Landing Brandon Marshall and Karlos Dansby was huge last yr, but the Dolphins front office need to continue being aggressive buyers in the market of blue chip free agents and trades, if not the jets will be sure to pounce. Take a look at just going back to 2008, the last 3 seasons, and how the 2 teams have faired:
(note i only added blue or red chip players at the time (top 15 at their position) - going off LCFF's formula in his post, i may have missed some, i'm doing this off the top of my head)
Jets additions via free agency or trades: Dolphins additions via free agency or trades:
LaDanian Tomlinson Brandon Marshall
Braylon Edwards Karlos Dansby
Alan Faneca (gone)
Tony Richardson (gone)
Lito Sheppard (gone)
The Jets have 11 players from the list who either start or are contributing to the current team or its future (incl. players on IR). The Dolphins have 4. (6 if u want to add Dan Carpenter and Bess but both were undrafted and were not top free agents at the time). (also U could argue Smiley and Incognito if u want i just personally didnt think they were top 15 so i didnt add them to the list). The dolphins did well last yr in the draft but they need to keep spending in free agency and bring in at the very least 2 blue or red chip free agents this yr.
*Free agents the Dolphins should look at*
Owen Daniels- can be an elite pass catching TE if he stays healthy.
Marcedes Lewis- 6'6" 275 good red zone threat, emerging star
Willie Colon - very good run blocking RT, torn achillies so again inj. prob but he's good. With the addition of Colon, u could move Carey inside where he could be a lot more effective.
Jermon Bushrod- with the saints having to put all their effort into resigning Nicks, bushrod might be avail.
LG- Incognito or Jerry
Rt Colon or Bushrod
And then the Dolphins Could draft a young talented center like Wisniewski from Penn St., or via free agency with a guy like Ryan Kalil. but the addition of Colon,bushrod or any good Tackle can solve 2 problems for the price of one on the offensive Line.
Champ Bailey- the broncos are officially in rebuilding mode so this could have been his last yr, i know he's older and makes alot of coin but i am not sold on smith holding down a starter spot just yet, Vontae is a star. We need a great tandem like Cro and revis.
Nnamdi Asomugha - He will probably cost a fortune so who better than Mr. Ross to open the check book, i just have a gut feeling, even though reports say it will never happen, that he will somehow end up a jet and the rich will get richer, whoever gets him, it will be a team with a lot of coin. with Nnamdi or Bailey it will let Nolan be even more creative on defense with the safeties.
2. a top Tier Guard,Center or tackle
3. a legit corner opposite Vontae Davis
4. A speed Back
5. Vertical WR threat
if they can check off 2 or 3 of these in free agency they will be in great condition going into the draft.
*other free agents that would help "open things up"*
1. Darren Sproles- recieving Back who can be great in screens,slip screens. use him like reggie bush.
2. James Jones- WR packers, has the occasional case of the dropsies (see packers eagles playoff game) like marshall, edwards but he is emerging as a complete wr who can run any route.
Bottom line, the Dolphins have done well in finding undrafted "acorns" like Carpenter and Bess, but they cant settle with marshall and dansby, Ross says he wants to "open it up", then lets open it up in free agency,he wants to be like the Miami Heat then lets be like the Heat, because its pretty clear that the Jets now are trying to buy a Super Bowl, everyone keeps saying that with all these high priced free agents that the Jets are doomed for the future but here they are with an AFC championship appearance last yr and still going deep into the playoffs this yr, so as Sparano always says.... "Why not us?"