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The Dolphins offseason plan? Possible version here

Jeff Ireland has "a plan" for the offseason. He isn't giving details of what that plan is. He has no intention of unveiling it for public scrutiny to the point where he told Dolphins coaches not to even talk about quarterbacks or needs or free agency during their recent media availability.

Makes sense.

But, let's face it, this isn't rocket science.

Miami's needs are easy to understand if you watched the team the last couple of years. The players that are or will likely become available are also public knowledge. And we know there is a finite amount of ways the Dolphins can actually add players -- through free agency first, the draft and, of course, trades.

So what does Ireland's plan likely look like?

Let's begin with the problems the plan must address:

The Dolphins need a starting QB first and foremost. They would love a franchise quarterback, of course, and that's the first order of business. But at the minimum they need a quarterback who will compete with Matt Moore for the starting job in training camp. That is known to everyone.

So how to address the QB question?

Peyton Manning, if relatively healthy, will be the team's top target if he's available. Simple. Ownership has sent this commandment down from the Dolphins version of Mount Sinai. I've written Manning is the QB priority if he's healthy and until Manning either stays in Indianapolis, or retires, or shows he is incapable of throwing the football (the latter of which will not happen), he will be the thing for Miami.

If Manning is out of the picture, I think the Dolphins go with Matt Flynn. The fact is Flynn will come with a starter's price tag and not a lot of certainty. But he comes with more certainty than any possible draft pick not named Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. Flynn in free agency seems to be more logical, given his history and connection to Joe Philbin, than say, using a first-round pick on Ryan Tannehill. Flynn is young and more experienced and probably more NFL starter ready than Tannehill. And if you pick up Flynn, you can free up use of the first-round pick for another major need while still having the option of drafting another QB -- perhaps Brandon Weeden -- later in the draft.

If the Dolphins cannot add either Flynn (who will have other options) or Manning (who is a huge wild card) in free agency, you can pretty much put the first-round card in right now for a QB.

Does that mean Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are out of the question? Nothing is out of the question, I suppose. But I don't see the Dolphins paying two first-round picks, plus more resources, such as a second and perhaps a third round pick, or perhaps even three first-round picks to go to the No. 2 overall spot where getting Luck or Griffin will be possible.

Using that many chips to go high enough for the two QBs could cripple the franchise for years if the QB it brings in return is not a franchise player. And as Bill Parcells said, they don't sell insurance for this stuff.

Moving on.

The club needs a right side to the offensive line -- with both right guard and right tackle a question mark. Marc Colombo is done. If he finds himself in a Dolphins uniform again in training camp, something went horribly wrong because he is simply not a starting-caliber NFL tackle any more. Assuming the club intends to fill one of the right side needs, either at guard or tackle, with an "on campus" solution -- such as John Jerry or Nate Garner or Lydon Murtha -- that still means the club needs to solve the other right-side problem by adding a body.

There are great free agency options such as Carl Nicks at guard. I love the prospect of Jared Gaither at tackle in free agency. But both will be very, very, very expensive. Nicks today said he's looking for a deal above $56.7 million that averages more than $8.1 million per season -- the deal signed by teammate Jahri Evans. No way the Dolphins pay that!

Despite their history for spending extravagantly on the offensive line in free agency, I think the Dolphins aren't going down that road. I think they'll try to solve their offensive line issue in the second wave of free agency or in the draft -- not the first round.

The club also needs a pass-rusher. The truth is I believe this is the top need and the only one that rivals quarterback. Simply, the Dolphins need to pressure the quarterback better, need to find a pass-rusher so good as to make Cameron Wake the complementary pass-rusher, and need to make sure this player is also a viable run-stopper on the edge. I know that Mario Williams will be available in free agency. Cliff Avril will also be on the free agent market.

But again, I don't see the Dolphins spending their money here. I see them spending draft picks here and an early pick at that -- probably their first pick assuming the quarterback issue is resolved in free agency.

There's a need at free safety. There's a need at tight end. There's probably a need at wide receiver because a high-priced or high draft pick QB needs as much help on the other end of his passes as possible.

