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Salguero overview of Dolphins free agency

Regular readers of this blog will remember I reported last week that free agency for the Dolphins is going on hiatus for bit while the focus shifts to the draft. Yes, there are caveats in that hiatus but those are explained in the post.

Well, that means the bulk of Miami's free agency haul is over for 2013.

The Dolphins signed eight free agents, re-signed four of their own free agents, and cut or let six other starting-caliber free agents walk.

So I want to tell you what I think of all this.

I want to do it one time

I want to do it on the record.

I want to do it so that come future days when free agents boom or bust, you know how I stood on each player. (I'm doing this because fans have short memories and those that follow me here or on twitter often say I advocated something I did not or failed to stand for something that I actually did.)

I'm not saying I'm always right. Obviously not. (You read my stuff so you know that's not true). But If I'm going to be wrong, I want to do it on my own (dis)abilities and not with anybody's help.

This should also give you forum for agreeing or disagreeing with me.

Here we go:  

SIGNINGS (contract details in parenthesis)

WR Mike Wallace (5 years for $60 million with $27 million guaranteed): I stood up and advocated for this one and reported on this one to the point of being nauseating. The Dolphins had to do this. The team had no deep threat and had shown precious little ability to add a deep threat this past decade -- remember Ted Ginn and Clyde Gates -- in the draft. So Miami had to overpay. Yes, this is overpaying. But that's what people do for a Rolls Royce. Wallace has averaged 8 TDs a year for years. He's rarely injured. He has never been a problem in the locker room. The Steelers wanted him back but couldn't afford him. That all suggests he's going to be a great addition. And that's what I think he'll be. I wanted him on the Dolphins as much as anybody. I stand by that. We'll see.

LB Dannell Ellerbe (5 years for $34.75 million with $14 million gtd.): Ellerbe said it himself, he thought he was going to be the heir to the Ray Lewis middle linebacker job in Baltimore. So on the surface that seems like a great get if outstanding GM Ozzie Newsome and the Super Bowl Champion Ravens thought that highly of Ellerbe. Except, well, they didn't. They let him go. Yes, they had cap issues. But it didn't stop them from adding Elvis Dumervil. So that gave me pause. Then this: The Baltimore Sun reported that at points during his time with the Ravens, Ellerbe was late to meetings, late to practice and liked to party -- a lot. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe it was early on and not something he dealt with lately, because the Dolphins assured me, "we did our homework," on all the free agents before signing them and part of that was knowing how they would conduct themselves off the field and around South Florida. Miami addressed the linebackers to "get more physical" and have the defense make more plays, according to GM Jeff Ireland and head coach Joe Philbin. Me? I'm not sold. I don't see linebackers in the 4-3 being the huge playmakers in the NFL they once were. The game often creates mismatches against them. The offenses often throw right over them. So I'm not overly excited about this move.

LB Phillip Wheeler (5 years for $26 million with $13 million gtd.): If Wheeler were coming out of college, I'd look at him as a one-year wonder. Remember that two years ago, the Indianapolis Colts let him walk and he signed a one-year deal with Oakland for $700,000. Yes, the Dolphins liked him last year and wanted him on the team but he wanted to pursue a chance to start so he went elsewhere. So yes, the Dolphins saw something in Wheeler not many other teams did a year ago. But now they see something in him at a price no other team did. Can he do in 2013 as well as he did in 2012? Indeed, can he be a contributor and playmaker -- remember the Dolphins added Ellerbe and Wheeler to make plays -- the next three years or so? I have to see it.

CB Brent Grimes (1 year for $5.5 million with $3 million gtd.): I love this pickup because it adds a stable, experienced, professional, high-caliber cornerback that will be an upgrade to Miami's defense at corner if ... he's healthy. Grimes is coming off an Achiles' tendon tear. His rehab is reportedly doing well (he's doing the reporting). But in the depressed cornerback market, Grimes had to settle for a contract that forced him to prove he's returned to the Pro Bowl caliber player he was in 2011. If he does, he's a great signing. If he doesn't, he didn't break the bank. Grimes will be hungry because utlimately he wants a long-term deal. The question, again, is health. I like this signing very much.

