Today marks the official start of the 2021 NFL legal-tampering period, and as things currently stand, the Miami Dolphins have roughly $30M in cap space.
But as we’ve learned over the years, if teams want to make room to acquire a big-money free agent, they will find a way to do so. In other words, don’t be surprised if the Dolphins make a few more roster moves between now and the official start of free agency.
However, unlike years past, I think we can all agree that this team has a significant need at wide receiver, running back, interior offensive/defensive line, linebacker, and a true speed-rusher off the edge. That doesn’t mean they can’t upgrade at other positions, but those seem to be the most pressing needs IMO.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that my list is the best in the world because it’s not. In fact, the whole point of this was to try and differentiate from other wish lists, but that’s nearly impossible.
So without further ado, here are the five free agents I would most like to see on the Miami Dolphins.
(Spotrac.com projects all contracts)
Corey Linsley, Center
One glance at the Dolphins’ roster, and it becomes crystal clear what the missing piece is on the offensive line. And I know it’s popular to sit here and bang the table for this free-agent wide receiver (which I will in a moment) or a game-changing back like
Aaron Jones Chris Carson; the truth is, none of that really matters.
I mean, it does matter, but what truly matters most is finding an upgrade at center this offseason. And there might not be a better player on the entire market than former Green Bay Packer All-Pro, Corey Linsley.
Corey Linsley is a total stud - lights out in pass pro but just as impressive in the run game— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) March 14, 2021
Absolutely deserving to reset the center market this week pic.twitter.com/l42VwPvqL6
Linsley is as good as it gets at the center position. Although he may be a bit older than Miami’s current offensive front, the experience, leadership, and most of all, dominant play would be a welcomed addition.
Linsley is projected to get a deal worth $9.75M annually, according to spotrac.com.
Unfortunately, it sounds like the Dolphins will have interest in Ted Karras and former New England center David Andrews. Time will tell. But if it were up to me, I’d sign Corey Linsley.
(If the Dolphins sign Karras or Andrews, I fully expect them to draft a center early in April)
Curtis Samuel, Wide Receiver
I’ve admittedly been a Curtis Samuel fan dating back to his days at Ohio State. So it was no surprise to me that he continues to get better year after year. I know some will point to Lynn Bowden and say, ‘wHy Do ThE DOlPhiNs NeEd CuRtIs SaMuEl.’
Now first, I like Lynn Bowden and think he showed great promise last year, creating plays in a variety of ways. But just because I post a video of Samuel lining up in the backfield doesn’t immediately mean they’re the same person. (
Almost as foolish as thinking Justin Herbert was the same QB as Ryan Tannehill)
idk whether or not the @miamidolphins will be big spenders in FA, but if chris GODwin is my pipedream 1A, curtis samuel is 1B. he's EXACTLY what MIA needs @ WR imo— josh houtz (@houtz) February 18, 2021
here’s a look at curtis samuel doing a ‘little bit of everything’ vs KC.
| 9 catches | 105 yards |1 TD | #finsup pic.twitter.com/fhyZTy8ol3
He can do it all. And again, nothing against Bowden, but Samuel does everything better, IMO. Route-running, cReATiNg SePArAtiOn, yards after the catch, the list goes on. But what I really don’t understand is for a team like the Dolphins in desperate need of playmakers, why would it hurt to pair Samuel with Bowden?
The same can be said about JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kenny Golladay.
If Miami chooses to go the wide receiver route in FA, they need to get one of the big three and truly change the face of the look of their offense.
Haason Reddick, EDGE
I have to admit, Hasson Reddick was one of the first prospects I really fell in love with during the 2017 draft process. The former Temple Owl recorded a career-high 12.5 sacks in 2020 and, at only 26-years-old, will look to get a big deal on the open market.
Haason Reddick is the first NFL player with at least 5.0 sacks and three forced fumbles in a game since 2002 (Vonnie Holliday, Green Bay).— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 15, 2020
He is also sixth in the NFL this season with 10.0 sacks.#ProBowlVote pic.twitter.com/ZNjDdPrRJe
Reddick possesses the size and the speed off the edge that the Dolphins desperately lack. He also has the versatility to play throughout Brian Flores’ defense. Adding a player with his skill-set to a defense that finished as one of the league’s top defenses?
The truth is, Chris Grier and his staff may be better suited to target Carl Lawson or Jadeveon Clowney, two players that might fit the system a bit better. But make no mistake about it. Some big-time EDGE players are set to hit free agency and the Dolphins need to make a splash.
Jacoby Brissett, Quarterback
Some might not remember a time before Ryan Fitzpatrick. I try to forget the Adam Gase Era too. But with Fitzpatrick unlikely to sign in Miami, Brian Flores and his staff must look elsewhere to fill the team’s void at backup quarterback.
Enter, Jacoby Brissett.
The 28-year-old veteran QB has ties to Flores and his staff from his days in New England. Furthermore, he’s shown value in the past as a backup and even a serviceable starter at times.
Good morning from Jacoby Brissett and T.Y. Hilton. pic.twitter.com/lRcCGW9O5d— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) October 28, 2019
Now, as I’ve been reminded, Brissett made $15M a year in 2020. So to think he would be willing to take a significant pay-cut to play for Miami seems unrealistic. If Miami has to look elsewhere. Tyrod Taylor and Alex Smith would be two veteran QBs that could bring similar characteristics and leadership qualities as Fitzmagic.
Malik Hooker, Safety
I’m not sure whether or not the Dolphins will look to upgrade the safety position this offseason. After all, Bobby McCain looked pretty good in that role in 2020. But if the team is looking for a low-risk, high-reward signing that could add value to the secondary, Malik Hooker is the guy.
ONE. HANDED.@MalikHooker24 just made the catch of the day on this pick! #INDvsLAC— NFL (@NFL) September 8, 2019
: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app
Watch on mobile: https://t.co/PoZiStO3mL pic.twitter.com/rTpWLgZey5
Malik Hooker tore his Achilles in 2020 which forced him to miss a majority of the season. If he can regain his form and prove to be healthy, he could be a nice addition to Miami’s secondary.
In the end, I will try to find the good in any free agent signing. But these five players + Jadeveon Clowney, Carl Lawson, Kenny Golladay, Matt Judon, Bud Dupree, JuJu Smith-Schuster, are at the top of my ‘wish-list. And let’s not forget EVERY player that is inevitably cut ;)
Who do you hope the Dolphins sign in Free Agency? Let us know in the comments section below!