Ever since the Dolphins' season ended, fans everywhere have been clamoring for Miami to upgrade the receiver position. It seems like that's how most think the Dolphins could improve their offense. Lost in the shuffle, though, is the tight end position. A real pass-catching threat from the tight end position - a guy who can stretch the field over the middle - can instantly change an offense.
The Dolphins have some decisions to make, too. Tight ends Anthony Fasano and Joey Haynos are both restricted free agents. Both could easily be tendered by Miami and return. But could there be an upgrade on the free agent market?
Below are some of the top free agent tight ends:
Owen Daniels - The 6'3, 250 pound Daniels is one of the top receiving tight ends in the game. He was on pace for a second consecutive 70 reception, 800 yard season before tearing his ACL in week eight. But he expects to be ready for training camp. However, Daniels is a restricted free agent and the Texans would be crazy not to use the highest possible tender on their star tight end.
Tony Scheffler - Scheffler is also a restricted free agent this offseason. But he hasn't been happy with his reduced role in Josh McDaniel's offense and wants out of Denver. The Broncos are expected to oblige. But a team that wants Scheffler's services will likely have to strike a deal with Denver. The Dolphins, of course, will have some inside knowledge on Tony now that Mike Nolan is in Miami. I personally think the 6'5, 250 tight end would be an outstanding fit in Miami. He'll be 27 this month and has his best years in front of him. He's a good route runner and has reliable hands. He can get down the seam and stretch a defense. But what will Denver want in return?
Benjamin Watson - The 29 year old Patriot is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and recently switched agents and is now represented by the South Florida based Rosenhaus Sports. Watson is another tight end who, like Scheffler, can get down the field. He's athletic and can really abuse linebackers who match up in man coverage on him. He's only 29 and would be a good alternative to what Miami already has. But what kind of contract will he be looking for?
Bo Scaife - Scaife is an interesting player. He's got a lot of talent but disappeared from time to time during his time in Tennessee. The Titans thought enough of him, though, to franchise him last year. He's a restricted free agent this year and would have to pay him more than the $4.46 million he got last year if they want to tender him. That means Bo is likely to hit the open market. But he's caught over 50 passes just once and has never scored more than two touchdowns in a season. He's a lot like Fasano. He's more of an underneath, check-down tight end and isn't as athletic as those we talked about above.
The Rest - Guys like Randy McMichael, Leonard Pope, and Matt Spaeth are also out there. But none of the other guys present any kind of upgrade over the two guys we could bring back - Fasano and Haynos.
There are also some intriguing prospects in April's draft at the tight end position. And we'll focus on them as the draft nears.