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Annual free agency lull comes to the Dolphins

The Dolphins have moved onto the next step of their offseason plan and that means free agency is on hold, barring an unexpected opportunity, until after the NFL draft.

That's the message I'm getting from multiple team personnel who texted Wednesday afternoon. I asked if the club that hasn't had a free agent visit in nearly a week might be done for a while and the responses were similar across the board.

"That's probably accurate although we never say never," one team official responded.

"Unless something falls off a tree," another team official said.

"What's left worth signing anyway?" one more smart-alecky team person said.

(Just kidding dude, love you.)

Here's the deal:

The Dolphins have signed eight unrestricted free agents and have plenty of salary cap room to sign more if they wish. According to NFLPA figures released Wednesday evening the Dolphins have $8,263,667 in cap space available. That includes all their transactions through Wednesday.

And, you must remember, the Dolphins will get a $10.4 million cap savings after June 1 when the releases of both Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett are figured onto the cap.

So that means the Dolphins could use their entire $8.2 million in current space and have enough after June 1 to sign all their draft picks, add priority free agents after the draft, add a practice squad and also have enough for an emergency stash for the regular season.

This truly is good cap work so far by GM Jeff Ireland and Executive VP of football administration Dawn Aponte.

Nonetheless, the Dolphins aren't likely to spend that entire $8 million because, well, the up-value portion of free agency is done, the bargain hunting part of free agency is donel, and now what remains is the fill holes part of free agency that typically comes after the draft.

In case you're wondering what fill holes free agency means, its when teams take inventory after the draft and if they feel they failed to meet a need in the draft, they fill that need with an available veteran. That is usually a cheap signing.

There is, however, as you read above a caveat to the free agency silence you'll hear from the Dolphins until after the draft:

If a veteran Miami covets suddenly gets cut by another team before the draft, then free agency can kick back on. If a veteran, such as Eric Winston, suddenly has an epiphany and decides he'll play very, very cheaply for the Dolphins instead of waiting for someone to offer him better money, then Miami's interest might be rekindled.

The Dolphins' interest in Winston has otherwise waned somewhat.

[Update: The Falcons are releasing RT Tyson Clabo today, per his agent. Perhaps that is a possibility. Sounds like someone falling off a tree to me.]

The personnel department and coaching staff are grinding on draft eligible players. That's the front-burner issue now. Free agency?

Not so much. 

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Hey, folks the numbers are in from last month they show it was one of the best months in the history of this blog. Thank you. And follow me on twitter please.

Comments

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Congrats on your numbers this past month. Ive been reading this blog for a long time and yes, you have done some of your best writing / analyses of facts ever...excellent work Mando. I hope we don't loose you to FA!

I see Dashe got toasted last night. Dominated really.

Just love that last word don't You.

You need that last word.

New blog and you still acting like an ass clown.

Doggie, I have you figured out. Admit it.

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P.S.- I rather you talk about me than Keep Ruining This Blog for Everyone. So Go Right ahead the floor is Yours Speak Clown!!

Oh, and everyone here thinks your corny.

It would be wise to hold some cash in reserve to renew or extend contracts for worthy players who are only signed for this year. Such as Dustin Keller who if he stays healthy & productive would be worth retaining. Maybe a long term deal for Reshad Jones if he continues to excel. You don't want any uneccessary holes to fill going into next year's offseason.

Let it roll into 2014 1 J.Ireland you've a great job so far, now finish the job 3 weeks Jeff !! We need a WR-PR-OT-OG-CB-FS-TE pr=pass rusher by the way !! Bottom line is we need playmakers in this draft period !!

Needs are fairly straight forward now. Tackle. Cornerback (I like the Grimes pickup, but how much can you trust an ACL to heal 100%?) ...

We of course can upgrade in other positions, but we are in a great position this draft to go in an just pick the best players on the board no matter the position. We haven't been in this position in ... Hmm... I've been a fan for over 30 years, and I can't remember the last time we were in this position.

Can't wait for this draft. Last years was obviously excited with Tannehill being taken, but this years is one where we can go from being mediocre to actually being good.

Look for Charles Clay to catch 6 TD's this year.

Dear sheehanje:

Twas not an ACL... it was a blown Achille's as I recall. Just sayin'.

I have never been a huge Kiper fan....in fact I can't actually watch him on TV because he annoys me for some reason. But I do have to respect the amount of time and energy he puts into researching college players. So, it was interesting to hear his take on viable picks for the Fins at #12.