TE Dustin Keller (1 year for $4.25 million with $2.25 million gtd.): Here's another player that was injured most of last year and had to settle for a short-term deal to re-prove his value. So the Dolphins get a hungry player in a contract year who will be playing inspired for himself and certainly for the opportunity to stick it to his former team, the New York Jets. That's not what I like most about Keller. I like that finally the Dolphins have a legitimate pass-catching threat at tight end. In that department, Keller is an upgrade over Anthony Fasano. Yes, the blocking won't be as good. But Keller is willing. That's important. And this is what I like most: Keller comes from an offense that had multiple offensive coordinators the past couple of years. He comes from an offense with a bad quarterback. And yet, he was productive when healthy. So in an offense that is more stable, with a quarterback that promises to be better than Mark Sanchez, I expect better production. This is a solid signing. I like it.

G Lance Louis (1 year for $1,603,750 with $100,000 gtd.): Bargain shopping, the Dolphins hope they strike gold here. Louis was perhaps Chicago's best offensive lineman last year before he blew out his knee. If he can return to that height by training camp, John Jerry will be out of a starting job. If he doesn't, the Dolphins can basically cut Louis with minimal risk. The middle ground is Louis provides veteran experience and can be an experienced backup on the cheap. I like the signing more than the player. The contract is the thing here. Solid job.

WR Brandon Gibson (3 years for $9.78 million with $3.75 million gtd.): Gibson reminds of a Jeff Ireland receiver. Not fast. Not quick. But big and physical. I get it. There's something to be said for that. Me? I like speed. Speed at X, Y and Z. If you're going to spend over $3 million a year I would have preferred some speed be part of the deal. My problem? I looked at the available players and the only one I would have liked was Darrius Heyward-Bey. And he's a problematic reclamation project who signed a one-year deal. The Dolphins obviously decided going with experience was more valuable than dipping into the vast pool of draft eligible receivers that come with promise but no NFL experience. I get it. But do I love this signing? Meh. Let me say this: Instead of signing Gibson, I might have added to the TE corps and solved it. I would have gotten Brandon Myers to go with Keller and drafted a wide receiver to groom. Instead, the Dolphins may end up drafting a tight end. Let's see who produces more in 2013 ... Gibson or Myers.

DT Vaughn Martin (2 years for $4 million with $750,000 gtd.): Ireland loves his defensive line. He believes it is a staple of the team. An anchor. He wants to keep it strong. But the Dolphins needed to address the tackle sport because Tony McDaniel played too high in the 4-3 and was often injured and simply didn't fulfill his role. So the club moved on from him and got Martin. This is a bargain signing. Martin is a solid player. But he will have to get used to the 4-3 because he's been a 3-4 DE the past couple of years. That means a growing period. Is this an awesome signing? No. Is this a solid addition? Probably so. Good work.


WR Brian Hartline (5 years for $30,775,000 with $12.5 million gtd): First off, why the extra $775,000? I know Hartline would have taken $30 million. And this deal was signed at a time the Dolphins were still bidding against themselves. So somebody cost owner Stephen Ross some money on that. Aside from that, Hartline is a good player who has already established some chemistry with quarterback Ryan Tannehill and some presence in the locker room. It's good to keep your own good players. It's bad to be a receiver needy team and let your top receiver go two consecutive years. So the Dolphins had to do this deal. Thing I like most about this? If Hartline and Wallace stay healthy, the Dolphins can put two speedy wide receivers on the field at the same time. And you know how I feel about speed, right?

DT Randy Starks (franchise tender signed for $8.45 million): This rental makes sense. Starks is very, very good at what he does but you don't want to commit four or five years to a 29-year-old interior lineman. The Dolphins approach with Paul Soliai was similar and they ended up cutting his tender in half the follwing year down to $6 million a year on a multi-year deal. Don't be surprised if Starks' price goes down next year and Miami gets him cheaper. The fact is also the Dolphins had salary cap space to fit the franchise tender under the cap so no biggie. Good job.

OL Nate Garner (3 years for $4.875 million with $700,000 gtd.): Not every signing involves a star. You have to have role players and Garner is a good one. He can play both guard and tackle in a pinch. He's cheap. He's experienced and has rarely been overwhelmed by the stage. Garner is also good people. He's good in the community and he kepts his mouth shut, which coach Joe Philbin loves. No issues with this re-signing.

