« Losing season over, winning offseason must begin | Main | GM Salguero's outline offseason plan »

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."



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The Seer,

OK bud.....we got it. You're not spending your money.....LOL. Good for you.

Mark and others,

I actually think if we looked at a trade back, the Bears at 20 would be an interesting option. Pretty sure they are going to be looking for a tackle. Can they get a good one at 20? Not sure they can. Maybe they trade up with us and give up their second too and we take a WR or TE at 20. Just a thought.

Ireland + Cap Space + Draft Picks - putrid poop.

Part of the problem is that Ireland-lovers like those trying to bully this blog give Ross & org. the impression there's no public demand for a change.



Osi solves the Olivier Vernon development problem too. Vernon could quietly develop behind Wake and Umenyiora. He'll be learning behind 2 of the very best too.

I see 2 scenarios with our 1st round pick.
Imho all depends if we sign Long or not.
If sign Jake, then we will sign Chance Warmack and have this OL: Long,Incognito,Pouncey,Warmack,Martin.
If we do not sign Jake, then we will draft, OT Matthews from texas A/M. Our OL should be in this case: Martin-Incognito-Pouncey-Jerry(Fa sign)-Matthews.
Then we need to draft, WR,CB,TE, and of course sign some WR in FA.

I guess because someone doesnt agree that they should end it with Ireland means that people are Ireland lovers.. So i guess its black and white with you..
You honestly think Ross doesnt know fans are unhappy? Sometimes being the boss means making unpopular choices.. He became a billionaire by making those choices and not making ones based on public opinion..

At the #12 spot, its absolutely a great spot to trade back and pick up an extra 2nd rd pick.

At the 12 spot you're not going to draft a player who's a significant upgrade over a player picked at #25. Just my opinion.

Bills are a pretty good example of how FA can be fool's gold, too.

Didn't they spend a fortune on that defense a year ago, including nabbing the biggest "prize" out there in Mario Williams?

End result? 6-10 futility and their coaching staff being shown the exit.

It just never works.

"According to Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News, there could be a total housecleaning of the Buffalo Bills as head coach Chan Gailey and GM Buddy Nix may be dismissed by owner Ralph Wilson. Under Gailey, the Bills are just 16-32 after Sunday's victory against the New York Jets in the regular-season finale. The Bills have not made the playoffs since 1999.
Speaking of the Jets, GM Mike Tannebaum could be replaced (or demoted) by owner Woody Johnson after a second straight season where the organization has more closely resembled a circus than a playoff team. As for the Jets' coaching staff, head coach Rex Ryan has two years remaining on his contract and appears safe, but offensive coordinator Tony Sparano is not expected back in 2013."

Armando! You were declaring the Dolphins losers of the off season because the Bills got Williams and the Jets did whatever. Look at them now, house cleaning. Not to mention almost every member of the media picking the fins to win 2 games. Now silence, I can hear crickets chirping. Write a story on that! ;)

YG, Osi is done. Saw him up close in personal in November. The Giants people were saying the burst is gone. Once the legs are gone, it's gone.

. I think Dansby and Burnett get one more season, before we need to address LBer, likely in the draft.

Craig M | December 31, 2012 at 01:15 PM

It depends on who falls at the 12th spot Tex A&M D.Moore should be gone but LSU's S.Montgomery and Barkavious Mingo maybe both there and either would bring some pass rush ability right away. I still feel though that if by some chance Te'o is still on the boards we should grab him given we pick twice RD-2 were someone like maybe Michigan St's William Gholston should be there at 6'6"/275 and flying under the radar. The trick RD-2 at this point is what happens with Long and his demands because we may have our hand forced with A&M RT Matthews and in a deep Safety draft we can't affored to pass on maybe a TJ McDonald at 2B without even mentioning the WR position which is why I keep telling you that given the FA group we may need to invest in someone in the group given no great TE available that route and a need there as well, all in all this Off-Season makes or breaks us for a few Yrs. given our wide range of possibilities given our position.

I think the good thing about this draft and FA period is Philbin and Ireland know each other better now. Ireland has to be all in on Philbin as this is his job security. So what Philbin wants in players Ireland can get him. I think Philbin sets a clear case as to the type of player he wants and will best fit his system.
With Ireland and Sparano, it seemed as if the O had no clear direction and he was picking players to plug into a shattered puzzle. As Sparano proved again with the Jets hes not an offensive genius.

matty @ 1:35pm,

Very well said....and that's it in a nutshell. If you're not in the 'fire Jeff Ierland' camp it means that you're a 'Jeff Ireland lover' or 'in love with mediocrity'. It's such bull shyte!

