The Miami Dolphins spent the first few days of the NFL’s 2017 free agency period systematically addressing needs through signings and trades while also making sure to keep their own key players. It was a smart attack on free agency, and one that has fans excited about the direction of New Miami. But, what is next for the Dolphins?
The team has added one linebacker, a defensive end, a safety, a guard, and two tight ends, all while locking up their deep threat wide receiver, their starting defensive end, their long snapper, and extending their Pro Bowl safety. Add in the tenders to the restricted free agents and the exclusive rights free agents, and Miami has had a really good free agency. Now, the team needs to continue to address their needs, while also looking toward extending potential 2018 free agent Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry.
The team is positioning themselves to be able to take the best players available, regardless of position, in next month’s Draft. In order to truly get to that freedom, the team needs to address some more of their roster holes. Those include another guard to compete for a starting position, another linebacker to push for a starting job next to the recently signed Lawrence Timmons and restricted free agent Kiko Alonso, and a defensive tackle to play with Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips. Reports have also indicated Miami wants to add a cornerback this offseason, so that could be on the extended shopping list as well.
Miami is said to be interested in defensive tackle Dontari Poe, but the Kansas City Chiefs free agent is meeting with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, so he may not be available any longer. Signing Poe would likely be an expensive addition in an offseason that has seen Miami be very deliberate with their spending, but it would be a move that would likely lock up the middle of the line of scrimmage and fix their running game issues.
There are also rumors that Miami is interested in cornerback Kayvon Webster, the Denver Broncos free agent. It would reunite Webster with Miami head coach Adam Gase, who was the Broncos’ offensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014, Webster’s first two years. There are several teams also interested in chasing Webster, so Miami may have their work cut out for them here as well.
The Dolphins would like to host Zach Brown on a free agent visit, potentially stealing the linebacker from division rivals Buffalo Bills. No visit schedule has been reported, but it does indicate Miami is still in the market for a linebacker.
There are still viable guards on the market as well, either players who could come in as the starter, players who could challenge a player already on the roster like Anthony Steen, or provide depth that could allow Miami to look to the Draft to find a guard to groom into a starter.
The Dolphins still have work to do in free agency this year, and, while it may not be flashy names, the Dolphins should continue to have a solid free agency this year by addressing their needs and being smart about it. Miami should continue to target players that fit their scheme, use their salary cap space intelligently, and continue to build on the excitement fans seem to be feeling right now. The next few days should give all of us a good idea of exactly what the team will be doing when the Draft gets here - and ultimately give us a picture of what the 2017 New Miami Dolphins will look like.