S Chris Clemons (1 year for $2.75 million with $1 million gtd): Clemons wanted a longer deal after being the starter much of the past three seasons. But he's a solid player. That's the extent of it. He's not been a consistent playmaker. He's not been a major issue. Just solid. The Dolphins want to upgrade at safety but one cannot upgrade at every single position over one offseason. So the team is standing pat here this year and could upgrade in the future. Logical move. 

The "losses"

LT Jake Long to St. Louis: He went to the Rams and I shrug. Look, he's a very good player when healthy. But his health is a concern. And even when he is healthy, he's not a cornerstone that will lead any team to the Super Bowl. No left tackle is that, frankly. The best left tackles, the hot left tackles don't carry teams. They are along for the ride. The Ravens won the Super Bowl last year with Bryant McKinnie playing left tackle. McKinnie had been out of shape and out of the loop the entire season until he finally got playing time in the playoffs. So what does that tell you about left tackles? Are they valuable? Yes. Should they be at the top of your salary cap structure? Put it this way, Joe Thomas is a great left tackle and more consistent than Long. He's at the top of Cleveland's salary cap. How's that working them? Playmakers should be at the top of your cap structure. Not the grunts. And certainly not the grunts with lingering injury issues.

MLB Karlos Dansby: He was solid. But he was hired to be great. He was hired to an $8 million a year contract to make plays and disrupt offenses and change games. He didn't. He was merely solid. And if he'd been making $2 million a year instead of four times that, that would have been good enough. But he wasn't. This is a case of Dolphins cutting ties because Dansby wasn't part of the problem, but neither was he part of the solution. What does it say that Dansby still hasn't been signed by anyone?

OLB Kevin Burnett to Oakland: He was cheaper than Dansby but he wasn't cheap. He was just one grade above solid. But again, he didn't make big plays, either. He didn't cause many fumbles or step in front of passes for interceptions. He was a player other players respected. But he's 30 and he wasn't about to get any better. Interestingly, the Raiders recovered from their loss of Phillip Wheeler by signing Kevin Burnett, completing what effectively was a trade of players. The Dolphins paid a much bigger salary for the exchange. Wheeler will have to be a consistent playmaker to make it worthwhile for the Dolphins. We'll see.

TE Anthony Fasano to KC: He did a lot of little things well but did nothing extraodinarily well. He was solid. He was a 7-9 tight end. The Dolphins needed to upgrade and while their blocking at the position may be worse today, I perceive their pass-catching will be better. And, I remind, it is a passing league.

Sean Smith to KC: He wasn't a system fit in Miami. He was at his best in press situations against big, physical receivers. So he had good games against Larry Fitzgerald and A.J. Green. But he seemed lost the entire rest of the season. He gave up first downs as if that was the assignment. And he didn't make plays. Just did not. It was uncanny. The Chiefs believe he'll be great in their system and they tampered focused on Smith early to get a deal done. I believed the Dolphins made a mistake trading Vontae Davis. I don't think letting Smith walk was a mistake.

Tony McDaniel to Seattle: I'd be surprised if McDaniel makes that team.

[Update: Reggie Bush (how could I forget): He was a good player. He worked hard, played hard and was a good citizen. Nothing like what I thought when he got here. But he'll be better off in Detroit and the Dolphins will be better off without him because Lamar Miller will be just as good, if not better, if he stays healthy. And Miller will do it while earning 10 times less money. I would like the Dolphins to draft a running back on draft Saturday, however.]


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Pretty close to the mark Mando. Ellerbe was an upgrade but a 5'year contact? No, the real reason why Dansby ain't here anymore is he didn't buy in to Philbins program and he let it be known.
On Gibson.....eventho Ireland talks the talk about speed, but reverts back to his Parcells training and core beliefs. Philbin needs to keep Ireland on a short leash.

Take those responses down, Paul.

oscar, tell us what you think.

1. are odin's hotties hot?

2. do they even exist?

Paul? Paul? ...

Odin's other huge delusion is thinking it's just one or two people here not buying an ounce of his laughable tales. That has NEVER been the case here. In fact, it's far more likely that nearly NOBODY does.

I mean, think about it. Here's a guy somewhere between middle-aged and downright elderly. A guy who by his own admission is jobless. A guy who appears to be an alcoholic and has the wit and sexual maturity of an 8th grader.

Yeah, that's the kind of prime-time catch the 'hotties' are just lining up for. Jesus, is ANYBODY stupid enough to buy that crap?

