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Joe Philbin: Free agency on the table

There is a false narrative in the Dolfan community that because coach Joe Philbin came from the Green Bay Packers, he wants the Dolphins run like the Green Bay Packers, particularly when it comes to building the team.

The idea is that because Green Bay rarely dips toes in free agency, with few exceptions, Philbin wants the same in Miami.

That is not true.

"I'm not opposed to improving the football team in any way shape or form, by any method we can -- whether that's a trade whether that's free agency, draft obviously," Philbin said Monday in his end-of-season press conference. "I'm not opposed to any of that."

Philbin says player acquisition is a "collaborative" effort that includes general manager Jeff Ireland and his staff and Philbin and his staff. So free agency is on the table.

And that ties perfectly with what I tell you in my column today about the Dolphins being willing to attack the high end of free agency this offseason as they have not done since probably 2010.

As I've said before, the man in charge of personnel for the Dolphins will  continue to be general manager Jeff Ireland. Owner Stephen Ross will speak with the media later this week, but a source repeated to me again today that Ireland is absolutely safe in his job. So no change is coming there for this offseason.

This offseason is about improving everywhere -- particularly on offense.

"We certainly need to get better production and performance out of the offensive unit," Philbin said.

The coach wants to see massive improvement in the team's turnover margin. It was minus 10 this year which was in the bottom quarter of the league. And he wants to see more plays on both offense and defense relative to the passing game.

"I think these guys performed well," Philbin said. "We have to do a better job of putting points on the board. This is not a complicated game. We have to do a better job there. Part of the takeway issue is getting interceptions and fumble recoveries. But I don't know it's isolated to the receiver or DB positions.

"We need to address the explosive play element on both sides of the ball. We got to create more, we have to eliminate more from our opponent's play."

Well, if that doesn't speak to receivers (including TEs on offense) and DBs (particularly corners on defense) I don't know who it speaks to.

Among the things Philbin wants to improve is himself.

"I definitely need to improve like anybody else, no question about it," he said. "That's what the offseason is all about. I haven't had time to reflect necessarily going through the exit process today and meeting with the players. Obviously we had a plan in place for this season. I thought it was a good plan. However, obviously you have to make changes and adjustments and learn and make improvements. And we'll do that. We'll listen to the suggestions of some of the guys you work with on a consistent basis and see if they have ideas that may or may not benefit the program."

Improvement is the order of the day all around this franchise, folks. The Dolphins finished 7-9 and out of the playoffs. That's 7-9, 7-9, 6-10, and 7-9 in the last four seasons. And none of those seasons included a postseason berth.

"7-9 is not good enough," Philbin said. "... We have a lot of work to do. That's really where we are."



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Clue, I love Xavier Rhodes but would you take him at the expense of forgoing a second round WR or TE? I think the TE or WR if of equal value and talent would be the more useful player. So I have the option of Tyler Eiffert or Xavier Rhodes - I'm taking Eiffert.

The Dolphins have struck out at QB again.

Posted by: FED UP | January 02, 2013 at 09:17 AM

Lets just ignore this for 4 years like we did with Henne.

Im so glad afew of you mentioned Justin Hunter a couple of pages back. Trust me guys,Hunter is gonna be a beast and is already being compared to Randy Moss.

The only reason he's not getting more attention is because he tore his ACL last season.

I get the feeling he'll be awesome at the Combine and his Pro day will get everyone taking notice

Breaking News....

Dolphins sign practice squad players Bryan Tims to a 2 year contract.

There goes Ireland signing scrubs first. Jeez

Mark, I thought we had 2 second round draft picks. Am I wrong about this?


I "strongly disagree" with anyone proclaiming our greatest weakness to be defense. Points allowed is the most important sta any defense can have. We finished "5TH BEST".

Had we not finished "27TH, or 5TH WORST" in scoring, this is EASILY a 10-6 playoff team. The holes needing fixing that has most glaring urgency are all on offense.

We should have been 9-7 GOD DAMN IT!!!!!!!

We ain't got no offense.

There is nothing wrong with the Dolphins that an elite QB couldnt fix.


You wouldn't be fine with a trade back with a team like Chicago, if it meant we were able to take a TE or WR in the first and pick up an extra second round pick?

I'm with you as well on Long. Be nice to have him back but if it doesn't fit price wise then let's move on. I forget where Loadholt is now? Baltimore? The other alternative would be another tackle in the 2nd, if we have an extra second or in the third.

DC, sorry bud....I think one of THE dumbest moves this team could make is giving Bowe a $9 mil a year contract for five years. He's just not worth it. didn't make one damn bt of difference to the Chiefs record this year, questionable attitude and just doesn't show up every week. No way, now how on this guy.....but I don't think we have to worry about him. I can't see Philbin ever signing off on this guy. Just not his type of guy.

