It's been a month since we posted our last Miami Dolphins free agent power rankings, during which time talks seem to have started but not a lot of movement has happened around the team. That should all change over the next two weeks as the club prepares for the start of free agency on March 10.
Before we get to that date, we go back and look at all of the team's free agents, power ranking them in order of re-signing likelihood.
1. Charles Clay, tight end - The Dolphins want Clay back, and, reportedly, are in dicussions to make that happen. If he hits free agency, there could be a bidding war among several interested teams, so the sticking point for Miami may be Clay's asking price. Something should get worked out, but it is not a guarantee.
2. Jimmy Wilson, cornerback - This is a power ranking of players based on likelihood they come back, not on players Miami should re-sign. That is why Wilson jumps over some other players who Miami needs to try to re-sign. Wilson has a versatility that the Dolphins like, and gives them depth all over the secondary. He is still making young player mistakes at times, but he is also continuing to develop. He started 13 games last year between nickel cornerback and safety, which could drive up his price some, especially if another team is willing to give him "starter" money, but Wilson will likely be back in Miami in 2015.
3. Jason Fox, tackle - The Dolphins like Fox as their third tackle, essentially being the backup to Ja'Wuan James at right tackle, while James backs up Branden Albert at left tackle. The veteran brings a solid capability to the line and, while it is not spectacular, does allow the team to focus on other needs along the line. Miami should be making a push to bring back Fox, and he probably will be back.
4. Samson Satele, center - This may be a little high for Satele, but it seems about right at the same time. The Dolphins liked what Satele brought to them in 2014, and would like to keep him around in 2015. The issue is going to be, Miami will be moving Pro Bowler Mike Pouncey back to center in 2015, which means Satele would either have to make the move to guard or be happy just being Pouncey's reserve. There might be other options available to the veteran lineman.
5. Louis Delmas, safety - The knee injury Delmas sustained late last year could be exactly what keeps him in Miami. The Dolphins saw success when Delmas and Reshad Jones were on the field together in 2014, and bringing a healthy Delmas back would allow them to get that tandem on the field earlier in the year, shoring up the secondary. Delmas would likely see another one-year contract fromn the team, one that could be signed later in the offseason if other teams are scared away by the injury.
6. Jared Odrick, defensive tackle - If this list is players Miami should re-sign, Odrick is battling Clay for the top spot. Instead, he finds himself in the middle of the pack because there seems to be a decent chance that Odrick moves to a new team in 2015. There seems to be a lot of interest surrounding the 2010 first-round draft pick, which could price him out of Miami's ability to pay. The Dolphins want Odrick back, but if he chases the money, they may not be able to make it happen.
7. LaMichael James, running back - The Dolphins will be looking to add a complimentary piece to the running back corps this year, someone they can platoon with Lamar Miller at the top of the rotation. That does not mean they can give up on the depth that James could provide. After spending part of the season unemployed, then on Miami's practice squad, James cannot be looking for top dollar this offseason, which could make him a perfect re-signing candidate for the Dolphins.
8. Daniel Thomas, running back - For much the same reason as James could be re-signed, Thomas could find his way back to the Miami roster as well. After all the disappointment of Thomas after the Dolphins traded up to get him in the second round in the 2011 Draft, he actually ran well after being cut, then re-signed by the Dolphins in 2014. He is not an everydown back, but he can be utilized in goal-line situations, and he could be the depth provided for whomever the Dolphins add to compliment Miller.
9. Daryn Colledge, guard - This is not a likely re-signing, but it is a possibility. Colledge was a last minute signing by the Dolphins to bolster an offensive line rocked by injury over the offseason. He came in and started at left guard for the team, playing fairly well. Late in the season a back injury and migraine headaches forced him to the sideline, then, when he returned, he split time with Shelley Smith at the position. The Dolphins could look to sign him as a depth player, but they will likely be looking to get younger at both guard positions in 2015.
10. Matt Moore, quarterback - It all comes down to what jobs are available for Moore. Considered one of the top backup quarterbacks in the game, Moore will likely be looking for another chance at landing a starting job, rather than continuing to back up Ryan Tannehill. If there are no jobs available for him, Moore seems to like it in Miami, and he knows the offense, so the Dolphins could try to bring him back if the asking price is right.
The rest: T.J. Heath, cornerback; Knowshon Moreno, running back; Kelvin Sheppard, linebacker; Jason Trusnik, linebacker. One of these guys will likely return, just because I have them listed in a group of players I do not expect to see re-signed. Moreno is, perhaps, the most intriguing, but after his injuries this year, Miami will likely look to a younger running back to play alongside Miller. Sheppard is an option as a depth linebacker, as is Trusnik, though is has been reported that the team is not looking to bring him back this year.
Restricted/Exclusive Rights Free Agents: Jonathan Freeny, linebacker (RFA); Derrick Shelby, defensive end (RFA); R.J. Stanford, cornerback (RFA); A.J. Francis, defensive tackle (ERFA); Jordan Kovacs, safety (ERFA); Michael Thomas, defensive back (ERFA). It would not be overly surprising if the team made qualifying offers to all of these players. Freeny and Kovacs may be the most in danger of not returning. Shelby should be back as a key depth defensive end, as should R.J. Stanford as a depth cornerback. Francis could earn a starting position this offseason, depending on the fate of Odrick and a potential salary cap cut of Randy Starks. Thomas provides versatility similar to Wilson, and should return.