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Which elite free agent should the Dolphins sign?

Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland declined to share information on the Dolphins salary cap situation when he met with the media Tuesday. Doesn't matter because lack of specifics aside, it is clear the Dolphins cannot be full-blown buyers in free agency when it begins in March.

The Dolphins will not be able to address all of their issues in free agency. Thank God for the draft.

But the Dolphins might be able to address one major issue in free angency. One.

So which one should it be?

Do they sign quarterback Peyton Manning if he's available?

Do they sign defensive end Mario Williams, who is scheduld to hit free agency?

Or do they sign guard Carl Nicks, who NFL people are saying will not be back in New Orleans based on that team's other priorities?

All are elite players when healthy. All could be available. Which one do you sign and why? Please take into account how much demand will address the availability of each player in your answer.

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..I like Soliai as well. But he doesn't play on enough downs to warrant paying him a top shelf contract. I get it that in the 3-4 his job is to take on blocks to free up the linebackers at the point of attack..Job well done Paul..No arguments there. IMO he would be worth resigning if could one..play more downs, 2 be any sort of pass rush threat..He isn't a Wilfork, or Hiloti Ngata(spelling) or Raji. He is in the second tier of these type of players. We can't franchise him again without paying 120 percent of the top contracts so this makes NO sense.. I just can't see the Phins resigning Soliai unless he is willing to be paid what he is worth..Not what he thinks he is worth..We will see what the offers are outside of he team before we can gauge his value.

Tigersam - Flynn won't cost the Phins any picks. He's an unrestricted FA. He will simply cost cash.

I stand corrected in some of my ealier posts in RE to how much cash....it's going to be a pretty penny, but the contract can be structured in such a way as to provide an "out" without the Phins breaking the bank as AZ did with Kolb and Houston did with Shaub.

we arent getting rg3. flynn wont cost us any picks. sign him and draft skill pos guys. rams dont want blackmon, they want the usc lt

..Gotta Roll..Good posts today.

With Jake Long, Pouncey, and Inconito on the oline. We should be able to finish off the oline with slightly above average RT and OG. We dont need to spend a #8-9 overall pick on an olineman right now.

We need difference makers on the defensive side of the ball. Right now Wake the lone closest thing we have to this. Mario Williams is a legit defensive difference maker in an area we hunger most. Geting after the passer.

As an added bonus, he also upgrades an already very good run defense. He gives us chance to better compete with Bellichick and the Tom Brady led offense.

Like I posted earlier, get Mario Williams, trade down and get an extra 2nd rd pick. Use one of those 2nd rd picks to select a qb.

Or trade out of the 1st rd completely, get a extra 2nd and 3rd rd pick, plus that team's 2013 1st rd pick. Then in 2013, we can trade both 1st rd picks to get a top 5 qb.

Flynn won't cost picks but he'll cost like 60 million dollars whch will almost certainly definitively remove us from making any more moves

DD,

I actually would be onside with trading Wake as well. Like you, I know that idea sounds nuts, as pass rush is one of the areas that needs improvement. I think he's going to command big money and while I really like the guy, I'm just not sure he's going to be worth it. He's 29 (not old by any means) but what if teams have figured this guy out, somewhat. Yes, he's had to face a lot of double teams but I'm not just not certain he's an 'elite' (there's that word again) pass rusher. Yes the numbers are there and yes I've HEARD he's considered by some to be one of the top linebackers in the league but is he?

Having said all that, we would have to make certain that we could sign a guy like Mario Williams and draft a guy like Coples. I recognize that to have any chance against Brady we've got to have a great pass rush. I'm just saying, maybe it's an idea to look at trading Wake and getting extra pieces back for other things. For example, would guys do it if it brought back a potential top 5 pick next year? It's just something to think about....that's all.

dusty bottoms - True...St Louis would love to have Kalil. I've seen him mocked there on numerous mock drafts...but I've also seen Blackmon mocked to them as well.