Nark In Toronto,

I dont believew there's anyway we can address and upgrade both sides of the ball in this single offseason. Seems CraigM wants a Pass rusher, you want a corner(Rhodes), some want a safety.

While imo, the entire recievings corps needs a total overhaul. Aint no way we all get what this roster needs in a single offseason.

We could do this: Go entirely offensive heavy addressing the greatest problem of all last season. "SCORING POINTS".

Then: In 2014, go defensive heavy, building a championship calibre defense.

However, I am all for adding "1 Significant" defensive piece in the 2013 offseason via draft, if possible.

11-5 with Matt Moore..


I haven't read anyone say our greatest weakness is defence. Who's saying that?


We finish 9-7 if Dansby doesnt let 2 pic 6's slip right thru his hands. One of them was against Indy, and I forget who the other was against.

I do know that we lost both of those games by less than "7pts". Or the margin of those "2 dropped pic 6" opportunities.


We have 5 picks in the top 90. You and I and a few other are proposing a tradeback for a 6th pick (extra second). You telling me with those six picks and $45 mil to spend in FA there's no room to a defender or two? REALLY?

Not as sold on Fauria as you, btw. I get that he's a red zone threat and all but I want someone who can open in the middle of the field too and to me that's the kid from Stanford. To me, and I have to look at it closer, but Fauria is a late second, early third.

Peyton Manning/Broncos proves that "VOICE OF REASON" is correct. It's all about the QB. The elite QB overcomes a bad O line, no running game, weak D, whatever the problem is. All teams have one such problem. Peyton Manning types go 13-3 and win super bowls.

Craig, I wouldn't sign Bowe at that cost either. I really don't think we're signing ANY ONE of those guys (excpet maybe Jennings, at a reduced cost due to his injury and age). But Bowe/Wallace would be too expensive.

But I disagree he's not a game-changer. You can't blame the WR when you have no QB. He can't throw to himself. But with a QB, Bowe would be one of the best WRs in the game. His size, hands, no fear-attitude, he's a beast. I discount a lot of the "questionable attitude, taking weeks off" stuff to the crap team he's been on forever. Change of scenery would wake this guy up, and he'd be a ProBowler with the right offense.

Posted by: Your Redneck Uncle Bob | January 02, 2013 at 10:53 AM


Yesterday's Gone 4Ever!,

I certainly would'nt complain if we had a Colts style Draft and go Offensive heavy.

I understand they already had Reggie Wayne but they drafted Hilton.Brazil,Allen and Fleener.

Thats one of the main reasons Luck had the type of season he had


Or Carpenter does his job and kicks those FGs. Don't forget Dansby played hurt and wasn't able to move his arms the way he wanted. Not sure any of us really know how hurt he was. I've heard Dashi try to compare Dansby as an over paid Crowder. Don't kid yourself....no way in a MILLION years Crowder would have played through an injury like that. We saw it continually from him with lesser injuries. Don't buy into the crap....

Craig, can you quit with the notion that a positiion player didnt help his team win anymore gmaes. Did Megatron help the Lions win anymore games?? What about Fitzgerald?? Its stupid to not pay a player because he didnt have the team at 10 and 6.

You can win a SB by

1) having 12-14 elite position players or

2) having one elite QB


Happy New Year, btw!!....

I don't pay a lot of attention to what he says normally but dusty lives in the KC area. Ask him what he thinks of Bowe.

Regardless of whose fault it was this year and the reasons for the attitude, it's a BAD investment! Jennings I like....IF he can get healthy.

I'll be honest, and it'll be unpopular on here. If the price gets too high on Jennings, I'd say SCREW IT!! and two top kids in the draft. Seems to have worked out well for the Colts. There's some talented kids in the draft at WR and they'd come at a fraction of the price of a FA. I think YG is on the right track with Hopkins and Bailey. We might not get instant impact from these guys but the talent level would be a lot better than the guys we had this year.


Youve missed a lot of posting when you were not here. Some posters here are gearing towards now doing more on defense than offense, Or at least split it 50/50.

I believe the entire recieving units period needs revamping. That;s #1 wr, #2 wr, slot wr, and TE. We cam address the #1 wr position in fa. The #2 wr and TE positions need to be address with at least both of the 2nd rd picks or one 1st and one 2nd.

The slot needs to be addressed with our final 2nd rd pick( to get Bailey) or the first 3rd pick to get Swoop. I like Ryan Swoop if we cant get Bailey. Either would suffice. It scares hell out of me to go ionto 2013 with Hartline and or Bess as wr's.

