I had an idea for free agency and draft and tell me what you guys think about it. It'll change once FA happens but I personally would be happy with this.
I think we'll only have a couple pick-ups in FA this offseason, but each one we get will be huge. We don't have a large amount of cash like the Bucs or Bengals to be serious contenders in FA and get every star known to man, but I think we can pick up a star and a couple game-changers in free agency this year.
(Note: I'm cutting Yeremiah Bell, as he is 33 years old and he's due 4 million next year. He may take a pay cut, which I'm fine with, but I'm going to assume he won't be here. I also didn't resign Langford or Soliai.)
Peyton Manning, QB
I seriously think we'll sign him within two days of being cut. There is so many reasons why he should come down here.
- He has a house and his family is comfortable down here
- He played at least 8 games in warm weather his whole career (Indy's dome) and Miami would give him those same conditions down here.
- We have the weapons on offense to make him successful and an offensive line that will only get better.
- Would be able to bring down some of his teammates so he is comfortable (He's been throwing with Wayne and Garcon down here, who both have connections to Miami as well)
- Great, new offensive minds that can work with him well and will probably give him the power he wants
Manning coming to Miami is inevitable. People say they want to sign him to an incentive contract, but that really doesn't do anything. It won't save us cap room, since you have to put the cap around the potential number Manning could get next year. Incentive contracts are better for players who can't always find that motivation to do something consistently each year. We sign Manning to a 3 year, 45 million dollar contract, with his 2012 salary around 12 million and his number increasing as the cap increases in 2013.
Pierre Garcon, WR
This free agency for wide receivers is LOADED with talent. The draft also has some nice prospects. Do you know what that means? That means there is a surplus in the market, and in effect players' value goes down, as teams could easily turn to other wide receivers they may like. Garcon just recently declined a 5 year contract with the Colts and the reason seems obvious: He doesn't want to go back to the rebuilding Colts and probably wants to follow Manning to his destination.
And it's not like Manning makes Garcon. He obviously makes him a lot better, but Garcon had 70 receptions for over 900 yards and 6 TDs with CURTIS PAINTER AND DAN ORLOVSKY as QB. He's only 25, so unlike Wayne, he isn't close of leaving his prime. Garcon would be a great #2 receiver and would thrive with 1 on 1 coverage and would stretch the field well for us. I'm signing Garcon to a 4 year 16 millon dollar contract.
Reggie Nelson, FS
Miami has struggled at the free safety position for years now. We've lacked a play maker. And with Joe Philbin saying he wants an agressive defense that creates turnovers, then I think it would be wise to go after Reggie Nelson. Kevin Coyle helped groom Nelson in Cincy and maybe he wants to come with the man that made him who he is today.
Nelson was also born in Florida and went to college at the University of Florida, so he's comfortable with this area. He had 85 tackles to go along with 4 interceptions two sacks, and two forced fumbles. The biggest reason I think he will sign with us though is because we will have so much hype surrounding us when Manning signs that other players will see this as their chance to start on a possible Superbowl-winning football team. Nelson, at 28, signs a 4 year 24 million dollar contract to come be a Dolphin.
In free agency, Miami addressed needs at QB, #2 WR, and at FS. The remaining needs are at SS (Bell cut or predecessor for next season), OLB, G (I think Murtha will start at RT), nickel CB, and a pass-catching TE. With that being said, here is my draft:
Miami trades the #8 pick in the draft to the San Diego Chargers for the #18 pick, a 2nd round pick, and their 4th round pick. I originally thought about Cincy trading up for Trent Richardson, but he will be gone I think at 4 with Cleveland because the Browns will sign Flynn in FA. The Chargers play a 3-4 and have a huge need at NT. With the Panthers right behind us, teams try to jump ahead of the DL-needy Panthers and take the mammoth Poe. They could also take Reiff if they want to make sure to protect Rivers with Marcus McNeill retiring with his injuries and take Soliai in free agency.
Miami trades the #18 pick in the draft to the Cleveland Browns for the #22 pick and a 3rd round pick. Cleveland, who signed Matt Flynn in FA and got Trent Richardson at #4, need a WR badly. They fill this need by jumping ahead of the Bears, who think they have already locked up Michael Floyd's signature sitting at 19. The player we are pursuing will be at #22, anyways
22. Nick Perry, OLB/DE
The kid is exactly what we need in our defense. He played DE at USC, but is said to be a prototypical OLB. Isn't that perfect for our hybrid defense? He is an agile pass rusher who fits the size mold Jeff Ireland is looking for at 6'3'' and 273 LBs. He killed it at the combine, posting the 3rd highest 40 time for d-lineman and boasting the highest broad jump and vertical jump to go along with 35 reps of 225 lbs. He had 9.5 sacks last season and is young and athletic at 21 years old. Perry would be a great pick-up for Miami at #22.
2nd Round #42. Harrison Smith, SS.
