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Dolphins free agency priority: Cornerback

When free agency begins for the Dolphins and all other NFL clubs March 11 (negotiations can begin March 8) one of the priorities, indeed the top priority, the Dolphins may have is the cornerback position.

We know this because although the Indianapolis Combine is supposed to be about preparing for the draft in that draft-eligible players are inspected in almost every way imaginable, the last five days was also about meeting with the representatives for free agents. It was about meeting with agents for some of Miami's pending free agents as well as those representing potential free agents about to hit the market.

And the position the Dolphins asked these agents most about during Indianapolis was, you guessed it, the cornerback spot, according to multiple league sources.

This makes sense.

The Dolphins have needs at offensive line, safety, defensive tackle and probably running back. But cornerback is perhaps the second-most obvious need after OL because Brent Grimes and Nolan Carroll -- the starters most of 2013 -- are both pending unrestricted free agents.

Moreoever, the Dolphins might be deciding that keeping Dimitri Patterson and his $5.4 million cap hit that comes with his inconsistent durability is a luxury they cannot afford.

Obviously, the team is interested in bringing back Grimes at what new general manager Dennis Hickey has been calling a Dolphins value. That means the Dolphins decide what a player is worth to them and they would be willing to pay. (Unfortunately, in some cases, that Dolphins value and the player's value of himself are not equal.)

Signing Grimes, who will be 31 in before the season, to a four or five-year contract is a tricky proposition. It simply isn't done in the NFL with a cornerback that age.

The Dolphins might also consider a franchise tag on Grimes, although that doesn't make a ton of sense. The franchise tag on a CB is expected to be approximately $11 million, all of it in a lump sum salary-cap space swallowing chunk. The Dolphins should be able to add two cornerbacks for that kind of cap hit.

The Dolphins have until March 3 to designate a franchise player.

So cornerback will be a position of heavey activity for Miami the next two weeks.

Why not offensive line or one of the other positions, you ask?

Well, the Dolphins will probably do work there, too. But the coming draft is replete with good offensive linemen. So the Dolphins can add good, young, cheap talent at offensive line during the draft. Miami may come away with two or three offensive linemen in the draft and add an offensive lineman in free agency as well.

The Dolphins can adress safety in the secondary free agency market or the draft but after signing Reshad Jones to a big contract extension last year, they are not likely to allocate more money big money on the back end. The team also knows it can bring back either Paul Soliai or Randy Starks and there are some options at the defensive tackle position that might come available as well.

Running back, meanwhile, it is not a priority free agency spot. Paying big money for a free agent running back is not often wise.

So the Dolphins are looking around with cornerback being a focus.

And there might be some significant cornerback talent in free agency. If one considers only last season's performance, the best cornerback on the market might be Aqib Talib of the New England Patriots. And it would make sense for the Dolphins to be interested in him as Hickey was in Tampa Bay when the Buccaneers drafted him in 2008.

But, of course, all is not simply about last year's performance. The Dolphins have to consider other factors before ever thinking of Talib. Firstly, Talib's depature from Tampa Bay was forced in part because the red flags many teams had on him before the draft (he was actually off the Miami draft board in 2008) manifested themselves soon after he was drafted.

He got into a fistfight with a teammate at the 2008 rookie symposium. In 2009, he allegedly battered a taxi driver. In 2011, he was arrested in Texas for battery with a deadly weapon when he allegedly went after his sister's boyfriend. Those charges were dropped in 2012 but only in time for Talib to be suspended by the NFL for violating the NFL drug policy for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.

The Patriots got Talib in trade in November of 2012 for a fourth-round pick.

And he's been great for them. He locked down the other team's best pass-catcher, regardless of size or speed. He went one-on-one with Jimmy Graham when the Patriots beat the Saints in 2013.

But Talib has also shown the penchant for getting hurt. He missed time last year with a hip injury. He had a hip injury in 2010. He finished the 2011 season on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

The point is Talib is great ... when he's not suspended, or in trouble or injured.

