The Miami Dolphins have spent the past week re-tooling the roster of a team that finished 6-10 last year and is welcoming a new head coach this season. It has been a busy week, with some players leaving the team, some players signing with the team, and some players being traded to the team. Miami's front office appears to have a plan this offseason that includes not overpaying for players, with the club setting price marks for each player and sticking to them.
That does not mean they are doing things right, nor does it mean things are being done wrong. It is the choice the team has made this year, a choice that is a change from the last few seasons with the Dolphins repeatedly were the biggest spenders of the offseason.
How has the landscape of the Dolphins' roster changed over the past week? It is time to update the team's shopping list for the 2016 offseason, adjusting for players they have signed or lost.
This week has been busy, and some of the items on the Dolphins' shopping list have been marked off, but there are others that still need some attention. The shopping list has been re-written and re-ordered, with the items that have been filled at the bottom:
2 32 Cornerbacks ( 21 starters, 1 nickel)
21 Guards (Starters)
- 1 Running back
21 Defensive ends ( 1 starter, 1 backup)
- 1 Defensive tackle
- 1 Wide receiver
1 Middle Linebacker 1 Free Safety 1 Quarterback (Backup) 1 Offensive tackle (Backup/Developmental)
The Dolphins entered the offseason needing to address the cornerback position, likely looking to add a starter and a nickel cornerback. The traded for Byron Maxwell, but they also released Brent Grimes, which makes it a net sum of zero. There is still work to be done at cornerback.
The guards need will be filled by Jermon Bushrod, a tackle the team signed in free agency with the goal of moving him inside to tackle, on one side. The question mark is still floating over the other side of the offensive line, where, for now at least, Billy Turner, Dallas Thomas, and Jamil Douglas will battle for the right to start. Adding another guard in free agency or the Draft would not be surprising.
Lamar Miller left, and the team did not sign C.J. Anderson, who had his offer sheet matched by the Denver Broncos. There is a need for someone to be added to the group, and a free agent might make sense, but allowing Jay Ajayi to start and then drafting a rookie later in the Draft could be the better route.
The team lost Olivier Vernon in free agency, so they needed one starter and one depth player to be added. Mario Williams was signed, which fills the starter role, but there are still question marks about the depth signing. The team has met with several free agents over the past week, but has yet to sign one.
Defensive tackle has not been addressed, and, honestly, is not a huge need if the team feels Jordan Phillips is developing into the starter they hope he will be. Earl Mitchell is also in line for playing time unless the team does something at the position.
Wide receiver depth could be an issue. The team will likely head into the season with Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and Kenny Stills as the top three receivers. Matt Hazel appears to be in the fourth spot right now, with a lot of question marks behind him. Adding a veteran to solidify the group could be an option.
Middle linebacker appears to be filled by Kiko Alonso, for whom Miami traded along with Maxwell. There could still be an option to add another linebacker, especially in the Draft, to challenge either Koa Misi at strongside linebacker or Jelani Jenkins on the weakside.
Miami signed Isa Abdul-Quddus from the Detroit Lions to fill the vacant starting safety position next to Reshad Jones.
Matt Moore re-signed with the team on a two-year contract, which will put him into his sixth season with the Dolphins and fifth as Tannehill's backup.
The developmental/reserve tackle position should be filled by Sam Young, whom the team signed in free agency, though Bushrod could also factor into the equation if needed.
Potential Remaining Targets:
Going back and looking at the players who are still available in free agency, we identified some of the top potential targets for Miami to fill their shopping list.
- Leon Hall
- Alan Ball
- Trumaine McBride
- Patrick Robinson
- Charles Tillman
- Evan Mathis
- Manny Ramirez
- Lance Louis
- Geoff Schwartz
- Zane Beadles
- Arian Foster
- Ronnie Hillman
- Alfred Morris
- Lance Dunbar
- Reggie Bush
- Jason Jones
- Andre Branch
- Jeremy Mincey
- George Selvie
- Frank Alexander
- Nick Fairley
- Terrance Knighton
- Randy Starks
- Jason Hatcher
- Jared Crick
- Anquan Boldin
- Rueben Randle
- Leonard Hankerson
- Roddy White
- Percy Harvin