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Which player should be Miami Dolphins' priority?

In today's Miami Herald I wrote this potential Pulitzer Prize winner detailing Miami's on-going but very deliberate contract negotiations with five starters who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents when the season ends.

All of them -- Yeremiah Bell, Vernon Carey, Channing Crowder, Andre' Goodman, and Renaldo Hill -- have been instrumental in Miami's success this season. All of them are expecting nice contracts for their work. None of them have gotten that contract yet.

Some might not ... not from the Dolphins anyway.

The story details some questions the team has about some of the players. It also contains an interesting quote from Crowder that is perhaps the most brutally honest self-assessment any player has delivered in all my days of covering the team.

Anyway, I'm wondering what you think Miami's priority will be in getting these guys signed? Is that any different than what you would do first.

Also tell me what you think these guys are worth.

By the way, the Dolphins actually have six starters who are unsigned after this season but receiver Greg Camarillo is a restricted free agent so he's not going anywhere.

Finally, for you Mando haters that take up pitch forks and torches at first opportunity, I was being sarcastic about the Pulitzer. Everyone knows I'm really after the Nobel.


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I dont understand why people think that Crowder is that expendable. He is a very smart player. Dont let the silly interviews fool you. He wears the headset for a reason. Since he is in a 3-4 defense you cant expect his numbers to be as though he is in a 4-3. Look at other ILB around the league that play in a 3-4 and compare the numbers. He is 15th in tackles of ALL LB's in the league and it isnt as though the Dolphins have been getting crushed and the opposition is running the ball to kill the clock. There is only one Zach Thomas so people cannot compare what they are used to and what we have now. By the way, Zach plays in a 3-4 now and he is 22 on the list.

I feel Miami should let them all test the market, let the market set their price. None of them have played worthy of a large contract. One year does not matter; you have to look at the overall total of years they have been here and looking at that I do not see any of them getting a big pay day in Miami. Let some other team over pay them


I wouldn't be surprised to see NONE of them signed.

Personally I'd lock up Crowder and Bell but lets not forget this is the Tuna we're dealing with hear.

He is VERY far from being done churning this roster.

Not to mention Miami will be a very attractive place for free agents to come considering this years turn around.

Add in the draft and possibly trading guys like Beck/Wilford/etc....

We should keep all of them of-coarse because they are all relatively young and productive. Naturally, the signings will hinge upon how expensive each guy is. An important factor is has got to be the replacement cost. Based on that criteria, I think Goodman might be one of the most important people to re-up. Think about how much pat surtan got a few years ago from KC. Like 8 million or something. Goodman is not as good as surtan, but he is showing that he can cover and he's pretty fast. Good cornerbacks are expensive and hard to find. Also, I think safety, linebacker, and right tackle are not expensive positions to fill via draft or free agency.

Like to see Carey back. A guy who can play both T spots with some consistency is tough to find.

I say bring them all back and then make someone beat them out for their jobs. The cap is big enough these days to do it.

If Bell can stay healthy the whole year and continue to make plays he has to be the #1 priority. Since Carey and Crowder are both playing "average" I would say Carey should be the priority between those two. It would probably be easier to get another linebacker in the draft than a good tackle. Crowder would still be a good LB to bring back if the price is right. He gave a pretty honest assessment of himself...he's been ok. Besides the Seattle game he hasn't really stood-out much this season. We obviously need to draft a shut-down corner in the draft but I wouldn't mind bringing back Hill and Goodman if the price is right. They bring veteran leadership and depth to the team.

I have to agree with the majority about Crowder. After all let’s look at the numbers. Out of 17 other starting inside linebackers a whole 2 have more tackles than Crowder. Even on Miami's roster we have 2 ILB that for the paltry cost of $7 million a year have totalled between them an impressive 54 tackles (admittedly 20 less than Crowder, but the Dolphins are paying him $1 million so clearly he should be more productive!)

Then just look at the number of other ILB with more big play numbers, say in double figures with sacks - well admittedly there aren't any. 3 is the highest, but then what about forced fumbles - a whole one ILB has more than Crowder or fumble recoveries - to be fait there aren't any ILBs with more.

So clearly it will be easy to replace Crowder - all the Dolphins have to do is dole out contracts to the tune of about $10 million a year (as opposed to wasting 4-5 million a year on Crowder) and they should easily be able to replace Crowder. See its all clear when you think about it!

All this debate is pointless. Each player is worth something to the team but the team has to know the max they are willing to spent for each one. Anything beyond that they send them walking.

1. Carey to me is the first priority but only if the price is right. Right tackles are easier to find than left.

2. Channing Crowder is next on the list because he covers a position adequately. But again, that's only at the right price.

3. All of the remaining three should be re-signed if the price matches their value. To me Bell is the most questionable of the bunch because he is always injured and his price has to reflect that.

We should try to keep as many of them as possible to keep consistency until we sign someone better. We should always seek to upgrade at all positions.

Miami was so far under the cap this year that they should be set going into next with tons of room to spend.

I think Nose Tackle and the secondary are the highest priorites in the off season with improvements to linebackers and right guard. We should also seek to improve our 2nd and 3rd stringers to help special teams. We should also consider a coaching change for special teams and possibly the DBs coach

Has to be Yeremiah.. He is a gun, hits hard. That's what you want in your safety

Sign them all we are well below the cap. They are all relatively young and can grow together.

Last game changing play that Channing Crowder made? Anytime u can go 4 seasons without a pick or fumble recovery, while starting every game you play in, thats actually impressive in itself. Call it what it is people, average linebacker play. Hate on Zack all you want. Someone said he was average in a 3 4, when Saban was here, we were a 3 4, and Zack had a career year, his 12th year in the league. Channing Crowder is Robert Jones, he is Morlon Greenwood, he is Donnie Spragan. Forgettable linebackers who can play an entire game without you even realizing he is on the field. Bell is a difference maker, hes top priority. Hill and Goodman will also be retained because they will come at the right price. Carey gets worse by each game, and at this point, Id be disappointed if he was resigned for anything more than the veteran minimum, thats how bad he has looked all season.

Bell is the no brainer 1st but IMO Carey is the no brainer 2nd. We have seen many free agent offensive line men come while getting very little production from them. I think Carey will get better as the rest of the line gets better so why go make a change just for sake of a change? He has not been as bad as many people are making him out to be. Crowder is solid but many of rookie ILB and free agent linebackers who are equal or better than him will be available. Goodman and Hill needs the rest of the year to show consistency before it can be said that they are more valuable than Bell, Carey or Crowder.

(1) Yeremiah Bell---4yrs/9m with modest signing bonus but 800k to 1m roster bonus each March. That way he gets paid IF he is healthy.

(5) Vernon Carey---don't really want him back for what the price tag. I believe we can upgrade here.

(2) Channing Crowder---afraid to give him money for fear that he will lose his "edge"...4 yrs/11m with higher salary in 3rd/4th years (see if he is still hungry)

(3) Andre' Goodman---should keep to have keep some cohesiveness in defensive backfield...3yrs/8m

(4) Renaldo Hill---decent player but I would like to upgrade the secondary, let him go.

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