Oh, and he wants to return to New England. So there's that.

But the Patriots, with only approximately $7 million in projected 2014 cap space, might not have the way to get Talib signed. They want to but ... well, you get the idea.

So that name is out there.

Other names that resonate as possibilities for the Dolphins?

Green Bay's Sam Shields is a player coach Joe Philbin should be familiar with. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a fine cornerback and may be difficult for the cap challenged Broncos to re-sign. Walter Thurmond is a solid No. 3 if the Dolphins aren't able to re-sign Nolan Carroll.

And perhaps the best player of the class -- all things considered -- might be Alterraun Verner. He's very young at 25. He's a fine player. He makes plays. And because the Titans already paid a mint for their other cornerback, Jason McCourty, they might not be able to pay Verner, too.

Verner doesn't have the off-the-field issues of Talib, the age issue of Grimes, and he's more consistent than DR-C.


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Really difficult to get a beat on offseason 2014. First time in 6yrs, no Parcells or Ireland.

6yrs, still in year 2 of rebuilding, you would think there's nowhere to go but up. Then on the other hand, our fo futiility is ongoing more than a DECADE now.

Soliai has sold his house in SoFla. Perhaps he will buy another one after he is signed here.

Everyone looks good in shorts and a T-shirt...even Tom cruise...but he cant play football worth a sh@t...

Oscar, at 19 we pick the best available O-lineman period !!!

If they announce a Defensive pick, I'll turn the gawdam TV off right then and there....

FA LT is the FIRST player we sign....if not, then Hickey is as fughed up as Ireland !!!



Fights are when either person could win. This would be more like beating up on the elderly.

BTW ...once we sign that LT...McKinney is history....too slow anymore....forget RT experiment , he'll only say no to it, and thank God for small favors....


Didn't watch any of the combine. Burnt out on it. May times it steers teams into making their greatest drafting mistakes.

NFL is already filled with players that would eat the combine alive. But we already see this doesn't mean they are all great players.


Either way, with the combine I would prefer the posts be about that. Not in the mood for arguments today

You go by what selectors of the Draft say, you will probably wound up worse than if you were using your own eyes.

Clowney 4.5 40yd dash. Still, he dropped down to 266 lbs, SC lists him at 274 lbs.

Hard to stay away from drafting for need, ain't it.

Kick @ss 2 was amazing!!!

Filmed in Toronto, in a lot of the neighbourhoods I grew up in. rdubs, you are an honourary Canadian, eh!

I'm confident the Dolphins will do the wrong thing. They're set up for failure with the weakest HC/GM combination I've ever seen, short of Cam Cameron.

Victory moving forward will be measure by how nice the HC/GM can be to each other, and whether anyone will be bullied in the locker room this season. This has now become how we measure success.


I agree Kick @SS 2 got panned by critics and nerds alike. I thought it was awesome and really like Jim Carrey in it. Even though he disowned the movie after he filmed it

Oscar...when you lose 3 starting O-lineman (Cogs, Martin,Jerry)....the need jumps in and smacks you upside the head...

...you better believe you draft by need then....

Scary thing about Clowney is his desire and commitment. Obviously he oozes with God given talent. But he shows little commitment, dedication, and desire to be the absolute best.

His bench numbers indicate this. 21 bench for a guy oozing out of the ears with God talent is quite good enough. For me, it indicates a guy with off the charts talent and "AVERAGE DESIRE".


The Dolphins won't be drafting there LT in the first round so I think a great pick would be CJ Mosley immediately upgrade our rush D and become a leader on a team that needs it.

Draft Justin Gilbert and the cornerback position will be solved! I am biased to Gilbert because my wife used to work with his mom at SHSU. Kid has a good head on his shoulders and has a family that even the hoochie moma hating Ireland would approve. I know the offensive line is our # 1 problem in this offseason but the draft is so deep they could potentially fix it with free agency and the later rounds of the draft. Gilbert also would be a bonus because he is a magician on kick off returns. I guess it really depends on if he is even there at 19 and what tackles will be available to us when we are on the clock.