These are all issues tackled in the second-wave of free agency or on the draft's second or third days. I assume the Dolphins still have very high hopes for Charles Clay as a hybrid tight end so they're not going to invest a high pick or a great deal of money there. They obviously didn't last year.

My big concern is that Miami will continue to be lulled into a sense of false security at WR. Davone Bess did not show well last year -- certainly not as well as he did the previous years. And while Brian Hartline had solid moments, he still hasn't proven he's a good No. 2 starting WR despite owning the job two seasons.

Me? I'd get the QB more help. I'd get Brandon Marshall some help. I'd get solid WR wherever I could find him. By the way, did I hear Green Bay may be parting ways with Donald Driver? I scoop him up. He'll be familiar with the system, he's an awesome locker room presence, he knows how to win, and he would make Flynn a nice security blanket.

Yes, he's 37 years old. I get that. But he was also Green Bay's best WR in the playoffs. I hope the Dolphins get that.

Comments

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1) 79th pick
2)146th pick
3)217th pick

So....which one of these 3 didnt we give up? I'm STILL waiting

New math.
Thanks for the update.

He doesnt understand that we would've had 3 players. DUMB!

Same reason we have a huge deficit and debt, no?

this has to be the dumbest argument ever. yes we gave up 2 picks. was a horrible deal because of who they drafted

The 3rd, try to understand this, and I'll go slow. To switch our 3rd with their 2nd, we paid a 5 and a 7. The 3 was ours and we would have used it, what we did was improve our 3rd to a 2nd, the COST was a 5 and a 7. The 3rd is moot.

Yo Mike, give me 3 dollars and I'll give ya one. Deal?

Right Dust, exactly. We gave up 2 picks. And we'll see next year how the pick works out. Could go either way.

And Mike would lose how many?
Help me.

Anthony don't show how dumb you are. Most people understand the concept.

WE gave up 3, we got one. We lose 2. it is a 3 for 1.

Anthony, don't do it, I deal in money everyday, in concepts you'd never understand. If you can't understand what I've said your in no position to talk about money. I would have you broke in a sec, just give me the 3 bucks. You're one person I'd love to trade with.

We gave up 3 Michael!!!!!!!!!! YIKES!!!!!!!!!

Time for me to sleep.
Mortgages ( plural) more than one to pay.
Thanks for the new math lesson.

Anthony, the 3rd was a switch to a 2, the cost was a 5 and a 7. The concept you don't understand was that the 3 was switch for a 2nd rounder which bettered the pick, and to better a pick you have to pay something.

Again...last time dumbo ..WE gave up 3, we got one. We lose 2. it is a 3 for 1.

We gave up 3 Michael!!!!!!!!!! YIKES!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: MJ | February 21, 2012 at 10:26 PM

And we got back one, a better pick.

Yes Anthony, the sum total of everything was that we gave up 2. Exactly.

We didn't give up 3 choice. The sum of everything was a net lose of 2 picks.

gave up 3 michael. trust me

yes we lost 2...gave 3 for 1...u got it now?

That's what I've been saying we gave up 2 picks. Look back.

no...we gave up 3....got one....lost 2

I give up. He's dense.

Here's the trade explanation.

http://www.phinnation.com/?p=638

What am I missing about the Rams and RG3?? Are they really going to take him and pay him and Sam Bradford a boatload of money? Not a chance. If they take RG3, Bradford would be available. and despite a bad season and injury issues he's better than any qb on our roster, younger than manning and more starts than flynn.

Why are people not talking abot sam bradford being available when they talk about the rams taking rg3?

You guys are hilarious! Why are you wasting your time arguing about past picks and trades. Who cares!

Sorry man.

I just finished watching a bunch of Tannehill clips. He sucks! If they draft him, its another decade of trash.

Tannehill is a joke. God please don't let this FO draft that loser.

Dear Lord,

I pray to you and offer my first male child that we don't draft Tannehill.

I do not like Tannehill. Henne is better than Tannehill and I don't like Henne.

Driver? C'mon Armando. Are you brain dead? At this point of his career you bring him in as a back up WR for a team on the verge of a SB. Maybe. Maybe not. For us? NFW!