Because we don't agree with the massed we're wrong. What kid of thinking is that? I was taught to think for myself and I don't need anyone telling me what's right or wrong. There's a TON of teams firing their GMs or coaches today. How many of them do you think will get ir right? Take a guess! Ever notice how it's always the same teams....Browns, Cards, Jags. Continual cycle. Not too much movement with the Steelers or Ravens or Packers. Must be a coincidence. Steelers were 8-8 this year but GM and coach are safe. Wonder why? Bet they blow the wad in FA.....LOL.

How on Earth is stating that Ireland is NOT going to be fired an expression of "love" for him?

It is simply acknowledging a FACT. Something that some of you appear to be quite incapable of.

You can react to that FACT however you desire, including banging your heads against a wall, screaming at the moon, getting drunk, crying, rocking back and forth in a fetal position, or thretening to jump off a building but it changes NOTHING.

That's not "love" for Jeff Ireland. It's REALITY.


"More bad news?

How about this: Multiple sources tell me that the only way Alex Smith is going to sign with the Dolphins is if Peyton Manning goes to San Francisco.

That's right, even the jilted 49'ers quarterback would prefer to return to the team that jilted him over the Dolphins organization that on Sunday tried to recruit him to Miami. Smith's camp has made this clear to the Dolphins."

Loved this one! Alex Smith is a moron, hows that for a new story?! He could have come to Miami, been payed very well, would have practically been handed the starting QB position, would have allowed us to use our first on a defensive end, and the Dolphins would probably be in the playoffs.

Instead he stayed loyal to San Fran, only to be tossed aside like yesterdays garbage after posting the best numbers in his career through the first qtr of the season! Suck it Smith! Have fun warming that bench in the playoffs.

Craig, after 2010, the thought of a trade back makes me want to jab nails into my temples. Can we finally start picking up premium position players with our picks???


I saw Dashi post on the weekend that by adding a MLBer in the draft it's going to improve our pass rush. Can you explain to me how that's going to work because for the life of me I can't get my head around it.

Phins78 @ 1:38pm,

Very well said. Add the Bucs to that list too. We were told be the media that the BUCS were the 'BIG winners' in the offseason because of the money they spent in FA. I must have missed it but didn't they finish with a worse record than us?

Eight coaches out!

Several GMs too!

We'll show 'em.............stand pat, stay the course, don't scout those local small college kids, trade away assets for peanuts, never make a free agent feel wanted (after all, we are doing HIM a favor).

The Way of the Water Boy: How to get Promoted Beyond Your Level And Fool The Fans & Especially The Owner

Ever notice how it's always the same teams....Browns, Cards, Jags. Continual cycle. Not too much movement with the Steelers or Ravens or Packers. Must be a coincidence. Steelers were 8-8 this year but GM and coach are safe. Wonder why? Bet they blow the wad in FA.....LOL.

Posted by: Craig M | December 31, 2012 at 01:41 PM


100% agreed.

Phins78 I agree, also, Id rather have a QB like Tannehill who proved he is all in by accepting the clause in his contract about his 4th and the guarenteed money vs a player that would only come here if something happened that he didnt like..
Im not saying you agree with me on Tannehill but id take a player commited to a team over a QB like that.

The best thing that could happen to this franchise is if Mark Cuban would buy the team from Ross...Ireland would be out before he could even introduce himself...

The Seer,
when you report to work at the Dolphins facility, do you use a punch card or a computered based program to clock your time in and out?

I ask because it seems you are privy to inside knowledge of how things are in the organization..

AJ Smith? Chargers have become an old, fading team with some of the worst drafts in the NFL the past few years. No thanks!!

Dave | December 31, 2012 at 01:18 PM

Agreed! His idea of back ups at TE/RB were Randy McMicheal and Ronnie Brown while having especially at T.E. drafted no one with A.Gates fading fast over the last 3 Yrs.

He's up there with Carl Peterson and Bill Polian (whose son Chris will actually end up running things) on my list of wants to run the F.O.