Jordan, Mosley would be a great pick at 19 if he was there. I doubt he will be though. The team needs linebacker help. Ellerbee and Wheeler could both be gone in 2015 based on the structure of their contracts.

2 other guys I would like as Dolphins would be Chris Borland and Max Bullough. They did 27 and 30 on the bench yesterday respectively. I'm interested to see the linebacker 40 times in a bit here.

Grimes and Verner would be sweet....

with Taylow and Davis as back ups...

bye bye Carroll and Patterson....

we are talking about solai and starks like they were the best ting since sliced bread.
we were ranked 24th against the run. 124ypg!! get some new blood.

C. Borland in round 2....

Z. Martin round 1....

sometimes need is super close to best player available, in this case it is Zack Martin, he will be a solid player for at least 10 years....

Mayock says this is the deepest draft he's seen in a long time. So, is it time to trade Wake and get some more picks this year? If they can get at least a first, or very high second plus others, I think so. One thing is for sure, when a draft is deep, you want MORE early rd. picks, not trading away early rd. picks order to move up. The Phins have ALOT of holes to fill, just like last year. And we saw how moving up in the draft last year worked out.

Mock Draft after a couple of days watching Combine

1- A.Donald DT
2- M.Bryant WR
3- C.Borland MLB
4- A.Williams RB
5- L.Thomas QB
6- C.Lyerla TE
7- Santos K

Wally, I actually love the idea of pairing Grimes and Verner, Shields or Talib. I'm not sure if its possible financially, but it would be awesome. Then like you said we have Wilson to play nickel with Taylor and Davis as backups.

I would make Grimes the priority over Verner or any other corner in the offseason. Grimes may be 31, but he easily better than any other corners hitting free agency in my opinion.

It also shows loyalty to retaining your own players and keep continuity going.


Dashi is never in the mood for arguing. So I understand.

Mock Draft after a couple of days watching Combine

1- A.Donald DT
2- M.Bryant WR
3- C.Borland MLB
4- A.Williams RB
5- L.Thomas QB
6- C.Lyerla TE
7- Santos K

Posted by: Dashi | February 24, 2014 at 01:43 PM

Wow, Dashi, You are a true idiot, Not one O-Lineman in the draft????
You do know that was the weakness in the Fins or were you watching some other team????
You justshow what a Idiot you are...

mark in toronto.
kick @ss 2 could have been filmed on the moon and still would have sucked!! the 1st one was great, bout the sequel was a shadow of the 1st. not nearly as funny. the violence in the 1st, even when downright nays was also funny and meant to be that way. the second was not funny at all and the violence came off as more repugnant.

i live in pittsburgh, and just because i do i'm not gonna give props to the movie abduction. some great ones were filmed in the burgh, but so were some turds. best use of pittsburgh is still the jc van damme movie sudden death!!! pens hockey playoff, a terrorist is holding the VP hostage (as if hockey can even draw the governor) but jc saves the day and even plays goalie for a shift or 2!!!!

best thing filming in toronto right now is the series orphan black. that show was the best new show last year!! but in general tons of movies and TV is filmed in toronto and vancouver. you guys to the north give great subsidies. smart move considering all the other jobs a movie production creates. our stupid governor, R, would rather lose all that money by standing up to "the hollywood liberals" he will be voted out next year. his 1st 3 years have been a disaster. i'm looking forward to seeing amanda seifrieds in march. got big crush on her. those giant blue eyes do it for me. her and the gladiator russel crowe are her for a movie.


This after getting a LT in free agency and singning Grimes and Verner at CB.

Good picks Wally, You've been paying attention.....

Show me which team has drafted more than 2 O-linemen in the same draft.

