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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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cbs sports has us taking tannehill at 9,lol if they did that this franchise is officially done

Posted by: dusty bottoms | February 22, 2012 at 02:36 PM

Explain your rationale for your statement.

Mando, what's happening? Give it to us. Need it!

Tannehill sucks, big time. No way.

Dusty...I don't think taking stabs at quarterbacks in the first round..Especially after the top 5. Is as big a risk as it was even 2 years ago..The contracts are nowhere near what they used to be. If you think Tannehill is the wrong guy because of the experience issue. That is one thing. Remember, Matt Moore is a fine stop gap should we decide to draft a guy in the first couple of rounds. IMO only Luck will be a sure fire starter coming into camp..The other guys will have to win the starting spot.

mik its simple, tannehill sucks and can be had in second rd anyways

disagree moore is a mediocre backup, im not suffering through another garbage year with moore at qb

DD is absolutely right. I'd like to piggyback and say for THIS team, taking a QB at ANY pick is not a waste. My evidence is the last 29 1st-round picks we made (and how exactly NONE got us to a SuperBowl). So draft away, it won't hurt as much as you think.

Tannehill sucks, big time. No way.

Posted by: Aroh | February 22, 2012 at 03:07 PM

Explain why.

mik its simple, tannehill sucks and can be had in second rd anyways

Posted by: dusty bottoms | February 22, 2012 at 03:17 PM

You are speculating.
Provide facts.

What difference does it make if RG3 is 6'0 6'1 or 6'2, the guy can sppin the ball and is deadly accurate, hopefully he listed as 6'0 so he can drop in the draft and we have a chance to move up or select him at 8/9.

..I would agree that Moore isn't the long term answer. I also think any attempt to improve the quarterback position should be applauded. The evaluation process is just beggining. It is possible that Tannehill skyrockets up the board by his performances during the process.(Some have him at 3 now).. Tannehill isn't my first choice, just because I don't know anything about him. I don't get to evaluate the players, nor do I have any access to the tapes teams watch to do these evaluations. Should the Phins find him worthy of our first pick. I will live with it. Just saying he stinks is kind of like saying that it is automatic Luck is going to be a Hall of Famer.

RG3 is 6'2' in 4 inch heels. Another Pat White so Irescum may like him.

I would rather live in Iraq than New Jersey.

RGIII is your momma a hooka?

DAILY CONSENSUS REPORT (courtesy James Walker on the AFC East blog, espn.com):

Here is a memo to the Miami Dolphins: Avoid drafting quarterbacks in the second round this year.

I'm not very superstitious, but I know a trend when I see one. For Miami, picking three quarterbacks in the second round since 2007 has been nothing short of disastrous.

I don't think Tannehill will be around in the 2nd. He'll go first round....I think there will also be a 4th QB who moves up to the first. Basing my 2nd opinion on what happend last year....basing my 1st opinion on the fact that Tannehill is going in the 1st on pretty much every board I look at....and he's rated the 3rd best QB in the draft on every board I've looked at.

Personally, I think it's too high as I don't believe he can be a first year starter.....but everyone seems to concur he'll go in the first round.

Oh goody....more hooker jokes! Those never get old....oh wait.....they're incredibly old and add absolutely nothing to the conversation.

Actually, in RE to Dez, the question fit....it does not fit in RE to RG3.

wolf, don't think of it like that (in terms of 1st round pick for 1st year starter). Think of the number 6. That's the number of HC's (including interims) that have come and gone since Shula. Philbin's MUCH MORE interested in that figure than any other.

He needs HIS guy. He deserves HIS guy. He will live and die with HIS guy.

Let's give him what he wants, no matter the damage.

Tannehill is a practice squad player. Take him if he is there in round 7.

Who's tannehill? never heard of her.

The Saints mortgage they're whole future to get Ricky Williams, did that cripple thy're franchise for years? Do something diffrent out of the ordinary we've been irrelevant for a decade!

Posted by: Clue | February 21, 2012 at 03:23 PM


It kinda did dude until a hall of fame QB saved the Francine, o lets not mention the coach who is pretty good too.

Did Mando really mention Driver? LMAO. C'mon man!

Trade up, draft RG3 save a ton of $$$ in the process by not overpaying a noodle-arm QB like Flynn who has played two games in his career against two horrible pass defenses, where his WRs had 1000 YAC.

