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Dolphins free agents 2016: 18 players with expiring contracts

The Miami Dolphins could see 18 players leave the team with an expiring contract if they do not re-sign or franchise tag the players. We have the full list of players, as well as the results from polls asked over the past couple of weeks trying to decide what Miami should do.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have 18 free agents scheduled to hit the open market when the new league year starts in March. Seven of those free agents will be exclusive rights free agents, meaning all Miami has to do to keep them is make a qualifying offer. One player will be a restricted free agent, meaning the Dolphins can make a qualifying offer, but the player can choose to negotiate with another team and, if they sign with that new team, Miami will receive a draft pick in exchange. Finally, Miami has 10 players with expiring contracts who will be unrestricted free agents, capable of signing with any team once the free agency period begins.

Between now and the March 9 free agency period, the Dolphins will be able to re-sign players they would like to keep, they can use the franchise tag on one player (starting February 16), or they can allow the players to hit the open market. While we have the entire list of players below, broken down by the type of free agent category for each player, as well as the results for a series of polls we ran on The Phinsider over the past couple of weeks.

We asked our readers to vote on each of the unrestricted free agents, and decide whether the Dolphins should re-sign, tag, or allow the player to leave. The top result from each poll is listed with the players below.

Unrestricted Free Agents

Louis Delmas, safety (Leave - 54%)

Rishard Matthews, wide receiver (Re-sign - 73%)

Jacques McClendon, offensive lineman (Leave - 85%)

Lamar Miller, running back (Re-sign - 79%)

Matt Moore, quarterback (Leave - 71%)

Spencer Paysinger, linebacker (Re-sign - 59%)

Derrick Shelby, defensive end (Re-sign 74%)

Kelvin Sheppard, linebacker (Leave - 69%)

Shelley Smith, offensive lineman (Leave - 83%)

Olivier Vernon, defensive end (Re-sign - 63% / Vernon was the highest number of readers voting for the franchise tag with 23% of the vote)

Restricted Free Agents

Brandon Williams, tight end

Exclusive Rights Free Agent

Shamiel Gary, safety

Matt Hazel, wide receiver

Ulrick John, offensive lineman

Tyler Patmon, cornerback

Jake Stoneburner, tight end

Robert Thomas, defensive tackle

Michael Thomas, safety