Miami Dolphins Free Agents: What to do with Brian Hartline?

Mike Ehrmann

The Miami Dolphins have a lot of questions to answer this offseason. Who do they target in free agency? How do they keep growing through the draft? And, which potential free agents do they re-sign? One of those potential free agents is wide receiver Brian Hartline.

On Friday night's Phinsider Google+ Hangout, a discussion came up about what the Miami Dolphins should do with wide receiver Brian Hartline. The team's top receiver from 2012 is scheduled to be a free agent in 2013. Can the Dolphins afford to re-sign him? Can they afford to not re-sign him?

Since that discussion, I've been thinking about it, and trying to figure out exactly what the Dolphins should do with Hartline.

Hartline caught 74 passes for 1,083 yards last season, both career highs. However, he only found the end zone once, a combination of missed opportunities from rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Hartline not being able to work his way open, and teams game planning to take him away. However, his play was enough to get him named as a Pro Bowl alternate this season, and, in a season when the Dolphins were thought to have the worst wide receiving corps in the league, Hartline had the 16th best yardage in the NFL.

Can the Dolphins let Hartline walk, given that he and Davone Bess were the only wide outs to perform throughout the season?

But, will Hartline be looking for a contract that would pay him more than the Dolphins are willing to spend on him?

In 2012, the Dolphins paid Hartline a little over $1.3 million. Coming off his best statistical year, Hartline should be looking for a pay raise. But will he be looking for a contract like the Chicago Bears' Brandon Marshall, who is making about $9.5 million a season, and whom Hartline replaced as the top receiver in Miami?

Would the Dolphins consider placing the franchise tag on Hartline, which would give him a one year salary about ten times as high as his salary from this year?

What do you think the Dolphins should do with Hartline this offseason? Vote in the poll, and discuss in the comments below.

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