With Bell getting up in age, we need to find his replacement. Harrison Smith is instinctive at safety and surprised me with his athletic ability at the combine. He's a solid 6'2'' and 213 lbs, which is 2 inches taller and 10 lbs heavier than Bell is. He ran a 4.57 40 yard dash and had the best 3 cone drill for safeties this year and had the 4th best for the past 6 years. That tells me that he possesses the speed and the size necessary to be able to stay with the Gronkowskis in coverage, which is definitely necessary with all the struggles we have had over the years covering them. He had 9 passes defensed and 91 tackles in 13 games last season, so he could easily crack 100 tackles if he stays healthy all season. I was thinking about taking him later at #49, but the Patriots pick at 48 and may look to upgrade their secondary with Smith. A secondary of Smith and Nelson would be a major upgrade next year.
This video showed me how much of an all-around player he is and his instincts. I encourage you to watch this.
Harrison Smith top safety 2012 draft (via dwid1984)
2nd Round #49 (San Diego). Coby Fleener, TE
This is the Gronkowski for our team. Sure, he probably won't be that good but you never know with Manning. He fits the size mold at a mammoth 6'6'' and 247 LBs. Gronkowski is 6'6'' and 265 LBs. He is an excellent route runner and is explosive with the ball in his hands. He is an amazing red zone target, scoring 10 TDs last year. He had 4 catches of over 50 yards last season, so he can definitely move the chains and be a deep threat as well. He needs to work on his blocking a little, but that's what Fasano specializes at. The Packers like their TEs and Philbin makes sure to get his own.
3rd Round #68 (Cleveland). LaMichael James, RB
Reggie Bush showed that he can be an every-down back in the NFL. I haven't made my mind up about Daniel Thomas or any of the other rookies, since a lot of them had injuries and never any rookie camps or mini camps to work with. But if Reggie got hurt, then what? Would Daniel Thomas be able to consistently be a 3 down back? I don't think so. We need to get another explosive player that can have some specialized plays and even take the punt return role from Davone Bess. LaMichael can be that player for us. He's extremely explosive, running a 4.45 at the combine. He had FOUR 200 yard rushing games and had an insane 6.7 rushing avg last season on 230 carries. With only having 3 currently signed running backs, LaMichael would be a nice pickup here.
3rd Round #73. Amini Silatolu, OG
Silatolu comes from a small college called Midwestern St but is a BEAST. He's extremely athletic, which is what Philbin wants on his offensive line. He is 6'4'' and 311 lbs. and projects to be a guard in the NFL, as he is extremely mobile, can pull well (we need that) and is able to stay on defenders really well when pass protecting. He doesn't have much experience yet, but with Philbin specializing in offensive lineman and new OL coach Jim Turner should be able to coach him up well. Silatolu may not start immediately, but Garner or Jerry can man the spot for a little while he is taught.
4th Round #103. Josh Chapman, NT
Chapman was a member of the great Crimson Tide defense this past season. Though he doesn't make plays a lot, he understands his role in their 3-4 defense: clog up running lanes. And with Soliai looking to hit the market in free agency, we need somebody who can come in on run downs and understand what his role is, which is to make sure the o-line doesn't get a push up front. He is a two down player in the NFL, but isn't that all we really need? We went to a 4 man front on 3rd down over half the time last season.
4th Round #110 (San Diego). Ron Brooks, CB.
Brooks was a CB who unfortunately was a CB at LSU while Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne, and Tyrann Mathieu were attending. Still, that's not to say he wasn't good because he wasn't a starter. He mastered the nickel position at corner in the SEC, a position you desperately need to cover the Wes Welkers of the league. He is extremely athletic and keep up with the fastest recievers in the league, running a 4.35 at the combine. He is a playmaker all over the field, being able to cover the slot, blitz off the edge, and be a gunner on special teams. He had two interceptions, both going for TDs last season. He also had 3.5 sacks, which is extremely good for a CB and would make us more versatile. Brooks would be the nickel CB we need to go along with Jimmy Wilson.
Watch this short video to see how versatile he is. He won SEC defensive player of the week last year.
Wk12 Ron Brooks - SEC Defensive Player of the Week (via LSUTigersFB)
5th Round. 3-4 DE
I really have no idea who will be available as a 3-4 DE in the 5th round so I would take the best one available, since we need somebody to fill in for depth behind McDaniel and Odrick.
6th Round OT
The Dolphins will make sure they have some developmental projects that can sit on the PS for a couple years
7th Round RB
Dolphins need some bodies in camp and running backs in late rounds can sometimes blossom.
This would be a really productive offseason for the Dolphins, as they got the biggest need in free agency and filled some needs in the draft by trading down. If there ever was a draft to trade down it's this one, because there has never been this many underclassmen in a draft before and that fills value throughout the later rounds also. Tell me what you guys think in the comments