I'm starting to shake uncontrollably with the thoughts of picking another offensive lineman in the first round. Not again .... We will be the new Detroit Lions ... same position every year. Soooner or later you have to cut bait with a position. You drafted the talent there already. Make it work with what you have and fill the rest in with free agency.


Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying don't draft LBer at 8. I actually think of Moore and Montgomery more as DE's in the 4-3. I like those guys very much, as well as Dion Jordan. I need to look at it a little bit further but I think grabbing one of those guys would make me really happy. In my plan, we wouldn't be resigning Wake and we'd be moving Odrick inside, opening a spot for somebody for DE at 12. This way we would be playing a TRUE 4-3 defence. I don't see Odrick as true DE, but more of a hybrid.

Here's one from June.

"My greatest concern is not that the Dolphins didn't land Matt Flynn, although it does raise flags, eyebrows and hackles."

This was in a story about not overpaying for Smith. So how are those flags and raised eyebrows now? Flynn is a bench warmer and would have been a disaster in Miami. How about the hackles from the national media? Are they going to back track and say they were wrong and Philbin was right now? Seeing how Philbin already knew the kid and the rest of us had no clue what he could do. But no one stopped to think about that. Just a bunch of stories about how stupid Philbin and the Dolphins were for not signing a backup to be their franchise QB.

I love black Monday!

Mark, to be honest with you, I wouldn't even be surprised...



Not sure we have to take a lineman in the first round. There's some guys available in the third and fourth. Were you thinking tackle or guard or both?


I respectfully disagree about the Alex Smith situation. Its pretty clear, even though he got SF to the nfc championship game last year, he's now being regarded nore "caretaker" than farnchise qb.

So, if I were a betting man, even had Smith signed with us, Ryan Tannehill would have still been our 8th overall pick. I just believe it would have been "more realistic" Tannehill sits for at least "1 full season" behind Smith.

Maybe 2 full seasons if Smith doesnt completely fall apart during this time. The major clue of this is even Harbaugh didnt have future plans with Smith as his starter. Hence, Colin Kaepernick is now, "The Man" in SF.

Raise your hand if you thought Scott Pioli was a personnell "genius" just a few, short years ago. Just the kind of guy that could come to Miami and do everything someone lik Ireland hasn't.

C'mon, you know you did.

Now, let's see the hands of those who still think of him as that same Boy Wonder.

It's ALL wrapped up in having the right QB, folks. Without that, it ain't gonna happen.

And if anybody thinks there are ANY coaches or GM's out there with magic pixie dust and the divinely-gifted ability to get things right all the time, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn fo sale.

Remember Rick Spielman and how awful he was in Miami? That same Rick Spielman was named "NFL Executive of the Year" a couple of years later in Minnesota.

Some of you may want to consider that for a moment.


So you're predicting the price tag on Jennings will be something like 5 year and $45 mil?

Craig M | December 31, 2012 at 01:18 PM

I believe he will command 8 to 9 Mil. a Yr. he will get offers from alot of teams. The trick with his deal will be the guaranteed portion but if I were to be completely honest of all available this guy's the one who truly plays with passion and seems to love the game not saying the others don't but Jennings is a Football player and from all accounts good Locker room guy there's just to many guys in G.B. to tie up alot of money on a WR. I still feel Wallace the more explosive but Jennings is probably the safest bet to show up and bring his A game week in week out!

It gets better! This one was priceless. Come on Armando, still want Flynn at 8 mil a season with a 10 million signing bonus?! :)

"I'm sure the Dolphins will eventually portray this as having a plan (yeah, right) and sticking to that plan of not overspending for any player (including a QB). I'm sure they'll eventually get the message out that Flynn was a nice but not great option.

Sorry, but some facts simply get in the way. For example, someone else apparently believes Flynn is worth a good but not great contract. Seattle is paying approximately $8 million per season -- probably less when the actual numbers come in -- and that's not exactly breaking the bank for a starting QB. Even the $10 million signing bonus is modest for a QB. All indications are the Dolphins thought Flynn to be that potential starter but still couldn't pay him that?"


You're an roll today bud.....funny stuff!!

Of course the media won't backtrack. When have they ever?

I wonder who in the end makes an Organization be successful? I guess It's the Owner(s) because the buck stops there.

Guys - what makes you think Ireland will spend money this year or even if he does open up Ross' wallet what makes you think a Wallace Jennings bowe will even consider coming to this team. We couldn't even get Laurent Robinson to come here last year and he signed with the jags of all teams! Ireland has made it that free agents will not come here - they want to win!

