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Dolphins targeting safety in free agency

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New York Jets v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have to develop a plan to replace starting free safety Isa Abdul-Quddus for the 2017 season after indications that the neck injury that ended his 2016 season early could stretch into or through the 2017 season. An immediate answer could be to use Michael Thomas as the primary free safety, if the team keeps the restricted free agent, but it appears the team has not ruled out looking for a free agent to be signed to fill the potential vacancy.

According to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, Miami has interest in Dallas Cowboys safety J.J. Wilcox and New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon. Jackson indicates there are other players who are drawing Miami’s interest as well, but does not identify them.

Wilcox, 26, has played both strong- and free-safety for the Cowboys since being a third-round selection of the club in 2013. Over his four years in the league, he has played in 58 games with 38 starts, recording 212 tackles, five interceptions, 15 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.

Harmon, 26, was also a third-round draft pick in 2013, this time by the Patriots. He has played both cornerback and safety in his four season, recording 91 tackles, seven interceptions, 13 passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.

How much interest is “interest” is not clear at this point. Miami could look to add either of these two, or they could just be kicking the tires on who is available at this point. If Abdul-Quddus is likely to miss significant time in 2017, adding a safety to pair next to Reshad Jones makes sense, and it could keep Thomas available as a reserve safety, a big-nickel option at cornerback, and playing where he excels, on special teams.