Kalil will be gone @ 3 to the Vikings if the Rams work a trade. In that scenario, I see the Rams liking the #4 spot (Cleveland) to take Blackmon. If they stand pat @ 2, I have no doubt they'll take Kalil...then Minn becomes the next trade partner.

lets hope bucs hire sherman today, no way do i want that fossil

We're a 6-10 football team with lots of holes. I think anything and everything should be considered to make us better. If that means Wake or Long then so be it. They'd have to be good trades but nothing should be off-limits.

nfl player trades are very rare. so dont hold your breath on stuff like that

Flynn won't cost picks but he'll cost like 60 million dollars whch will almost certainly definitively remove us from making any more moves
Posted by: Philbin4President | January 25, 2012 at 02:59 PM

____________________________________________

It won't be $60M in one season....it'll be over the course of, most likely 6 seasons. I certainly stand corrected as I didn't think he'd command that at all...and it appears that he will, but the contract would be structured...in my estimation....something similar to Kolbs which his heavily backloaded and also involves option bonuses as potential "outs" for the franchise should Kolb bust.

You don't take the whole hit in one season. Likely though....it would cost the Phins a good $7M or so in 2012 looking at Kolb's contract. I don't think that's prohibitive to making any other moves.

I like the idea of signing Williams and drafting Coples Dolphin fan in Montreal. A great front would be a welcome change. Just look at the Giants.

BTW....anyone ever have jury duty? This is the lamest thing I've ever had to do. I'm all about doing my civic duty, but this is ridiculous. I've been sitting here all day waiting for "motions" to be heard. At somepoint, they're either going to let us go or we will have to go to the courtroom so the attorneys can widdle down the 100 of us to 12.

Oy....long and very boring day. At least they have WiFi.

the signing bonus would count this year, correct? that would be a good 15 million at least

I could be worng but I don't think Flynn will be anything close to $60 million. For what? The guy has played like 3 games in the NFL. Can people really judge that this guy is worth that kind of investment playing in one of the best systems in the NFL.

Won't teams be cautious after all the money thrown at Kolb last year? There's a market for Flynn and the price will be driven up but I highly doubt it comes anywhere close to $60 million.

wolf,

That's too funny!!....what would jury duty be like without the opportunity to blog on a Dolphins site while you wait....too funny!

If we end up running a 4-3, Odrick will not be a DE...he will be moved to DT

Plus RG3 is the face of the franchise type guy, this is a guy who participated in Olymic tryouts for sprinting. This guy is everything we need and brings much more than JUST an average arm. We just have to invest in a line that can protect him for 16 games a season.

Trading Wake, you have to consider what you would get for him. Not many teams are giving up a 1st rd pick for a guy who clearly is better suited at pass rushing than playing the run. Then throw in the fact he's "29yrs old".

I really dont see getting a 1st rd pick for Wake, but a team with a great pass rusher, and needs a complimentary piece on the other side would likely give us 2nd rd pick for him. But if we could sign Mario Williams, wouldnt we need to keep a player like Wake?

Im not overly concerned about resigning Wake to a overly huge contract. Or what happens when he becomes a fa. He'll be 30yrs old and no team's going to overspend for anyway.

Dont think for a minute we were the only team to see Wake wasnt as dominant when having to face "doubleteams". The other 31 nfl teams have access to that tape too. So, if Wake went to a team that doesnt have a very good pass rusher, he'll be the focus of doubleteams, and his impact will be slightly above average at best.

wakes not getting dealt, neither is any player. this is the nfl, they deal picks

Trading Wake is a very BAD idea...He's ranked the #1 OLB in the NFL. He and Jake Long are by far the 2 best players on the Dolphins roster. No way do you trade him. Let's get him some help instead.

Speaking of Rams and Kilil or Blackmon - The consensesus favorite of all the mockers is Kalil at 52%.

This is from: dcprosportsreport.com/MockDraft.htm

Means nothing but he seems to be the favorite pick for the Rams. BUT not necessarily the favorite pick of the Rams. :)

Wake-Starks-Langford-Odrick
Misi - Dansby - Burnett

Here's what the depth chart may look like with a 4-3. Minus Solaia and Langford. Not 100% sure where to put Misi since he played DE in college in a 4-3.