Craig, really any lineman at all. I mean, if the coaches can't make it work with a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd pick on the line (not even factoring in Jake Long) then either the GM deserves to lose his job for investing heavily in subpar talent or the coaches are no good and I think the coach is pretty good. Drafting another tackle or guard does not advance this team at all in the early rounds. Like U2 used to sing ... you're running to stand still ...

The Pittsburgh Steelers, since the new millenium, have 12 playoff wins and 2 Super Bowl victories...We have 1 playoff win in over a decade...Better luck next time...


Umenyiora is a guy I would like to have because he's also on my "SMART" football player list. If there's anything we lack more than talent on this roster. Its "SMART TALENT".

Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | December 31, 2012 at 01:31 PM

Without a doubt would make for PHENOM addition but what will his demands be he signed a big contract in N.Y. then became a pain in the a s s about it a couple of Yrs. later demanding a renegotiate. I love the idea but here you have to wait and see what the market puts him at in the FA bidding


I agree on you with Jennings and the type of player he is. I don't believe he'll get anywhere close to $9 mil a year based on his injuries the last couple of years. Not too many teams I can think of who would pay him that money. Raiders maybe? Chargers?

I don't see it happening. If that's what he wants, I'm not interested.

IMO, AJ Smith's biggest problem was everytime the Chargers were at the crusp of taking the next step, he always detracted major talent by allowing them to walk in fa.

Its was really embarrasing the way he handle the LaDanian Tomlinson situation. I think that was where AJ Smith first began losing his team.

But Mark, the o-line is the most important thing...Let's keep building the o-line and keep Mustrud, Marlon Moore, Devone Bess and Anthony Fasano as our big weapons...


The Buffalo Bills just announced the signing of pass-rush machine Mario Williams, the biggest defensive prize in free agency. Oh yeah, the Dolphins can still answer that move because backup offensive lineman Artis Hicks is still being wooed by Miami!

Yeah, I'm sure the move makes Peyton Manning want to come to the Dolphins more. "I've been able to play against great quarterbacks," Williams said, "I'm looking forward to chasing down these [AFC East] quarterbacks."

The Patriots are expected to soon start hosting visits, with LaRon Landry a likely target. No worries, the Dolphins don't worry about other teams' safeties because the word around the NFL is new Dolphins coach Joe Philbin doesn't like alpha wide receivers on his team. He likes his offense to have two or preferrably three good receivers rather than one supremely talented guy that demands the football.

So take that safeties! The Dolphins may not have better talent at receiver today than two days ago, but at least you can't gameplan for Miami's guys!

Plus the Dolphins just signed Steve Slaton to a one-year deal so they're ready to return kickoffs for touchdowns anyway ... and now they have a third running back in the mold of Reggie Bush.

The Jets are about to get a visit from safety Reggie Nelson, a former first-round pick and someone Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle knows well. No serious interest from the Dolphins so far. (BWAAHAHAHAHA)

More proof of that is the Titans, hoping to upgrade the offensive line for Manning, just announced the signing of guard Steve Hutchinson -- a Fort Lauderdale native. (BWAAHAHAHAHAHA)

The Dolphins, meanwhile, have re-signed try-hard bottom of the roster defensive end Ryan Baker but are apparently ready to lose Kendall Langford, who today is visiting with the Bengals and could next go to St. Louis.

Why am I not all that impressed with Miami's first couple of days in free agency, you ask? Read the last few paragraphs again. Tell me what move impresses so far?"
I can answer that now that the season actually played out. NONE OF THE MOVES IMPRESSED! LOL

Maybe the Williams move was okay but exactly how did that make them better than us? It didn't. And all of the BS about Tebow and the Jets becoming a machine now because he's there and he "just knows how to win". Too bad he doesn't know how to get on the field!

I AM privy to how things DO NOT WORK in the organization.

But honestly, except for the Defenders of Ireland Brigade, is it that hard to see what dreck Ireland has put on the field.

The proof of the "pudding" is in the eating, and the fans have been eating Tuna-droppings since Bill & his unqualified crew arrived.


