A different kind of free agency is about to hit the NFL in general and the Dolphins in particular.
The NFL on Monday suddenly expanded rosters for the offseason and preseason to 90 players. Previously, the limit was 80, but the league's Management Council voted to increase it Monday. The first cutdown, in late August, will be to 75, with the final cut after the last of four preseason games bringing rosters to 53.
So what does that mean to the Dolphins?
Well, suddenly players that might not have been signed could be on the radar and could get a chance to compete for a roster spot. That's good news for folks such as Ernie Sims or Omar Gaither, whom the Dolphins announced visited with the team on Monday.
Suddenly, there are extra roster spots for take-a-flyer players such as the two veterans.
The added roster spots might also encourage teams to trade down in the coming draft. Typically, a trade down involves a scenario where a team trades a pick for multiple picks. In other words, one player for two players or more players. The added camp roster spots might encourage this kind of trading by some teams wanting camp bodies later in the draft.
The added spots could also put a premium on getting the best available undrafted free agents. That might mean more money being handed out. That also might mean teams that traditionally do well getting undrafted free agents might have the ability to add more talent.
The Dolphins have been very good with undrafted free agents. Kicker Dan Carpenter, recievers Davone Bess and Roberto Wallace were among Miami's undrafted free agents who made the final rosters.
Only the 51 highest-paid players count toward the salary cap.
The 90 players will include all active, inactive, practice squad, exempt and reserve list players, plus unsigned draft choices and franchise-tagged free agents.