It's a shame, really, because his football stuff is often ok--even good at times. Why he feels the need to fluff up his existence with a fabricated life in order to sound younger and more relevant than he really is is mystifying, but it must stem from some pretty deep insecurities.

But by all means, odin, keep on thinking it's just one or two people that see through that stuff. I get it. You NEED to believe that.

(and those of us who really ARE young and seeing plenty of female action will go on getting it without having to make it up, Gramps)

the cold slap of reality | April 08, 2013 at 10:01 PM

Well, everybody is discussing the Mocks and the Talent Pool coming out of college.

Troll Bu-oy is trying to discuss how Young and Hot My Favorite Brunette is. Don't worry Monkey Bu-oy, She's Smoking Hot, Half My Age and has a Skill Set that's simply **Off The Hook**

Matter of Fact, She just made some Cheese Stick Snacks(Bless her Heart, She Tries-LOL)and we're Cuddling Up to watch an old Classic Movie.

You have fun with your No-Account, No Life, 24/7 Troll Blogging.

Me and my Honey will be having Fun in our own "Special Way."

You see SON, the difference between you and I is that I HAVE a Real Life, Real Hotties, and KNOW how to have a REAL GOOD TIME-LOL!

You on the other hand, have this BLOG 24/7 - LMAO!

And talk about making someone "Jump Through Hoops?" Look at the time and effort you just put into your make believe little poll above. When I say Jump Little Bu-oy, you just keep on asking: How High!

Bhwaaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

You know who your Master is: Now SIT Boo-Boo......SIT!

(She just made me a drink, has the DVR all set and is giving me that "Look". Sorry I can't stay and lead you through some more Hoops Boo-Boo, but my REAL Life and my Real Life Hottie awaits.)

Bottom's Up!!!!

Whoa!!! Last night I has an ex Playboy centerfold, the governors daughter, and a Victoria Secret model!!! And they were SCREAMING FOR MORE!!!!

oscar, I mean really. Why do you engage with the likes of odin? You are a psychology guy. You must see how utterly pathetic he is.

Look at all Them Hoops this little Bu-oy is Jumping through.

Don't look now EVERBODY, but I sense a Hissy Fit is on the way ;)

Bhwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

odin has a hottie over making cheeze doodles, but he still hangs around.


You People don't even need to take Medications anymore. Or if you do need, you're taking them correctly now. Yes, Paul, remarkable.

odin is awfully defensive. a full half page post trying to convince us he has a hottie over.

when you have a hottie over, do you:

1. fk her sideways
2. fk her upside down
3. fk her every which way
4. come to the miami dolphins football blog

well now he HAS to stay away.

Safe to go back to football now...

And who do you want me to engage with, Plato? Platon was a confirmed bugar-on.

Notice that of the 7248 bloggers that pass by here each year, only one single blogger ever feels the need to inform anonymous bloggers he has a girl.

What does that tell you?

Well, We cannot talk Football all day, can We? How about some Stories? I know some good ones. And if I don't, I'll make them up.

What is funny is odin is sitting there DYING to respond, but now he can't because he said he had a hottie over and was already busted for continuing to blog.

odee, not even your beloved dashe kris or phins78 believe you. give it up. stop making a total pathetic fool of yourself.

LOL @ 10:12

Yeah, Odin we all know how little time you spend on this blog. Jesus.

And--again--you think this is just one person (which would also explain why you think it's just me or some other person blogging here all the time--like YOU)

Wrong. 100% wrong. I was last here Saturday morning. YOU are here always.

(say hello to that blow-up doll from all of us)

Odin really is the trained dog of this blog. Where's pavlof to take a bow?

Best hottie I ever had was the daughter of a Lesbian, who looked Lesbian herself. But, man, was she hot, into Me 100oC in that Moment. But I guess I got scared and left her.

oscar you really should spend less time blogging and more time looking for a female to give you her vagggina. it is obvious you are desperate. in a pinch you can always hit on the haitian cashiers at the supermarket.

You liked my Story? I thought it was great, considering the Times. I have plenty more like that one.

I think so far all the decisions made by Ireland has been positive. I hope he drafts football players, not just the best player available. We need the Zack Thomas', who live and breath football 24/7.

Saw this ad recently in a Michigan paper:


I still think the most dynamic play maker of this draft,injury withstanding, will be Patterson. If he falls to us in the draft, I would take him. It would take a crazy offer to get me away from picking him.