RDE: Cameron Wake, Jason Trusnik
RDT: Randy Starks, Phillip Merling
LDT: Jared Odrick, Tony McDaniel
LDE: Koa Misi?
WLB: Karlos Dansby, Marvin Mitchell
MLB: Koa Misi?, Austin Spitler
SLB: Kevin Burnett

Putting pressure on Tom Brady is the only way you can beat him, and last time I checked, we still have to play him twice a year. Trading Wake doesn't help us, it hurts us.

You dont draft Coples after signing Mario Williams. We still have Wake. You only draft Coples if we cant get Williams.

On trading Wake, I dont think we get enough for him. Also dont think Wake is dominant enough facing double teams to command top 5 olb money in fa. Top olb's finish with double digit sacks double teamed or not.

No one's giving top compensation trade or dollar wise for or to Wake for 8.5 sacks when offenses made him the primary focus of thier pass protect.

the signing bonus would count this year, correct? that would be a good 15 million at least
Posted by: Philbin4President | January 25, 2012 at 03:06 PM

_______________________________________________

It certainly could, Kolb's was $20M and accounted for the bulk of his guaranteed money because they wanted to get that out of the way first thing. It just depends on how they want to structure the deal. Shaub had a $7M signing bonus. It just depends on how they have it structured.

Not to mention....add'l moves will be made to clear out cap space. Teams do it every year. This will most likely include contract extensions for some and others simply getting the ax or not being re-signed.

Bottom line, it can be done and other moves can still be made....franchises do this every year.

wasting time on manning, his neck still isnt any better than it was in sept. his career is over
Posted by: dusty bottoms | January 25, 2012 at 11:31 AM

_________________________________________

Thanks for the medical update, Doctor.

I guess you are used to seeing star athletes in your office, but it still must be a thrill to meet them.

Any updates on Daniel Thomas' hamstring issues?

Posted by: You're Not Fooling Me | January 25, 2012 at 11:34 AM
------------------------------------------------------

LOL.....

PEYTON MANNING!!!!!!!!

Why can't you draft Coples after signing Williams? This is a passing league, and we play Brady twice a year. You NEVER have too many pass rushers. In today's NFL, it's all about QBs on offense and pass rushers on defense.

I could be worng but I don't think Flynn will be anything close to $60 million. For what? The guy has played like 3 games in the NFL. Can people really judge that this guy is worth that kind of investment playing in one of the best systems in the NFL.
Won't teams be cautious after all the money thrown at Kolb last year? There's a market for Flynn and the price will be driven up but I highly doubt it comes anywhere close to $60 million.
Posted by: Craig M | January 25, 2012 at 03:06 PM

___________________________________________

That's exactly what I've been thinking, but apparently some of these kinds of numbers are getting thrown out there. Personally, I thought people were just making them up, but I did find an espn article talking about whether organizations feel he's a Kolb prospect or Shaub prospect ($65M vs $48M 6yrs both).

I'm with you, I tend to think this will be tempered somewhat. I also wonder if the new CBA won't have an impact here as well. It's easy for a prospect...even one with limited NFL experience....but a prospect that a lot of people are talking about to demand a big pay day when rookies with ZERO NFL experience are coming in at 6 yrs $50M.

I know some of the grumbling from NFL veterans in RE to the rookie cap was due to the potential impact to their future contracts as well.

I guess we shall see.

If we could get Mario Williams, I love trading down in the 2nd rd and getting a "extra 2nd rd" pick. Then use one of those 2nd picks to select Nick Fowles or one of the upper tier 2nd rd qb's.

Improve the defense(Williams) and make games more "winnable" with Matt Moore as starting qb. If we pick the right qb with our "extra 2nd rd pick" maybe that guy could be ready to push Matt Moore for the starting job in 2013.

That's a lot cheaper than taking the "high risk" Matt Flynn turns out to be a complete dud.

Guarantee if Brady lights up the board SB Sunday the comment boards will be lit up with QB QB QB!!!
Giants put the smack on Brady and DE DE DE!!!

So, I guess when the Pats and Brady stomp a mud hole in the G-men in a couple of weeks all of the pass rushing flap will subside. Not that I do not think it is critical, it is. These posts are just more "last weeks performance" oriented than the crap you see on ESPN.

kris wake up dude, manning is done

Why can't you draft Coples after signing Williams? This is a passing league, and we play Brady twice a year.