Fluker, Austin, Johnson were players he mentioned. Although Johnson will likely not be there. So he believed Fluker was a solid pick. He RAVED about Austin's ability and didn't seem concerned about his size at all.

He also mentioned that Rhodes and Trufant should be viewed as solid picks after #19 and that the Fin's would be basically over drafting at #12 if they were selected.

I am intrigued that there is so much 'noise' around Austin as the draft draws closer. Will Ireland pull the trigger on him or will he shy away after the Ginn disaster?

I understand the logic but being that we will have $5-10M in free cap space when the season starts, why didn't we make better offers to Dumerville, Jake Long, or any of the other LT's that were available? Or, made Wes Welker an offer?

Kiper was also very high on Eifert and felt he would be a solid top 20 pick given the priority the NFL has placed on TE's. It wouldn't be considered a stretch if the Fin's grabbed him at #12.

Really might not be a bad idea. Keller is only signed for one year. I hope Keller plays well and signs for a few more. Eifert & Keller together would be a great tandem for the next several years. The TE position would be a true strength and it would be great for THILL to have them both to turn to.

and Fins could easily create a good bit more cap space by cutting Carpenter and D Patterson, if they replace them in the draft

jpao, right on bro...Eifert would be awesome...I've been saying it all along...Give Tannehill another weapon...As far as I'm concerned, TE or CB would make the most sense...But I really love Warmack and Vaccaro...

benz, I don't think Patterson is going anywhere...They might ask him to restructure but I don't think they'll just cut him...Way too thin at the CB position...

With the Fin's schedule of picks below (11 total) I am wondering if they could TRADE UP and be willing to walk out of the draft with 6-7 players but have them be more of a guarantee to start. I usually see players in Rounds 1-3 as starters. After that it's a bit of a mixed bag of uncertainty.

So, I am curious to know if it's viable to parlay the 4th, 5th, 7th picks to trade up to Round 3 and get as many in round three as possible?

First round: Pick No. 12
Second round: Pick No. 42
Second round: Pick No. 54
Third round: Pick No. 77
Third round: Pick 82

Parlay Wish List:

Round Three: TRADE UP with Fourth round: Pick No. 14 in the round and the 3 Seventh Round picks available.

Round Three: TRADE UP with the 2 5th Rounds picks available.

If this is possible (i.e. if the "points" work out) I would do it in a minute.

They brought in Dee Milliner for a visit. I wonder why?

NO WELFARE FOR THE 4.4 BILLION DOLLAR MAN.

#1.....yeah, I dont necessarily think they will cut Patterson, or should (I wouldnt), just saying its a reasonable option if they end up with 2 solid CBs in the draft......younger and much cheaper, as Patterson is making around 4-5 mill--and has been a mediocre starter to backup most of his career-if they re-sign Grimes (hopefully) would have alot tied up in CBs......so Pattersons contract could be an issue, if they have rookies in the wings

You have the worst QB in the AFC and QB isn’t a priority?

The way I see it, Milliner is the best of a mediocre group of CBs. Not elite but pretty complete, he's stronger than he looks, and fast as hell.

I actually liked Patterson over Marshall. If one gets cut I hope it's Marshall.

Everyone agrees that Millner is the best CB in the draft and will likely go top 10 so won't be available at #12 for the Fins. The questions have been around Trufant and Rhodes. Some argue Trufant is better fit for the zone scheme. But Kiper and most other 'gurus' believe both are a 'stretch' or 'reach' at #12.

jpao,

Your trade up scenario is pretty interesting stuff. I don't think it would be a bad idea as long as they didn't go overboard with.

A lot of the 5th, 6th and 7th rounders never make the final roster anyways. So why not use the extras and the late rounders to bump up our picks in the first four rounds?

missed opportunity with not picking up solid DE. a good pass rush compesates for average to slightly above average DB'S. Ed Lacy should be the first pick. it would solidify the running game for a number of years and add an old school dimension to the team. if not lacy than a solid DE would work.

Odinseye,

That's my concept. Just not sure it's feasible in the draft point system. Every pick is assigned points and as GM's trade picks they usually use the points to make sure they are getting 'fair value.' So, not sure if my proposed plan adds up in terms of those points. But directionally, I don't think we need 11 players. So, I would rather see Ireland Trade Up to round 3 is possible. If not round 4 would be fine.