And if we go dumpster diving in the mid rounds for recieving help, it would be just like keeping Bess/Hartline anyway. Just adding 1 significant wr isnt going to change this team's scoring issue alone. If that happens, you guys will see just what Ive been talking about when the season begins next year.

Clue, yes we do have 2 #2 picks. Assuming you take a def player in the first - we still should be adding a WR and TE early as well. So if we take Rhodes, you are at least pushing one of these needs to the 3rd - that was the scenario I was talking about. I agree that CB is a need but I also think a patchwork trio of marshall, Smith and Patterson could work, maybe possibly??


We'll disagree. I'm not saying Megatron or Fitzgerald aren't great players....they ARE.

Funny though....the teams that do all the winning, the Packers, the Steelers, the Pats.....never have a guy like that on the team. They don't have a WR eating into a HUGE portion of their salary cap. I wonder why? Must be a coincidence why they win all the time. It's why they will let Wallace walk this offseason.

We have a different philosophy on it, that's all. Not sure why we have to fallout about it.


If you want your 1st rd pass rusher, there's good chance you wont get Zack Ertz,. The ND TE will probably definitely go 1st rd. Ertz is projected 1st-2nd. So the TE we may have best chance to get is Fauria.

Think about it, in 2013 our problem wasnt close to not being able to drive downfield, it was scoring points when we got into the redzone. This is where Fauria would be like a god send. He would be like our "GRONK" once in the redzone.

Turning "FG'S" into "TD'S"!


OK...yeah I missed all that stuff. No I'm not in favour of going heavy on D. No way!! But I'm probably one of the few that would go pass rush in the first. I'd go TE and WR in the second and possibly S and G in the third (or even CB or WR).

In the tradeback scenario, it also opens up a lot of other possibilities.

But I'm with you....we have to go heavy on offence this offseason. It's definitely our weak spot. 18 PPG isn't NEARLY good enough.

And I'm with Mark. While CB is weak, I think we could do a patchwork with the guys we have and bring back Smith or a guy like Quentin Jammer.

Craig, let's not repeat the same mistake as 2010 when we traded back to pick up a 2nd pick and we passed on Thomas of Seattle, JPP, Derrick Morgan and others so we could pick a solid but not spectacular player in Odrick and Koa Misi.

Take the BPA @ 12.

Trade those 3rds to move up in the 2nd or even late first to grab that TE/WR combo.


If necessary I'd trade back into the first to get the Stanford kid. I like him that much. HUGE need for us on this team. Tired of this regime ignoring this need. I'm a guy who kept thinking Egnew was going to get it. I now believe it's not going to happen. Get us a stud TE....NOW.

By the way, I'll concede that a WR should have been drafted in the third last year before we ever drafted Vernon or Egnew. BAD mistake! Not sure what Ireland was thinking. I gave him the benefit of the doubt on Egnew and it's clear it's not going to happen. Not good enough!


I get your point. But I'm all about value. I think we coould get a good TE or WR at 20, let's say, and still get an extra second round pick. I think to take a WR at 12 would be a reach but having said that I need to see more of Hunter. I believe some of the guys COULD be right. He could be a Moss type player in this league. I just need to see a bit more of him.

My preference is to go pass rush at 12, I'm just saying, I'd be open to dropping back 8 spots and getting an extra second. I think with this team all avenues should be explored.

Mark, I guess I agree I just think Rhodes will be better than Smith. Patterson looks decent, Marshall can go for all I care the guy was constantley getting beat. Craig, the Packers have Aaron Rodgers, Pats have Tom Brady, Steelers have Ben R. There top 10 QB so I would think they dont need a top 10 WR.

But its so obvios we need a pass rusher on D and we all know after the second round its highly unlikely we'll find one. The pass rusher has to be a stud,m not like Odrick who cant get off his block worth a s*it

YG, I'm in fact saying CB is NOT a dire need but anyway, I get what you're saying. However, I disagree.

We do have enough ammo to overhaul this roster significantly.

5 picks in the first three rounds and $40M in roster flexibility can change a whole lot.

There is no excuse not to acquire 6-7 significant pieces in this offseason if the money is spent properly.

For example, we should get three good players ready to contribute next year in the draft.

Then you can add, for example, 6 $6m a year talents or something in that neighbourhood .... and still have money left over.

That's 9 players(give or take a couple) to change the fortunes of this team. And that's without jigging bloated contracts like Dansby and Burnett.

Next years team should be good - maybe not great but good. If not - time to kick Ireland's arse out of here.


