Offensively, everyone agrees that Chad Henne needs a big time target to take his game to the next level. Many say we've got to get a #1 WR while others (like me) say a #1 WR isn't as pressing a need as a pass-catching threat at TE. Take Jason Whitten out of Dallas and Miles Austen all but becomes an afterthought. It will always be easier to spread the field when you have an big threat via your TE. We had that two seasons ago and won the division, we didn't have it this past year and with the exception of Tampa Bay and Atlanta, no one even noticed that we had TEs who go out for passes. We need a top-tier caliber TE but there aren't any great choices in FAs this year. Ben Watson is basically all that will be out there and if Belicheat is letting him go, then why would we want him? He's solid but his best years are behind him and he will likely be no better than a top flight draft pick would be. There is a ton of TE potential in this draft throughout all the rounds so we should be looking there for our answer instead.

As for the #1 WR, I am sold on taking Brandon Marshall with our #43 pick (2nd rounder) going to Denver as the price tag. I want to keep the #12 pick to trade it for future round picks so I can't see giving it up for Marshall. I know the argument that a proven, 100 reception WR is worth that pick but if we could get a 2nd and 3rd for it instead (or a lesser first and a 3rd) I feel it would serve us better than throwing it to Denver for a guy that has some character questions. I personally feel that Marshall is worth the risk, but I also feel that Denver is dumb enough to let him go for a 2nd and why overpay if you don't have to? If Denver holds out for a first, I can't see Parcells OK'ing the trade which means going to plan B. Plan B being sending a 3rd round selection to Arizona for Anquan Boldin. Boldin is a tough player and worthy of a 3rd rounder but if he get injured (far more likely than Marshall) we'd get a drastically reduced value for that pick. With all of the problems that we've had covering for Ronnie Brown each year when he goes down, I would imagine the front office being a little apprehensive when it comes to Boldin. Plan C is, of course, the draft since the other FAs won't be coming here (sorry Miles Austen fans of which I am one). Fortunately there are some potential game breakers in this draft (next year's draft projects to be better) and some potential diamonds in the rough after round 3. Miami has a ton of options in the draft.

My personal favorite that several of us have mentioned: Carlton Mitchell (WR, USF)6-4, 212 with 4.45-4.53 40 yard time.  

My personal favorite that no one has mentioned: Marcus Easley (WR, UConn) 6-2, 216, with a slightly faster 40 yard time.

My personal favorite that no one has thought of (and would be a last resort): Cody Slate (TE, Marshall) 6-4, 227, with a 4.6 40 yard time. He would need to bulk up to play TE or he would be a slower presence receiver who would help stretch the field mainly by dropping behind zone coverage. He led the Herd in Recs, yards, and TDs in his freshman year. He was on his way to a career year but suffered a knee injury (which along with his size has him way down the TE rankings). Would be a 7th round pick at best and will likely be an undrafted free agent. His career info at Marshall:

GP: 46  REC: 199  YRDS: 2,793  YPC: 14.0  TD: 23

Just some Thoughts. Questions, Comments, Concerns. Again, sorry it's so long.



This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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