Steve, the worst QB in the AFC? Really? I'd say Tanny's better than at least Weeden and Sanchez... just off the top of my head

#1 Agreed on those three players... Eifert/ Ertz, Vaccaro, and Warmack all will be great. I've been thinking it may be the best move to trade down and try to land Vaccaro and Ertz or Eifert and Cyprien. It may be possible...

Trade up for LT. Repeat. Trade up for LT.

Who gives a CRAP about what Mel Kiper says. That dude is an idiot. Hey Kiper, Jimmy Clausen called he wants his draft analysis back.

top Safety list in order imo

Vaccaro (mid 1st)
Cyprien (late 1st)
Swearinger (early 2nd)
Elam (mid 2nd)
Reid (mid 2nd)

You have the worst QB in the AFC and QB isn’t a priority?
Posted by: Steve | April 04, 2013 at 08:14 AM

We have the 2nd BEST QB in the AFC EAST. Hell, we got the 2nd AND the 3rd best QB in the AFC EAST your fracking dumb shyt.

Steve likes Matt Barkley... lmao

OK....here is the points associated with the Fins' pick. You can find the draft points table on line. So, when we all suggest TRADE UP or TRADE DOWN we should be realistic with the points value. If the points don't add up the trades don't stand a chance.

Round 1 #12 1,200 points
Round 2 #42 480 points
Round 2 #54 360 points
Round 3 #77 205 points
Round 3 #82 180 points
Round 4 #111 72 points
Round 5 #146 33 points
Round 5 #166 25 points
Round 7 #217 4.6 points
Round 7 #224 2 points
Round 7 #250 1.5 points

Whats funny about that BEERCASE @ 923 is that most people around here wanted Barkley way before RT last year. I remember all the "if Barkley was coming out" crap post after post.

So, if Ireland tried to TRADE UP to Round 3 #96 (gaining 6th pick in the top 100 players) he would need to total 116 points.

To get 116 points we would have to give:

Round 4 #111 72 points
Round 5 #146 33 points
Round 7 #217 4.6 points
Round 7 #224 2 points
Round 7 #250 1.5 points

Giving up 5 lower round players for another top 100 pick. Worth it?

So, as it stands, going into the draft our best Left Tackle Prospect is Jonathon Martin. Of course, he's our best prospect at Right Tackle as well. Not much depth to speak of either.

Ireland has done a GREAT JOB with aquisitions and cap management for this Free Agency period. But I can't imagine the situation at Tackle(Right and Left)being part of the plan. There has to be an epic fail in the mix.

Was Ireland so sure he could sign Jake, that he got caught without any viable contingency plan?

It's either that or he's been planning on getting one of the top LT's in round 1 all along. It's too big of a chance trying to address such an important position any later. Especially when you consider we have virtually NO DEPTH as is.

If we had to "line up" right now, Martin would start Left and Garner Right. Who do we have behind those two? You can pretend that Jerry has the versatility. But then there's virtually no depth at guard either and Jerry could be pushing 400 Lbs again. One second year player in Samuda and a vet coming off a tough injury in Louis.

As it stands now, going into the draft, I have to call this an epic fail. Forget the smoke screens, forget all the talk about BPA and Playmakers. Forget all the talk about NOT having to draft for a position of need.

We have a GINORMOUS NEED staring us straight in the face. It's too risky to try and address such an important position/need in ANY of the later rounds. If this is how it is going in, Ireland will be forced to address the Left Tackle position with his first pick of the Draft.

jpao, are you assuming that we can't trade future draft picks as well?

jpao, odinseye,

It is precisely because 5,6 or 7th rounders very rarely make the team that no one would accept the kind of trades you refer to...

On the other hand, trade a 2nd rounder (think the next Koa Misi or the next Daniel Thomas) to move up in round 1 and grab one of the 3 good OTs would be great.

true but I'm guessing it was maybe two guys we all know use multiple names. Home and a couple other trolls just loved posting negative stuff. Anyways I'm going off what I see and I hate USC football. A lil biased but imo I'd rather have Sanchez than Barkley. Not a winner imo, and will be a bust.

We need Eifert or Ertz at TE. I keep insisting TE is so important now in the NFL. These guys will score lots of touchdowns, win games, are so hard to defend.

They are potential super stars, the rest are average Fasano like.

Eifert or Ertz, Eifert or Ertz, Eifert or Ertz.

I don't agree that Milliner is the best CB in the draft ...

I think Tyrann Mathieu is going to make it into the 2nd rd...

Guys, the more I think about it I think we should take a flyer on Tyrann Matheui, I know he had his fair of offseason issues, but his playmaking skills is undeniable. From the nickle or boundary CB position this guy has that Ed Reed magnet to the ball.