If you're out there. I read an article yesterday that said there's a chance a team like Cleveland, despite having Weedon, might look to trade for Mallett. You might get to see your guy in action before you know it. I'm sure you'll be anxious to tell me I was wrong on him....LOL. Stay tuned.

Take the BPA QB @ 12.

Please dont trade down, this philophsy hasnt worked for us. Take the BPA at 12

Irescum should;ve drafted Mallet.....instead of 3 pick D Thomas!! LMAO


You're missing my point. Those teams have NEVER built there teams that way. Yeah the Pats traded for Moss but those teams have never gone out and added WRs in FA and made them the highest in the game.

Big Ben? Probably a top ten QB. Would that be fair? So I'm not getting your point. It's not like he's the best at his position, just a guy who is top third.

I think your missing my point totally. It's how WINNERS build their teams. Ravens are another example. Niners too. But yeah....let's go give a guy a HUGE contract to play the position. LOTS of examples of success there.....crickets...

Craig, we have 7 pro bowl alternates on this roster. We have enough value. We need some premium. I would be much more willing to trade back up in the first for Ertz or Eiffert or Hunter or Allen or whoever than I would be to trade back. I mean, who cares if we don't have a 3rd pick if we acquire two first round players, no?

I'd rather have two first round picks and one second than a first, 2 seconds,and 2 thirds.

Gotta go guys....

Last point to through out there before I go. Who do guys think will be the first of our FAs that we sign before FA starts? Any? My money is on Bush. What do you guys say?

Have a good one...


I appreciate you love Ertz so much that you would trade back into the 1st rd to get him. But imo, two 2nd rd picks to get him is to heavy a price to pay. Hell, Bellichick would think about trading Gronk for that price.

Not saying he would do it but he would heavily consider it. I'll even bet Bellichik would give us Hernandez for one 2nd rd pick. He only paid a 3rd for him. Think about that when considering a two 2nd rd picks for Ertz. There are nfl teams that would give us a proven seam threat TE for a one ot two 2nd rd picks.

Trading back into the first rd will cost 2 2nd rd picks.

Anyone who posts anything about firing Ireland is wasting our time and is an idiot. This year will be a real legitimate test as to his ability. So stop whining and lets see how he does. Philbin needs to continue to weed out the players that don't buy into his system. Give him time and we will be solid every year.

Mark @11:25 am,

If the price weren't too high, I'd be good with that too. I just think we need to be open to all possibilities, that's all.


Clue, I agree that Rhodes has a good chance to be better than Smith but I'd rather not create one hole by getting rid of Smith only to use one of our good picks to draft his replacement. We have to start moving forward with this roster more significantly. And drafting players to fill positions that are already manned adequately may not be the way I'd like to see the team go. Sooner or later you have to hit the most signifant weaknesses with majore investments like 1st and 2nd picks


If that's the price to trade back into the first I wouldn't be interested. I don't believe it would be that high but whatever.

I'm just throwing out ideas...

Craig, yeah, Bush is a good bet to sign a deal first. Good message sent out to the fans and players around the league that we mean business. Bush's name carries a lot of clout around the league - even if he isn't a proper 20 carry a game back - he gives this organization a lot of respect.

That would set the dominoes in line to get Smith and hartline signed up.


Yes, no one's giving up thier 1st rd pick for less than two 2nd rd picks. Have to remember we're talking about a team giving up thier "1ST RD PICK".


Nobody's going to trader thier 1st rd pick simply for your 2nd rd pick and you add a 3rd rd pick to it. If Ireland traded our 1st rd pick, even if it were a 32nd pick for a 2nd and 3rd rd'er, dolfan nation would be absolutely furious!
Wouldnt you?

End the TanneBust experiment. He's worse then Henne.


Only other way a team would trade away its 1st rd pick is for 1 2nd rd pick this year and our 1st rd pick in 2013.

Now, if we had the 1st 3 picks of the 2nd rd, a team at the absolute bottom of the 1st rd "might" do a deal for our 2nd rd pick this year, plus our 2nd rd pick next year. But sitting at 44 in the 2nd rd, you gotta give up both of those 2nd rd picks.

Even if we had the first within the first 3 picks of the 2nd rd. To trade back into the 1st rd most likely cost that 2nd rd pick and 3rd pick in 2013. Then the 2nd rd pick in 2014.

No one's going to let us trade back into the 1st rd cheaply simply because "we want to".

Way to go Ross step back from last season!!


