Dolphins 2014 Free Agents: A look at the first 10 free agents to be

Joel Auerbach

The Miami Dolphins have numerous players scheduled to hit free agency this season. We will take a look at each of them, along with the type of free agent they will be and their 2013 salary cap number. This morning, we start with the first ten.

A year after the Miami Dolphins went on a spending spree in free agency, the team will now enter this free agency period with around $28 million in cap space, but also have 20 players scheduled to hit the open market. This morning, we take a look at the first ten .

Armon Binns
Wide receiver
Exclusive Rights Free Agent
2013 Cap Number: $303,000

Binns appeared set to be Miami's fourth wide receiver this season, behind Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, and Brandon Gibson, until an ACL and MCL tear ended his year during the preseason, all thanks to the curse of the number 19. Binns appeared in three games for the Dolphins in 2012 after being claimed off waivers from the Cincinnati Bengals, catching 24 passes for 277 yards and a touchdown over 10 games, three with Miami, during the season. Binns will likely receive a qualifying offer from Miami, assuming his knee is healthy, which will be the three-year veteran minimum, putting his salary cap number some where around $645,000.

Nolan Carroll
Cornerback
Unrestricted Free Agent
2013 Cap Number: $677,939

Carroll started 12 games for the Dolphins this season, appearing in all 16 during the year. He finished third on the team in interceptions with three, one behind Brent Grimes and Dimitri Patterson who were tied with four. He's not a flashy, shutdown type cornerback, but he is solid most of the time, and is developing (read: he will get beat at times, but will also make a play when needed). Miami will likely to bring him back, ideally as a depth player behind Jamar Taylor and Will Davis, who will hopefully step into a larger role in their second-year, but he could be looked at as a nickel cornerback or a starter if needed. His cap number will probably be in the $1 million range, though a little under it would not be surprising.

Tyson Clabo
Tackle
Unrestricted Free Agent
2013 Cap Number: $3.5 million

Clabo came to the Dolphins on a one-year contract, hoping to make an impact and earn a long-term contract, or impress other teams should he enter free agency. He started off slowly and eventually was benched. However, his play picked up in the second half of the season once he returned to the starting right tackle position with Jonathan Martin leaving the team. With the offensive line issues Miami had all season, they will be looking to overhaul most of the positions this year, and Clabo will likely not be returning.

Chris Clemons
Safety
Unrestricted Free Agent
2013 Cap Number: $2.75 million

Clemons is an interesting case to watch this year. The Dolphins looked like they wanted to move on from him last offseason, but when they did not have a starting safety to play next to Reshad Jones, and Clemons did not find the market he seemed to think would be out there for him, the two sides agreed to a one-year deal. In training camp, Clemons was clearly the leader of the secondary, and most of the defense, calling out signals, and making sure everyone was in the correct positions. As Dannell Ellerbe becomes more comfortable in the defense and establishes himself as the signal caller, Clemons' use in that role should diminish, but he is still the solid, last-line of defense type of player you want in the secondary. It may simply come down to another year of seeing what is available for the Dolphins and if there is interest in Clemons before the two sides decide what they want to do this year.

Pat Devlin
Quarterback
Restricted Free Agent
2013 Cap Number: $480,000

The Dolphins coaching staff really seem to like Devlin, continuing to develop him to one day become the backup quarterback behind Ryan Tannehill. With Matt Moore scheduled to be a $5.5 million salary cap hit in 2014, the time to move Devlin up on the depth chart could be approaching. The Dolphins could make a qualifying offer to Devlin, which would likely ensure he returns to the Dolphins, as no one is likely to give up a draft pick for Devlin, but that would also jump his salary up to between $1 million and nearly $3 million, depending on the qualifying offer they use. The team could also allow him to enter free agency as an unrestricted free agent, then sign him, or work out a long term deal with him prior to the start of free agency. Of course, they could also decide he hasn't developed like they had hoped, and move on from him.

Jonathan Freeny
Linebacker
Exclusive Rights Free Agent
2013 Cap Number: $480,000

The coaches seem to like Freeny, as he did see some playing time on defense this year, though it was behind Jason Trusnik and Jelani Jenkins in the rotation. He did work on special teams, and that could be what earns him the $570,000 two-year veteran minimum qualifying offer that would lock him up for the Dolphins in 2014.

Brent Grimes
Cornerback
Unrestricted Free Agent
2013 Cap Number: $5,437,500

Grimes should be the top priority to re-sign this offseason. He joined the team on a one-year contract this year, looking to prove he was fully recovered from the Achilles tear that took most of his 2012 season when he was with the Atlanta Falcons. A Pro Bowl berth season later, and Grimes seems to be pretty well recovered from his injury. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the second best cornerback in the league, and there is no reason the Dolphins should let him get anywhere near free agency. The Dolphins could look to franchise tag Grimes, but he would likely come in around $13.5 million for the one-year deal the franchise tender would provide, given Grimes was franchise tagged once with the Falcons already in his career. Grimes will be 31 when the 2014 season starts, so a three-year deal is probably about the right length of time. Both Grimes and his wife have made statements that they want to stay in Miami, and there's no reason they shouldn't get their wish.

Richie Incognito
Guard
Unrestricted Free Agent
2013 Cap Number: $4,975,746

Incognito's days in a Dolphins jersey are likely behind him. With the Jonathan Martin scandal hanging over his head, leading to the suspension that caused him to miss the second-half of the season, and reports that the Dolphins nearly released him prior to the 2013 season, there's very little probability of Incognito returning to the team in 2014.

John Jerry
Guard
Unrestricted Free Agent
2013 Cap Number: $1,537,625

It seems like the Dolphins have been trying to replace John Jerry every year since they drafted him in 2010. Yet, every year, he's starting on the offensive line. With him an undrafted free agent, and the mess the offensive line was this year, he could very easily be allowed to leave when March rolls around. But, with the way he is always back with the team, and the fact that he was just a quarter of the cap number of Incognito last year, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Miami re-signs him either. The assumption is Miami will be looking to bring in a new right guard, but Jerry could be depth or competition along the line as well.

Dustin Keller
Tight End
Unrestricted Free Agent
2013 Cap Number: $4.25 million

Who knows what the Dolphins will do with Keller. Charles Clay obviously broke out as a tight end threat this year, but a duo of Keller and Clay could be dangerous, if Keller is able to fully recover from the horrendous knee injury he sustained in the preseason. He originally signed with the Dolphins this past offseason on a one-year, "prove it" deal, and, unfortunately, he never had a chance to prove he was still an offensive weapon. If they want him back, the Dolphins should have a great chance to bring him back, but with Clay's break out, along with the development of Michael Egnew and Dion Sims, the Dolphins could elect to go another direction - perhaps drafting someone and letting the three younger tight ends compete for the complement to Clay. There's simply no way to guess what the Dolphins will do when it comes to Keller.

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