If hes there in the 3rd round take him, we need all the CB help we can get.

If a team has, say, the 12th pk. Up pops a player the pundits claim is only worthy of # 15 0r 18 pk but you have graded him higher. So what do you do, if IM the GM I take the chance on that player I want and the pundits can whine whine and whine how I "over drafted" my pick. If these pundits were all that good? They'd be working for some NFL team. When was the last time Mel Kiper "got it right"? Almost never. Same goes for that other pundit who never shuts up.(cant recall his name)And speaking the "points system" of draft pk values is something Jimmie Johnson dreamed up one day, while fishing.

I'd take him in the 2nd

IMO hes a younger Brent Grimes, the guy is a TO machine.

B33, the offseason issues and the year off, Im not sure he'll make it to the 2nd.

mark who is the best corner in draft according to u

mathieu is a moron , guy wont go any higher to some dumb franchbise like the raiders in round 5

I'd target 4 mid rd guys and trade down a lil to get more ammo to trade back into the 1st rd and grab 2of4. I'm hoping they get Eifert / Ertz & Vaccaro / Cyprien. Any combo would be fine. I think that'd add 1 starter on both sides of the ball. Clemons is alright but I see both of those two safeties and tight ends being stars.

dusty, you cant deny Matheiu was a playmaker in college, not sure you you post hes a moron, for want smoking cannibus, there far worst things to do.

we need cornerS and a left tackle badly.

I think a handful of teams are definitely interested in him. If he reverts to the honey badger you just landed a potential starter db. If you take awasy all the non football stuff you got yourself a 1st rd talent. undeniably. someone will take a shot on him.

which tackle will be better between Armstead and Watson?

AR-15 @9:43am,

Excellent point. Who really cares if you take a guy a few picks higher than these so-called draft 'experts' have then ranked. It means SQUAT!! Think some teams will like to go back and re-do some of their picks from last year? It's the same guys who didn't think Tannehill should be a top ten pick last year and it was a reach to take him at 8. There's a reason these guys are on the outside looking in, as you've said.

Rhodes at 12 makes a lot of sense to me. Not saying it's exactly what I want but I won't be disappointed if he's the pick. It fills a big need on our team and I like this guy. Hard to get upset with a pick like that.

Agreed with Odin.

This Looks A lot like last years Draft.

The Fins Have a Major Need(LT) and they didn't address it in FA. So Expect the 1st pick to be LT.

Do They Trade Up? Or Trade For B.Albert?

Now, some(the troll) ridiculed Dashi for Saying Jake Was #1 Priority in The Offseason!!

Who The F' is Laughing Now!!

LT is Still #1 Priority!!

Dashi doesn't want to hear nothing about I said we needed Jake Back!!

When the Only 2 People who have been saying all along KEEP JAKE!! Are Dashi and Craig M!!

Jake Or Player Of Equal Value!!

And Like I Said Yesterday the Fins Have 3 TE's Already On the Roster. Unless Clay or Keller want to Play FB. Drafting a TE Early seems out of the Question.

Remember it's not what you like. It is what the Dolphins Need. We Need A LT.

I'd only take a look at the Honey Badger in the 4th or 5th round. I don't see him as a starter you can count on. Too unreliable. I see him as more of a nickel back. I wouldn't be interested in taking him too high. Wasted pick, IMO.

Ar-15,

You just explained the T-Hill Scenario.

Ireland Goes by what he thinks. Not M.Kiper, or McShay.

Ireland did the same thing with Pouncey. People had him lower and M.Ingram Higher. What did Ireland Do?

If some of you will take your Ireland Hater Blockers Off. You will see Ireland has been on his Job.

Looks like the Falcons are set to release Tyson Clabo. Yeah I know....who? But I think we can add this guy to the discussion at RT. I'd say he's another guy along the lines of Winston. The more I think about things, I think it might be hard for Ireland to trade up in the first and get that LT. He may decide he's seen enough progress with Martin to keep him at LT and add a RT in FA. Who knows. I'd be fine with Rhodes at 12, but I'd LOVE to see him trade back into the first and get Eiffert. Nothing would make me happier.

So many different way Ireland could go with this draft. It also wouldn't surprise me to see him draft a RB in the 3rd or 4th and even draft a kicker in the 7th. Why not?

Armando....

we'd love to take credit, but you know it was only 2 people REALLY responsible for all those hits....

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