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Undrafted free agent pipeline shut for Dolphins

The hits just keep on coming.

We all know the Dolphins -- a team with deep pockets because the owner is among the richest in the NFL and a team that is also desperate for veteran upgrades -- has been injured as much as any by the current NFL lockout because that lockout has wiped out free agency so far.

The lockout has wiped out free agency.

The lockout has wiped out trades of veterans.

The lockout has wiped out new coordinator Brian Daboll teaching his offense to Miami players.

And then there's this: The fact there is no collective bargaining agreement also means no undrafted free agents will be allowed to sign with any teams after the day after the coming draft. That affects everyone. But it hurts the Dolphins more than most.

Why?

Well, look at Jeff Ireland's history. He and his personnel department love to make hay on undrafted free agents. When Ireland was in Dallas, the Cowboys signed Miles Austin as an undrafted free agent. They signed starting QB Tony Romo as an undrafted free agent. Both have blossomed into starters and have been to the Pro Bowl.

With the Dolphins, Ireland hasn't hit it quite so big. But it hasn't been unprofitable. Kicker Dan Carpenter displaced Jay Feely as a Miami's kicker when he was an undrafted free agent addition. Davone Bess has been Miami's second-best wide receiver the past few years and he was an undrafted free agent signee.

Jonathon Amaya, arguably Miami's best special teams player last season, was an undrafted free agent signee. So were Fay Feinga, Marlon Moore, and Roberto Wallace.

So the Dolphins like to do work in the undrafted free agent department.

This draft, however, that work won't be done immediately following the draft, barring an unexpected agreement between the league and the players' union. The truth is no one is really sure how those undrafted players will ultimately join the NFL.

Does that affect everyone? Yes. Does it hurt the Dolphins more than most teams? Absolutely.

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