With the money you saved go sign a real WR threat like DeSean Jackson, so ok he's not a red-zone TD machine, so what that's why we have Marshall and Bess and we can go get Greg Olsen who would make a very nice combo with Clay and dump Fasano and all the other money hungry players we don't need like Solai who in a 4-3 would not be as effective especially at his price tag. Instead go get Mario Williams.

People keep thinking bringing Flynn is the best choice but $$$-wise is a poor decision. RG3's marketing value alone will benefit the team, he generates buzz, he will sell more tix, get us more national televised games and sell more merchandise than Flynn. The day after he got the Heisman he outsold the Superman socks he was wearing.

People please open your eyes, and start imaging what an offense we would have with RG3 and Bush, then add Marshall, Bess, Clay, and throw a player like DeSean Jackson. We already have two pillars in the OL with Long and Pouncey and we have Jerry, Murtha and others and we can strike gold in a very deep class at OL, we could find a gem later in the draft besides RG3 alone would buy his line time.
Let's grow a pair and go after RG3 what do we have to lose? A 9th pick this year, a 20th next and a 2nd rounder and Hartline? So what! Heck even throw a few conditional picks if needed, all that would be worth it if we finally find our franchise QB. The Giants took a leap of faith to become ELIte, I think we can all agree it paid off.

Will Jeffy ask Manning if his momma's a hooka? HAHA

turn some games on, tannehill sucks

O'darris D'haiti, I remember you from your playing days at FIU, not bad for a DB. Did you get invited to any NFL camps?

The Ireland-Dez Bryant debacle was no joke. Ross should've fired Ireland right then. It showed how classless Ireland is and alienated a bunch of FA's and coaches. The players union should've insisted Ross fire him.

tigers Sam @ 4:29....

Great argument for RG3....really makes me think about it in a different light....I keep thinking we will ALWAYS be drafting in the top 10.....but with a better QB....we could be perennial 20 and later drafters....and that takes the sting off....

I'm not sold....but i'm moving twards it.....

Still want Manning above all @ this point.....

Manning is done KRIStopher

kris u do understand manning cant throw a pass, u have seen the duke workout. its a joke

TGH,

I agree and the team would be a lot better off and gotten some respect by not standing for Ireland's idiocy.

im guessing its not the real kris, thought pretty much any real nfl fan by now knew how dumb it would be to sign manning

Its the real KRIStopher no other blogger writes with so many ......

Who cares if Manning can throw or not. I just wanna sell some tickets and he'll do that.

I'm sorry I never say anything mean on here but NY"G", you are so off on thinking we should trade up to get Justin Blackmon, we might not ever have to because he certainly isn't what you're saying he is, which is the highest rated receiver to ever come out, which I think aanyone who knows college football would say Calvin Johnson is still the highest rated receiver and Blackmon isn't close to his speed or his hands, check out his drops, and poor route running at times. He might not even be the best receiver in this draft. So to mortgage the future on that I don't think so. And if the Pats or Jets are interested in him it's probably because they think he'll still be around when they pick. Wright and Jeffery might both get picked before him. The other thing is what are you talking about shore up the "D" line. We need another pass rusher but the D-line is our strongest unit, not a weak spot.

Dusty...its me....

and you KNOW i am on the Manning Wagon....

Only a fool would be for an aging broken down QB who has slim hopes of recovering from neck surgeries and may need more.

Peyton in his prime won only 1 sb on an extremely well coached Dungy team. So now half crippled and aging yet someone thinks he will lead a new team to the SB in a year or two?

RG3 will sell more tickets than Manning who now throws like a girl and will be checking down to avoid the rush.

RG3 will bring excitement!

thought u bailed after u saw his arm died months ago

I write with lots of ........I love.......It's thinking, illustrated in print......Absolutely nothing wrong with a little.....

RG3 will sell more tickets than Manning

Posted by: Skyles | February 22, 2012 at 05:41 PM

What u smokin dude? ROTFLMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dusty, don't worry dude. I've been working on kris for months now. He's on Manning, but when I make him see RG3 will make Mallet look like Henne, I'm sure he'll come around sooner rather than later.

Craig agreed with me twice yesterday, as did my blog troll. I'm on a roll, finally the blog is waking up to all the sense I'm making!!!!

My CONSENSUS REPORT is gaining steam, soon it will rule the world!!