Posted by: #1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Cause Miami has way too many needs and not enough money or draft picks to address them all! If you get Williams (which is going to cost a ton of money), you need to look elsewhere with your top pick to address another pressing need.

sign flynn, williams. make a run at finley. draft best corner avail

Brady was even better than today when he lost that SB against the Giants... The Giants beat him with an amazing pass rush, he was under siege all night long. If the Giants are going to do that again, they will beat him again. No doubt. The only way you can beat a great QB is by putting pressure on him and knock him down. Ask Dan Marino if he enjoyed playing against Bruce Smith...

Flynn worth $60M??? What exactly did you have with your lunch today?

Absolutely NO WAY will the Dolphins or ANY OTHER team spend that kind of loot on an unknown guaranteed.

He needs to prove his worth which in MY opinion would be in his second season not first.

first season wonders are just that. The opposing D in the NFL hasn't played against him so they need time to figure him out studying film after film so first season usually IF the player is GOOD can be OK. It's the second and beyond when they figure him out that will show his true worth.

I say sign him with incentive options on a sliding scale. Front him some loot and make him EARN and PROVE his value then go from there.

Otherwise punt.

BTW... i STILL say move up and pick WR Blackmon.

Dusty....you got to admit....that was funny.....

and besides.....if things went they way YOU THINK they do.....

COWHER would have been the HC....the FISHER....

but since this is the RAEL world.....NEITHER are man.....so I will continue to think about....and express MY thoughts in a way that represents how I feel.....

I know you probably think that....that is AWFUL.....and HORRIBLE....and a whole bunch of other doom and gloom adjectives......but i'm gonna continue to be me.....

Montreal, why do you even bother with Yg. He's the mad flipper! A few weeks back he set the modern day record for consecutive blog posts on why we should get peyton, today he doesn't want him. Give him a few days and he will posts 4,789 straight times on why we should have 3 top end pass rushers.

And of course his point is nonsense. The giants have Osi, tuck, and Pierre Paul.

If we could get Mario Williams, I love trading down in the 2nd rd and getting a "extra 2nd rd" pick. Then use one of those 2nd picks to select Nick Fowles or one of the upper tier 2nd rd qb's.


Posted by: Yesterday's Gone

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I'm not for trading out of the #1 pick unless we can acquire a 2013 #1 as well as a 2012 #2. We have traded down too many times and passed on way too many studs. I also would like to see us use our #2 on a stud TE.


Why can't you draft Coples after signing Williams? This is a passing league, and we play Brady twice a year.

Posted by: #1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Cause Miami has way too many needs and not enough money or draft picks to address them all! If you get Williams (which is going to cost a ton of money), you need to look elsewhere with your top pick to address another pressing need.

Posted by: IrelandSucks | January 25, 2012 at 03:36 PM

Not necessarily true. You can make one of your biggest weaknesses a strength by doing so. Not every pressing need will cost a fortune. Last time I checked, we still had a 2nd and 3rd round pick and you can find some pretty decent players there. Very debatable point if you ask me...

#1,

Dolphins would have take Coples with the #9 pick. Meaning nothing else can be addressed 1st rd. Not to mention we shell out "BIG BUCKS" for both he and Williams. Why, when we already have Wake far cheaper in 2012?

If we go Flynn in free agency, it only increases we wont be able to afford Williams anyway. Julius Peppers set the mark last season with a $91 million contract, 42 million guaranteed. It would take something similar to that too land Williams.

So if we didnt go after Flynn, signed Williams, it starins the salary cap to draft a olb(Coples) @ #8-9. With Williams, we're better off trading down for an extra 2nd rd pick. It would be better on the salary cap numbers.

One thing in RE to Flynn....at least the Phins won't be going into any such negotiation blind or guessing...or relying on Jeff Ireland's scouting abilities.

At least Philbin has worked with this kid the last 4 years. He should know quantitatively and pretty definitevely where this kid is and what he should be capable of.