If we can't get RG3, find someone to back up Moore in FA. There is no QB worth drafting besides Luck and RG3. The rest are bench warmers.

Please, please, please get rid of Losman. (and Lex Useless)

Mike, I got some ice in Alaska to sell ya

3 minus 1 equals 2.

It's a fact.

I guess you didn't read the link from Phinsnation Nat, your loss, your stupidity.

I agree Skyles.

We gave up 2 picks.

Who the fkkkk says draft Tannehill! He looks awful!

We gave a 5th and 7th? So what. A 5th gets you a st's guy or about 3rd string depth chart guy on the norm.

Youre hardly gonna get a starter with a 5th and 7th rd pick.
So we trade back into the bottom 2nd rd for a guy with greater potential to become a starter. Heck, despite the injuries, D Thomas contributed far bmore than you would expect out of a 5th or 7th rd pick. Most o0f the time a 7th rd pick is lucky to make your ractice squad.

Some of you guys no absolutely nothing about real value. We traded two picks that had higher potential to produce a scrub over a star. You should be thanking your lucky stars we made the trade.

How many times have you seen a 7th or 5th rd pick have any kind nof instant impact? Very, very rarely!

1)) 79th pick
2)146th pick
3)217th pick

So....which one of these 3 didnt we give up Mike? I'm STILL waiting

Heckn highger picks than 5th and 7th's get cut. %th and 7th rd picks get cut on a regular basis. Have you checked the nfl lately? Geesh, big freaking deal!

YG tell that to Tom Brady

My keyboard keys are way to sensitive. LOL

Nat More,

You cant comnpare what isnt the norm to the norm. The norm states 5th rd picks are "NORMALLY" backups and st's players. Maybe 2-3 yrs down the road some become starters.

7th rd picks are "NORMALLY" st's players or began thier careers on a nfl practice squad.

Guys ghet drafted 5th and 7th rd for two reasons:

1. They need mucho developing which doesnt always work out.

2. Absolutely no one saw them coming if they become nfl instant impact right away.

YG, with Ireland picking all the picks are useless (D. Thomas) But when you have a talented GM they find gems in all rounds.

The reason Ireland gave a 5th instead of a 6th rd pick in that deal is simply because you have just as great of chance in finding the exact same calibre player. There is no distinct difference in calibre of player between a 5th rd pick and a 6th rd pick. Thats why Ireland kept the 6th rd pick.

Good grief, somebody just go run a 40 and tell me how fast you went.

Nat Moore,

That isnt true. Good gm's make bad picks too. Great qb's make gm's look great. When a gm gets a great qb his team still wins despite his bad picks and no one usually notices.

Bill Polian was considered a great gm. Then Peyton went down and now they own the 1st overall pick. This really exposed how a great qb covers a many gm sin.

Ireland would look like a great gm if we already had a great qb in place.

YG, I hope you're not trying to tell me that Ireland knows what he's doing...

Pzzie Newsom's probably the best gm in football. At least at bone point he was. He's nthe only gm Ive seen put together a championship winning team without a great qb.

Ozzie

Nat Moore,

Ireland has made some great blunders. But so have other gm's. Im just telling you gm blunders are more greatly exposed when he doesnt have a great qb. Wi8thout a great qb a team usually struggles in the win-loss category.

If we had a great qb Irelands blunders would fly under the radar just as other gm's with a great qb do.

I agree QB is huge. And we could've had 2 last year if Ireland had half a brain.

14 QB's were drafted last year and Ireland takes none? WTF? QB was our glaring hole.

If Ireland didnt make blunders we'd have a great QB.

Nat Moore,

Actually Ireland did a great job bringing in Matt Moore. No one saw him being as good as he was. even though we may not consider him the starting answer moving forward. Moore performed above and beyond the calibre of qb that dolfans thought we had.

No matter had we drafted a qb last year he wasnt going to start this year. Even if we drafted a qb, which likely means we dont sign Matt Moore, it could have been utter disaster stiking a rookie qb that wasnt ready yet in for Henne.

So I can neither give Ireland a great nor terrible mark for this.

Cmon, about 8 rookie QB's got starts last year. A bunch look very promising.

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