It is breathe, BREATHE!

Too freaking funny @ 10:35. LOL!!!!

Cant blame Fin fans for being pissed at losing Brandon Marshall, Jake Long, and Reggie Bush. Are there any decent players left?

Zach Thomas for all his heart and soul could never stop a defense in the 4th quarter. I must have watched a million games where lame teams came back and beat us in the 4th quarter. Taylor and Thomas were not good enough when it mattered most.

odin is awfully defensive. a full half page post trying to convince us he has a hottie over.

when you have a hottie over, do you:

1. fk her sideways
2. fk her upside down
3. fk her every which way
4. come to the miami dolphins football blog

Posted by: trooth be told | April 08, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Funny for you, The Blog. You and I just don't have the same sense of Humor. You probably like Sasha Baron Cohen and other American "comics". Besides, you're probably the same one that wrote that commentary @ 10:35 and that disqualifies you at laughing at your own "joke".

Marino did his vanishing act when the team needed him most. Biggest choke artist ever.

You could make a case that Americans, throughout all the Years of subjugation to their European Masters, have lost the fine sense of Humor. No more.

Europeans are cold, withdrawn and without humor, except for the Brits.

What is funny is odin is sitting there DYING to respond, but now he can't because he said he had a hottie over and was already busted for continuing to blog.

Posted by: 9 year old | April 08, 2013 at 10:20 PM

The Europeans have a great history, reaching much farther back than ours. Still, they have contributed nothing to the modern world since the rise of America.

Not the Countries there, no, their Masters, you know? Germans had a fine sense of Humor before the Eugenics experiment.

I work for a German. He is 45 going on 7. Immature video gamer that holds grudges and can't communicate with People. His sense of humor ventures no further than pie in the face. Shallow.

I expect we'll see more blitzing by our Linebackers with the new additions.

I can't understand the hate for Gibson. The kid has great hands, fights for the ball, and makes acrobatic catches. Almost everything he catches, he gets a first down or a TD. And, he can play anywhere; outside, slot, etc.

Hartline and Bess will need to up their game or Gibson will move them down a peg, in my opinion. Look at the tape on the guy!

It is not impossible to integrate Collectivism with Capitalism, you know? We'll teach you How.

Probably like you, Travelor. That's 1 German.

Oscar, Sasha Baron Cohen is British, not American.

Nope. I only wish I had written it!

"I did not want War, I was pushed into it", Adolf Hitler. Probably true enough.

By the way, PFF rated Wide Receivers last year.
Hartline was 37th.
Gibson was 38th.
Bess was 39th.

Hmm...but, Mando doesn't like the signing...

He was very good in Hugo, fact check, but his American comedies have been Bombs, imo.

Travelor.....penicillin made by Scottish guy, modern era.... The end.

Why is everyone so concerned with Odin's sex life?

Probably not the end now, but back to the Beginning is.

oscar tell us, are you THE troll?

oscar, are you a mutt?


"If Hartline and Wallace stay healthy, the Dolphins can put two speedy wide receivers on the field at the same time. And you know how I feel about speed, right?"

Mando, you used Hartline in the same sentence as SPEED and Mike Wallace? really. I don't think anyone thinks Hartline is a speedy wide receiver?


I see Odindouche still cluttering up this blog with his "Odinness", It' sad really, We can only hope he travels to Swedan for Goverment assitted suicide.

Saw this ad recently in a Michigan paper:


Posted by: the cold slap of reality | April 08, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Oh Yeah, POST OF THE NIGHT.......

I think odin may be on to something. He mentions his girlfriend and watching a movie. Not anything remarkable. But the Troll just went crazy. Post after post after post-sheesh.

I quit counting at 37. This troll is obviously a very disturbed person. The mere mention of a female and he got almost hysterical.

Odin said goodnight 6 hours ago and here he is, still embarrassing himself at 3:30 in the morning. My guess is the troll is completely oblivious to how ridiculous he makes himself look.

Odin definitely made a fool of him tonight. 37 nearly incoherent posts and it's not difficult to see who has whom jumping through hoops.

Get a Life troll. You need one.

Only an idiot would say that running between a 4.4-4.5 forty yd dash isn't fast. I guarantee nobody that posts here could do it and most wouldn't likely get under 5.5 seconds.

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