Here is the weekly recap of the moves made by the Miami Dolphins and some other teams around the NFL. I'll start with the Dolphins.
Current Free Agents:
Ryan Baker: Re-signed with Miami.
Ikaika Alama-Francis: Remains unsigned.
Will Allen: Signed with New England Patriots.
Ray Feinga: Re-signed with Miami.
Will Barker: Re-signed with Miami.
Vernon Carey: Remains unsigned.
Marc Colombo: Remains unsigned.
Austin Spitler (RFA): Received no offers by other teams.
Steve Slaton: Re-signed with Miami.
Paul Soliai: Re-signed with Miami.
Jeron Mastrud (RFA): Received no offers by other teams.
J.P. Losman: Remains unsigned.
Phillip Merling (RFA): Re-signed with Miami.
Marvin Mitchell: Remains unsigned.
Lydon Murtha (RFA): Received no offers by other teams.
Analysis: Ryan Baker is the only free agent re-signed by Miami this week. Lex Hilliard, Will Allen, and Kendall Langford all found new homes. Both Allen and Langford will play key roles on their new teams. Allen may play outside CB or nickel CB for the Patriots.
Free Agent Signings/Releases:
Signed Jamaal Westerman, OLB/DE: He is a young role player the Jets have liked. His playing time was limited in New York with Calvin Pace, Aaron Maybin, and Bryan Thomas in the mix throughout his time there. He was inserted into the starting lineup for three games in 2011 to and finished the season with 3.5 sacks in 411 snaps. He also had 5 QB hits and 9 QB pressures along with 2 forced fumbles. Westerman learned after the season that he played the entire 2011 season with a torn groin and underwent surgery after the season. He's not the established pass rusher many wanted, but he does have potential and will provide depth even if he doesn't earn the starting job. It'll be interesting to see if he can improve on 2011 when he recovers from his injury. It's a good signing based on his potential and low contract numbers. Grade: C+
Signed David Garrard, QB: He was the cheap signing after Miami let Matt Flynn go and considered Alex Smith. It is an intriguing signing to say the least. Garrard would have been a very good signing had he not been the ripe age of 34. He has had solid numbers in the past and would be great competition for Matt Moore if he was five years younger. Grade: D
Released Yeremiah Bell, SS: It did save the Dolphins cap money and Bell may come back to the team. He's a leader and strong in run support, but is a liability in coverage. Even if he returns to Miami he likely won't be around for many more years. Grade: B-
Analysis: Let's hope Garrard doesn't start for Miami in 2012. The best bet now is to hope Moore succeeds. Even if Garrard wins the QB battle Miami will be looking for a new QB soon because of his age. He is not the solution to our QB woes. Westerman can be a good option in a rotation and he does have potential. After courting Mark Anderson, Miami is probably not done looking for another pass rusher. The release of Bell may not mean anything if he returns. If he doesn't return, there is a lot of potential in our secondary to replace him.
Winners and Losers of the week:
Dallas Cowboys: They are rebuilding their defense and signed Brandon Carr (CB), Dan Connor (ILB), and Brodney Pool (S). All of them are expected to be starters in 2012. The also added Lawrence Vickers, a very underrated FB, on the offensive side of the ball. Kyle Orton was a great signing to provide depth behind Tony Romo. The Cowboys did a great job in free agency with the little amount of salary cap space they had.
Denver Broncos: This is the obvious pick since they signed Peyton Manning. John Elway gets extra credit for trading Tim Tebow, a player he never wanted. Plus he made the Jets repay him $2.5 million in return as well.
Peyton Manning: What was that incentive-based contract he was supposed to sign? He wasn't nearly as cheap as many thought he'd be.
New Orleans Saints: The bounty. That explains it all.
New York Jets: Not because they traded for Tebow, but because of the gaffe they had while trying to acquire him. Jeff Ireland even sent Mike Tannenbaum a thank you note.
Miami Dolphins: Fans protesting at their facilities and the signing of Garrard baffled many people. They were heavily scrutinized this week by the media. While it may not have been a bad week based on roster moves it is never good to face criticism like they did over the past two weeks.