The Miami Dolphins have to find answers to their two guard positions this offseason, upgrading both interior offensive line positions. The team could be looking to Jamil Douglas, who will be entering his second season in the league and now has starting experience, albeit mostly at center, to take the next step toward becoming a starting guard, but that still leaves a question mark at one spot, where Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas struggled as starters last year. Which brings us to an interesting move from the New Orleans Saints on Monday; the team released six-time Pro Bowl guard Jahri Evans.
Should the Miami Dolphins make a run at Evans, who could sign with a team at any time because he was released?
Evans was due a $3 million roster bonus and would have accounted for $8.2 million against the salary cap this season for New Orleans. The team takes a $5.1 million hit in dead money (which, by the way, the Saints now have $28.3 million in dead money, nearly 20 percent of their salary cap), but does get back the other $3.1 million in cap space.
The Dolphins have a new coaching staff and will be looking at the film from last year to try to decide where they have to make upgrades. The guard position should immediately come into focus, especially if the South Florida franchise ever wants to keep quarterback Ryan Tannehill upright. Tannehill has been the most sacked quarterback over the last four years, and he simply takes a beating nearly every week. Could Evans play into Miami's plans?
Evans is not the same played he was just a few years ago. The four time First-Team All-Pro selection will turn 33 before the season begins, but his most recent Pro Bowl was just two years ago. He has been dealing with injuries the last couple of years, though he did play in all 16 games in 2014 but was limited to 11 games played this past season. He is clearly approaching the end of his career, but he could be a one-year stop-gap for Miami, plugging him in to the right guard position and giving the younger players - or a draft pick this year - another season to get accustomed to the speed of the NFL.
The Dolphins could be eyeing several of the other veterans who could become available this offseason, to include Evan Mathis, who Miami had interest in signing last year but the two sides decided to go other directions, Ramon Foster, Alex Boone, or even (though it will not happen) Richie Incognito. Evans could also simply re-sign with the Saints for a more team-friendly contract, rather than move away from the only team for which he has played in his 10 year career.
Miami should at least judge if there is any interest from Evans, and see if the coaching staff thinks he would fit into their picture of the 2016 edition of the Dolphins, but he is probably not the answer the team will be looking for as they try to solve the guard problem.