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Dolphins free agent update: Clay in negotiations; Club looking at LBs

The Miami Dolphins are reportedly in negotiations with tight end Charles Clay on a new contract. They are also looking at adding a new linebacker.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL free agency period is creeping closer, bringing with it new rumors and new speculation every day. Will the Miami Dolphins re-sign this player? Will they release that player? Will they go after someone else when the signing period begins? How will they generate salary cap space? There are a lot of questions still to be answered by the Dolphins.

The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson covered a lot of the latest surrounding the Dolphins in his blog post yesterday. Included in the article is the Dolphins informing defensive tackle they will be making an offer to keep him (though the team knows he may be looking for more than they can pay), Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe not having been told their fate yet, and the team looking to not bring back Jason Trusnik.

Jackson also explains that the Dolphins and tight end Charles Clay are "in active negotiations and there is cautious optimism that a deal will get done." Clay suffered through injuries in 2014, but is a dangerous receiving threat for the Dolphins and works well with quarterback Ryan Tannehill. When Clay was limited, or outright could not play, second year tight end Dion Sims stepper into the starters role and played well. The team could use Clay and Sims in a two tight end scenario, and it could be highly effective, something Jackson writes the "Dolphins very much like."

The Dolphins are also expected to make a run at a free agent linebacker. It appears Miami would like to move Koa Misi back to strong-side linebacker after one year at middle linebacker, then bring in a veteran to replace him. Two names Jackson says are on the Dolphins' radar are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Mason Foster and the New York Jets' David Harris. Both teams have enough cap space to re-sign their players, but if they are allowed to test the free agent market, Miami could get involved in the chase.

If the Dolphins were to make that move, signing a middle linebacker, it could, again, leave Dion Jordan without a position. Ideally, as the roster is currently built, the team could look to Jelani Jenkins as the starting weak-side linebacker, Misi in the middle, and, potentially, Jordan on the strong-side. If Misi takes that strong-side spot, Jordan, who likely will not beat Olivier Vernon for the strating right defensive end position (and has no real chance to oust Cameron Wake on the left side) is regulated back to the bench and trying to find some playing time.

Jackson does also mention a little on the Mike Wallace decision facing the team and the Dolphins' potentially looking to bring back Jimmy Wilson, Louis Delmas, and Jaso Fox. Check out the full run down over on the Miami Herald's site.