Total Offense: 27th (311.5 yards per game)
Scoring: 27th (18.0 points per game)
Rushing offense: 17th (112.6 yards per game)
Passing offense: 26th (198.9 yards per game)
Turnovers: 17th (26)
Red Zone offense: 13th (touchdowns on 55.3 percent of opportunities)
Red Zone scoring: 20th (points on 84.2 percent of opportunities)
Third-down conversions: 16th (37.7 percent)
Fourth-down conversions: T-27th (33.3 percent)


Total Defense: 21st (356.6 yards per game)
Scoring: 7th (19.8 points per game)
Rushing defense: 13th (108.4 yards per game)
Passing defense: 27th (248.4 yards per game)
Takeaways: T-28th (16)
Red Zone defense: 1st (touchdowns allowed on 42.6 percent of opportunities)
Red Zone scoring: 10th (points allowed on 81.5 percent of opportunities)
Third-down defense: 11th (36.6 percent)
Fourth-down defense: 28th (70.6 percent)

Turnover margin: T-24th (minus-10)
Point differential: 20th (minus-29)

..I disagree that we have to sign Reggie Bush. So much is dependant on what sort of contract we can negotiate. None of us know what he will want, or what would be a satisfactory offer to keep Bush here. We don't know what sort of interest other teams may have in his services.

It makes it hard to say resign him, becuase we don't know the parimeters of a deal. You can't just pound your fist and say resign him before understanding the consequences.

We need to trade the 1st get another 2nd n have 4 picks in first two rds n 2 3rds... We take best wr in draft first then with 3 2nds we take ertz or eifert then a DE and a the best OG cux we need an athletic guard gor the zone now in the 3rd i say we take lacy rb from bama if bush is gone which i hope n have miller the speed n lacy the beast rinnin the ball... We all kno thomas is useless for what hes supposed to b good at(short yrdg) all hes good at his pass blockin

Now if we do all this while signing jennings or wallace and hartline of course we now have an offense exactly like gb with 4 wrs who can play any time n a real threat at TE even better we will have solid run game only thing i forgot on O is sign a RT or draft in 3rd

We got a DE on d now n jus need to find a corner in fa.... Theres no elites worth drafting in 1st or 2nd

Our Offense is SET and D just improved. Can anyone here disagree with any of this all around?? N incase ur wonderin the best wr is hunter from tenn watch the film

dey ain't anybody better than irecorn at being able 2 start early in fa.

Happy New Year guys,

Miami at #12! Let's hope we don't trade back this time and end up with the devastating combo of Odrick/Misi over a Dez Bryant type talent. Way to swing and miss on that Jeffy.

I see a lot of you are in favor of a pass rusher and it does make sense. There are a lot of good pass rushers out there but they are so hard to predict because in college they are usually bigger and stronger then eveyrone around them and it's why so many become bust.

If I had to choose where I would go it would be Kenny Vaccaro Safety from Texas. He's 6 foot 210 and reminds me a lot of Earl Thomas who Miami also could of had but again the devastating meat and potatoes play of Odrick and Misi was too enticing for Jeffy to not pick a difference maker in the secondary.

Anyway back to Vaccarro he and the rising play of Reshad Jones would seem to sure up the weakness that has plagued Miami for years. The CBs still suck but why not sure up the back end with an elite cover (in college) safety.


To become a serious playoff threat, we need to at least become a top 10 scoring offense. That alone makes us a pererenial 10-11 win a season team. Hell, we won 9 games with the 27th worst scoring offense.

Defense gave up right at 20ppg, can you imagine had the offense averaged 26ppg, what we would be talking about right now?

I would said our upcoming playoff opponent.

Daryl D....

I agree...
I don't think Bush is such a VITAL piece in this puzzle....

I like Bush alot....EVEN to the point that he is my FAVORITE FIN currently....love his work ethic..leadership....and passion....

but for whatever reason...he has not been used to his FULL compacity as a FIN...and that is disapointing....I don't know if it's because he is insistent on running between the tackles...or because Philbin and SHerman feel that is the best way to utilize thhis RB who is OH SO talented in other facets of the offensive game....

In any case....in order for Bush to be the Bush we knew and loved comming from the Saints....we need the innovation and creativity that helped him live up to his Heisman Trophy status with the Saints....the VERSATILITY that earned Bush a SB ring....not this 2 yards and a cloud of dust mentality that has consumed Bush and this offense for the past 2 years....

Bring Bush back...If were going to use him in a way that is to OUR advantage...not his (Bush's ego)....or the opposing defense's.....


Andy, the S position needs to be addressed but not with our first round pick. Did any player beside Wake constantley put pressure on the QB? A DL that puts contant pressure on the QB will lead to the QB into making bad throws which could lead to more TOs. Go with the best available pass rusher first, and then offensive players with the next couple of picks. The offense is pathetic

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