This will be our biggest offseason in a long time for a few reasons...no, not because we have a bunch of picks and tons of cap....we have good cap flexibility with over $25 mil in space, and the normal amt of picks, with maybe a late compensatory thrown in there, nothing special...but because we will have a New GM who will likely be deciding Philbin and Bill Lazor's fate. Personally, I don't like Philbin, I don't think he's smart enough to make the in game adjustments and he can't lead or motivate his team when the season is on the line. He got rid of some of our best players because they had a personality and were leaders in the locker room. THATS WHAT YOU WANT OUT OF SOME OF YOUR PLAYERS!....You need leaders in there because players can't be watched by the coach the whole time, and the coach isn't a leader either, so who the hell are they going to look to for inspiration?
With that being said, this is how I'd structure the team.
I'd bring back Paul Soliai and let Randy Starks walk. Paul has taken a discount before to stay in Miami, and he's a better run defender than Randy is. He constantly demands a double team, and played most of the year on one leg with that ankle injury but toughed it out. When healthy, he's straight dominant, and Randy was simply playing for his contract. Paul didnt b*tch or complain like Randy did, even though Randy was making 8 mil a year and both are free agents at the conclusion of this season. Not to mention, should we want to move to a 3-4 in a year or two if/when Philbin gets canned and a new DC comes in, then having Paul at NT instantly makes that possible. He's younger and more valuable IMO and again, he's stated multiple times that Miami is where he wants to be.
I of course either tag or sign Grimes, whichever I can do, but he's coming back, probably on a 4 year deal with an option to get out after 2 years...The guy is a freak but he is also 30 years old and had been injured before. Also, that 2 year time span would be the same time Tannehill would sign a new deal so it would fit our cap schedule to be able to cut him if his play fell off, if not, then great, you keep him and hope he continues to ball out.
I'd also bring back Nolan Carrol and Chris Clemons. While neither are elite, both have developed into quality starters and both drafted by Miami. Keep your own guys, don't break the bank for them, but they are serviceable and would prevent us from having other wholes. Having continuity in the d-back field is important and we still don't know how Jamar Taylor and Will Davis will pan out. Also, if Dimitri Patterson is healthy come OTA's he's staying, if not, he's cut and I gain an extra 5 mil in cap space.
Finally, I'm keeping Bryant Mckinnie, because he's a serviceable vet, helped sustain the O-line once he got here, was playing on a torn meniscus all year, and teaches our other young lineman since our coach is an idiot and can't do it himself. Also, he'll help groom our newly drafted tackle (i'll get to that part soon). He made me realize how valuable good veterans can be to a team. Charles Clay stated in interviews how Fasano helped him learn the fundamentals and Keller helped him improve his receiving and route running skills. WE NEED MORE VETS
I'd sign 2 guys to help the running game. Legarette Blount and John Kuhn. We need a true fullback that is great in pass protection and can lead block, Philbin loves Kuhn and he would be exactly what we missed all year. I'd get rid of Daniel THomas and sign Blount since he's a legit goal line power back and can get those tough yards that we couldn't get all year. Would also be a good compliment to Lamar Miller since he's a good pass protector also, and has great feet for a big man. Different running style than Miller, which would make it hard for defenses to plan.
Last Free Agent signing would be a guard/tackle. One of Geoff Schwartz, Jon Asamoah, or Anthony Collins. First two played on KC, who had a great running game all year and great oline for screens, which is what we need as John Jerry was just too damm slow....and Collins stepped up to be a very good tackle when Whitworth moved to guard for CInci, and he can be had for relatively cheap as well (if we don't resign Mckinnie). Austin Howard would probably be my fallback option.
Draft- I always say take BPA...unless a top talent really falls into our lap, i'd have to take Lewan or Moses but guys like TIny RIchardson would be fine with me in rd 2 if he was still there. 2nd rd, as i've stated before, Troy Niklas is the blocking and all around TE that Gronk is but built even better at 6'7 270...HUGE target, such a wide catch radius, perfect for red zone, 2 TE sets, i mean we all saw how good clay was this year, but making tough high catches over the middle weren't his forte, this guy would give us sooo much scheme flexibility. He and Dion Sims with Clay and Miller/Blount in the backfield, you can run that no huddle offense and run/pass however you'd like. Split clay out wide, have him block, i mean that what great offenses like the pats do, give them the ability to see what your doing and counter it. I'd then focus the rest of the draft on o-line and d-line and take a late flyer (rd 4-5) on Eddie Lackey, MLB Baylor. Fastest linebacker i've seen on tape. Period
Bottom line, we need a running game and we need better blockers. At the tight end position, at full back, and on the oline. Get back to basics, and become two dimensional. As shown with the Pats, and I will continue to use them as an example, you need to be able to throw it to win and run it as well. Can't rely on one aspect, and when that fails, your doomed. We were awful this year on 3rd and 1, and lost the chance to extend lots of drives because of that. This allows defenses to game plan very easily against us knowing we can't run in short situations to pick up 1-4 yards when needed.
Anyway, thats how I'd restructure this team if I were the GM, love to hear your thoughts.