I have a hard time believing the Phins would offer a monster contract to Flynn if Philbin didn't think he was the real deal based on 4 years with the guy. That would be on his head and he has his own arse to watch. Conversely, I could see a scenario where Ireland asks how far should we go and Philbin gives him a number and Ireland says that we'll get outbid by another team. At which point Philbin will smile and say..."let them take that hit"...the kid's not worth that much.

I kinda like the idea of at least going into such a negotiation with a coach who is highly knowlegable about the player and not just guessing.

BERNARD POLLARD!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday, Coples, under the new CBA for rookies, is not going to cost as much as you think. Williams will, you have a point. But if it's going to make you one of the best pass rushing defenses in the league, and you play Tom Brady twice a year, you have to pull the trigger. Even with Matt Flynn, the Dolphins aren't going to get into a shootout with Tom Brady and win. You don't beat the Patriots like that. You beat them by putting pressure on Brady and keeping him on the sidelines as much as possible. It makes PERFECT sense to load up our defense and Mario Williams is a PERFECT fit, even if it's costly. Just my 2 cents of course...

Cousins and Weeden impressing everyone at the Senior Bowl so far. Those are the two I mentioned to look for in the 2-3rd round of the draft. Feeling better about this.
No word on Keenum, though. He's my wildcard. Interested to see how he fairs against a more varied field.

wolfman13,

I concur with that and it's going to be interesting (to me) to see exactly how much CONTROL will THE SCOUT allow Philbin to have.

with that logic i want aaron rodgers bad, yes come on trade for him!!! or your reality and your playoff prediction last year

All these theories are assumning these players want to come to Miami.

JULIUS PEPPERS IS THE BIGGEST REASON YOU CANT DRAFT COPLES AFTER SIGNING WILLIAMS. PEPPERS GOT $92 MILLION. $42 MILLION GUARANTEED. BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR WILLIAMS COMMANDS SOMETHING IN THIS RANGE.

YOU HAVE WAKE, SO WHY PAY #8-9 OVERALL MONEY FOR ANOTHER PASS RUSHER. i DONT THINK WE CAN EVEN AFFORD IT. IM NOT SURE IF WE COULD AFFORD BOTH WILLIAMS AND FLYNN.

THERE'S A THING CALLED THE "SALARY CAP". WE ONLY GET ONE "BIG SPLASH".

exactly, if manning was ever healthy he sure wouldnt come here. he would go to san fran most likely

Super Mario, of course. MArio is beginning to play up to his contract as the first person off the draft boards.

#1 Dolphin Fan in Montrea says >
Even with Matt Flynn, the Dolphins aren't going to get into a shootout with Tom Brady and win. <

BUT... If we draft Blackmon even with a average QB that kid will bring them in and they cant double Blackmon AND Marchall because we will run Bush down thier throats or go to the TE.

On the other hand... The pass rush will absoultly disrupt Brady so we need that. ALSO.. the only reason why Brady will throw on us just like any other team can is becasue our corners SUCK and have sucked for the past 10+ years.


LaRon Landry, safety, Redskins.

blackmon over a new qb finally,lol no thanks

If Julius Peppers got $47 million of "guaranteed money" last season. Yo best believe it takes at least $50 million of guaranteed money to sign Williams this year. The price tag at fa player positions only gets "HIGHER" each year.

If we were lucky enough to get Williams and Matt Flynn. We probably would be best served cap-wise to trade down to near bottom 1st rd just to save some extra cap room.

..I like Soliai as well. But he doesn't play on enough downs to warrant paying him a top shelf contract.

I just can't see the Phins resigning Soliai unless he is willing to be paid what he is worth..Not what he thinks he is worth..We will see what the offers are outside of he team before we can gauge his value.

Posted by: Darryl Dunphy | January 25, 2012 at 02:51 PM

This is it Darryl! You nailed it, NICE POST.

This is all that needs to be said. Now, if we could get Armando to forward this to Ireland and Dawn Aponte.

DB,

With Luck gone.. why not use the pick on a Play maker Blackmon? I mean who are we going to pick at QB in this draft that's worthy? I don't see anyone worth picking in round 1. That is why I say move up and at least have a play maker and we come away this season with gold vs more risk.

I STILL want a QB but it looks like we only have FA to look at IMO.

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