RGIII = Pat White 2

yeah dc but no chance we get griffin, looks like wash is the smart bteam and gonna trade up with rams

RG3 will sell more tickets than Manning

Posted by: Skyles | February 22, 2012 at 05:41 PM

What u smokin dude? ROTFLMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Mr Ross | February 22, 2012 at 05:47 PM


Nobody wants to watch a fallen aging cripple on the field and throwing like a girl. Let's move forward.

Z, I see exactly how you can make that connection:

1) All blacks look alike
2) You can ONLY compare a black QB to another black QB
3) They had EXACTLY the same stats out of college
4) Pat White won the Heisman
5) Pat White was graduated with a doctorate
6) Pat White was touted as the 1st or 2nd best QB in the Draft by all informed people

I TOTALLY see how you could make that connection. Please, tell us your thoughts on how Obama is acting just like Chris Rock's character in "Head of State."

dusty, I know. Slim to no chance. A man can dream though.

It is REAL SIMPLE guys. When FA opens, the first few days will speak volumes to what Miami is thinking of doing.

Philbin and Sherman have been watching offensive tape the past 2 weeks on Moore and Henne.

If Philbin believes in Flynn, then the talks will start. I don't see Miami waiting around on the draft if they believe in him. They really won't have the time.

People have a hard time accepting Peyton Manning is no longer the QB he used to be, nor will he ever be again.

All the Peyton Manning talk is very funny to me. The guy is completed shot right now.

He will NOT be playing in 2012. Take it to the bank! If he somehow does, it will be midseason.

Miiami has too many important decisions to make with FA and the draft to even be bothered with him.

Pipe dream, forget it!

There is an extremely high chance that Miami goes into next season with Moore and Henne again.

If Flynn isn't the real deal, and RG3 is never getting past Cleveland or Washington, what is the next step?

Reaching for Tannehill is a bad move! They would never take him at 8 or 9, but they could trade down to take him.

So many questions on this. I would much rather get the DE or WR first. That is me.

Dolphins Off Season: http://diegsportsworld.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/miami-dolphins-off-season/

Trade down and get Whitney Mercilus;period.

Why are people so high on Flynn? He's no better than Moore. He had two starts with bloated stats. It will still be a learning curve, because the offense still has to be installed. It's crazy to just say plug him in and poof Green Bay's offense.

This is Ireland's moment to shine. He needs to sell Cleveland we are interested in Flynn, obviously Cleveland is waiting for us to make the first move b/c of Philbin but do not be surprised they are very interested as well b/c of Holmgren, he LOVES WCO QBs and Flynn is ready to go.

Even though Cleveland has a lot of picks they also have a LOT of needs: QB, RB, TE, WR, OL, defense, I mean they need everything. They already have Colt McCoy, so I find it hard for them to give up a bunch of picks when they have a QB in place. If GB does not put the franchise tag on Flynn they will go hard after Flynn, let them take him.

That will lower the price for RG3. Picks-wise we can not match an offer from Cleveland but we could match Washington's, we even have a WR like Hartline to throw in the mix to the needy-WR Rams, Washington can not, they do not have one single worthy WR in their roster.

I'm with TigerSam all aboard the RG3 bandwagon!

Armando,
This post is a COMPLETE FLIP-FLOP where 2 weeks ago you said it would be a BIG MISTAKE to take manning. I think you are either on dope, or you have early-stage Alzheimers. If you want to change your mind fine, but acknowledge it and quit treating your readers as complete A-holes, which if what I'm feeling right now for reading your random psycho-babble!

I say attempt a trade for sam bradford with our 1st pick and maybe throw in something additional. Rams could get RG3 and raise ticket sales and we get a frachise QB. Win win

If Matt Flynn has the tag i would prefered sign mario williams and draft another pass rusher in the first round 2 round OL keep Moore and look for a FS. That way next year can give everithyng for a QB.

Listen, these r facts.... I would trade my 1 and 2 pick and next yrs 1 and 2 pick for rg3... take randy moss, or t.o. for a 2nd wide receiver trade bess, put hartline in slot, marshall n moss/to would be a problem for corners, than u gotta watch rg3 cuz of his speed, n u gotta watch reggie still, 100percent playoff team, we would probley win the afc east ....fact

Or what about chad ocho cinco ....... like dude the pats would give him up for anything they don't use him, n in miami with marshall, ........come on bro, with rg3,or manning....n matt moore did a great job for the first yr on a team....u couldn't ask for a better 2nd string qb

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