I think you meant not resigning Starks (not Wake). I agree with that thought process though. I don't like wasting money on signing FA linemen from other teams. The exampe of the Bills is a good one. They certainly did not get their money's worth and paid a ton this year. I think that you groom your own pass rushers and then resign them if they are worth it (like we did with Wake). Also, Usi is done and would be a tremendous disappointment if we sign him. I would still spend the money on a FA WR as there will be a potentially great pass rusher when we pick in the first round. The Draft is lacking top flight receivers this year.

Guys, I'm warning you about Osi. Even their own fans don't want him back. That should be a big red flag.


Yeah I'm really disappointed that we didn't go out and spend $36 million on Laurent Robinson. What a GREAT year he had! That's EXACTLY the reason you don't do contracts like that. Now they're stuck with him!

And what money were we going to use to sign him? We had no cap space?

Im on board with you Seer about Tuna, but where do you draw the line between the "Tuna droppings" and what Ireland has done. The only clear line that I can see is the past two years..

nstead he stayed loyal to San Fran, only to be tossed aside like yesterdays garbage after posting the best numbers in his career through the first qtr of the season! Suck it Smith! Have fun warming that bench in the playoffs.

Posted by: Phins78 | December 31, 2012 at 01:44 PM

Fins 78....the above is true...but NOT necessarily accurate......

Smith wasn't a FA.....he was under contract....after the Manning Debacle.....they gave him some MAKE-UP money and extended him.....so he couldn't just sign with us....a trade would have been needed to be worked out......

What sucks for Smith is that now...instead of being a COVETED FA.....he is stuck in purgatory behind KAP....and that is were he will be for the forseable future....as the money that the 9ers gave Smith does not make him a very likely trade candidate.....KUDOS to Harbaugh for screwing the SH@T out of his QB....and its why I hope they don't win the SB......

The last man to "SPURN" the FINS because he thought we were beneath him...KYLE ORTON.....and now he is Romo's BEACH......

MOORE...take notes....

6 sacks in 16 games. That's jared Odrick production (who was out of position) without the run support and a big contract.

Cardinals just fired Wisenhunt and their Gm


I did mean Starks....thanks.

Mark, not saying I'm sold on Usi but I think he should be part of the conversation. It's not the way I want to go but I think he should be discussed.

Okay, I'm done. Just having some fun pointing out the things I disagreed with that made the trolls cal me a moron. Someday they might look in the mirror and see the truth.

Oh yeah, Brandon Marshall must be so happy he went to the Bears so he can be in the playoffs......oh wait.


This is Umenyiora's final contract. He's 31yrs old right now.

Hell no, we dont break the bank for him. But if he would be willing to come at a decent price, then welcome aboard. He gives 3-4yrs for us to see if we will have anything in Olivier Vernon too.

He also opens the door for Odrick to go to DT and let Starks walks. If we could get Umenyiora for about what it would take to sign Starks. I would do it in a heartbeat. It would equate to a "Starks for Umenyiora trade".

Craig M

I'm not saying we should've signed him. BUT he wouldn't even visit us? Players don't want to play here! Why would Wallace come here. Unproven QB and a Gm with a terrible rep amongst players

I wonder if Bob Kraft is the sole owner of the NE Patriots or if he has other Football knowledgeable part owners around him. We should emulate the Patriots organization.

Posted by: jrs | December 31, 2012 at 01:43 PM

LOL, nice.

Stevet, you're right. The Dolphins will have to seriously OVERPAY to bring anyone down to Miami...


I respectfully disagree about the Alex Smith situation. Its pretty clear, even though he got SF to the nfc championship game last year, he's now being regarded nore "caretaker" than farnchise qb.


That's cool YG nothing wrong with disagreeing. But did you see his numbers in the beginning of the season? The guy was at the top of the league in every category.

Whatever Joe Roobie and his Family had been, they ran a hugely successful Organization until Robbie's son sold the Team. Have to learn from those Robbies also.

Craig, I'm saying no on Osi. Not even for $2M a year. It would be a completely wasted investment. he was a great warrior but his time is done. he has his rings and his millions and was funny as heck in wishing Lesean McCoy a happy mother's day. But he's done. The legs are burnt out. There's no fountain of youth for that. Same thing happened to our Dansby when he allowed himself to get to 475 lbs. or whatever he weighed at the start of last year. These guys are finely tuned and when you abuse it, you lose it. These guys will still look great in their Armani suits, but as footbally players, they're done.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 14 15 »

The comments to this entry are closed.