NFL free agency kicks off at 4 pm ET today! We've officially made it to the first day of the 2014 NFL season, and things are going to get crazy in a hurry.
The Miami Dolphins have plenty of questions to answer this year as they head into free agency, and, just like last year, we can probably expect a busy period of signings. We will of course keep you up-to-date on everything happening, with a ton of posts over the coming days and week.
Before free agency officially opens, we take a minute this morning to prime you for the day - and weeks - to follow.
When does free agency start?p>
The signings kick off at 4pm ET. Teams have been negotiating with agents the last three days, but technically players can officially meet and speak with teams directly at this point. NFL rules limit contact during the "legal tampering" negotiating peiord to the player representatives, with that period lasting Saturday through Tuesday morning. And technically there can be no "offers", but only exchanges of positions. It's a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. As always, someone will sign at about 4:05 pm (Branden Albert?) and nobody will bat an eye.
How much cap space do the Dolphins have?
This is a little difficult to calculate right now. Yesterday, the Dolphins started the day with about $35 million in cap space, then released cornerback Dimitri Patterson, which added an additional $5 million. After that, the team then signed safety Louis Delmas, but the terms have not yet been released. Best guess right now, is somewhere around $35 million still.
Who are cap casualty candidates?
The most likely candidate this year was Dimitri Patterson, and he's been released. That move added over $5 million to the Dolphins' salary cap space, and he had no dead money, so it was really an easy choice for Miami.
Backup quarterback Matt Moore could be on the chopping block, just based ont he $4 million he would save the team. Cutting Moore, however, would rid the team of a proven, capable backup quarterback, and, with as much space as the Dolphins have this year, is not really a necessity.
Who are the Dolphins free agents?
The team's number one priotiy in re-signig a player was cornerback Brent Grimes, who agreed to a four-year contract last week. The team seems to be set with allowing the majority of the remaining free agents to test the market.
Unrestricted Free agents
Nolan Carroll, cornerback
Tyson Clabo, offensive tackle
Chris Clemons, safety
Richie Incognito, guard
John Jerry, guard
Dustin Keller, tight end
Bryant McKinnie, offensive tackle
Marlon Moore, wide receiver
Chris Owens, wide receiver
Paul Soliai, defensive tackle
Austin Spitler, linebacker
Randy Starks, defensive tackle
Restricted Free Agents
R.J. Stanford, cornerback
Danny Watkins, guard
Will Yeatman, tackle
What are the Dolphins positions of need?
The Dolphins needs heading into free agency revolve primarily along the line of scrimmage. Beyond that, running back seems to be the next largest need:
1. Offensive Tackle
3. Defensive Tackle
4. Running back