Then after you show me Zero Teams has ever drafted 3 linemen with their first 4 picks.

Show me a team that hit on both linemen in the same draft.

Then show me a team who had both of them starting and playing at a high level from year 1.


Posted by: NeMo | February 24, 2014 at 01:44 PM

we have tons of money with Patterson and maybe Moore being cut...should have at least 35 - 40 mil

and if Wallace restructures we would have even more.

40 - 45 mil maybe

Hickey/Aponte make it work baby........

Dashi, You might be right, So many holes on this team, where do you start???

Posted by: Dashi | February 24, 2014 at 02:01 PM

A team with 4 holes to fill

Wally if we got Grimes and another top corner then Patterson would be as good as gone.

Also, for all the crap Aponte has gotten on here lately, she has done well with the contracts and the cap, so I hope that continues.

Dashi we are losing 6 players on Ol from last year.

Incognito, Martin, Clabo, Jerry, Mckinnie, Watkins....

we need alot of new blood on o-line...

this is one of the best drafts for o-line talent...

Brenner and Garner are backups

Mayock even said today that having shorter arms and a barrel chest is an advantage in bench pressing. It is not a theory, it's a fact. It's well known to anyone who has studied kinesiology.
Anyone who takes the time to check the fastest combine 40's, benches, 3 cone drill, shuttles, etc. will find those lists filled much more with athletes who either never made the NFL or were never great players, than All Pros.
This all reminds me of the story where a person once went to an NBA game and decided that playing basketball makes people very tall, because everyone playing was very tall and everyone in the stands were not.
There is also another saying, if you torture the stats long enough they'll confess to anything.

If Hickey doesn't answer the O-line problem in Free Agency and is waiting for the draft to fix it. Might as well fire Hickey on the spot. Before he even gets a chance to draft.

Even 2 Rookies on the line next season is a disaster waiting to happen.

The way the Dolphins should and will fix their O-line if Hickey and Philbin plan to be on the team past this year.

LT- FA(Monroe)
LG- On the Roster(Brenner or D.Thomas)
C- Pouncey
RG - FA(Schwartz)
RT- FA(Veldheer)

That line will keep T-Hill alive and will make anybody gain over 1200yds with an average workload.


LT- Rookie
LG- Rookie
C- Trade Pouncey for a Rookie
RG- Rookie
RT- Rookie

Yeah, Genius!! That is the way to fix it the line.

70+ years on this earth and you haven't paid attention 1 day in your gay ass life. That is setting the record straight.

No wonder your mom gave birth to 4 more idiots.

Your Mom gave birth to the 2013 Dolphins O-line.

You know who I am talking to.

Here are the winners of the combine vertical jump test the last 7 years:
Quincy Black
Carl Stewart
Donald Washington
A.J. Jefferson
V. Green
Kashif Moore
Christine Michael
Wow, what a list of All Pros!! Now if there was a bunch of plastics stips overhead on a football field, and every player had to stand still,not move, and jump up, these guys would be the best!

Dashi, Will you attempt to beat Odin and YGs non stop posting of 32 hours today??

Right on Mass...

most of the combine drills are BS...

the tape and meeting the players are what matters most....

Incognito- Garbage since 2012
Martin- Garbage from Day 1
Jerry- Garbage since Senior Bowl
Watkins- Seriously? Guy was picked up as a roster spot during the season.
Clabo- Old, Garbage since he came to Miami
McKinney- Only one whoever had any talent, and the last time he had any talent was 3 years ago. He did us a favor last year, but should've retired last year.


We have Depth on the line. What we are lacking is 3 Above Average NFL Starters.

And getting 3 rookie linemen and making them start from day 1 has to be stupidest thing a HC or GM can do on such an important season in their career. This is a do or die season for Philbin and Hickey. The last thing they can afford is to wait until 3 rookie linemen develop enough to start on the line.

You should name yourself Marion, cause you act and think like a little B"tch!!

so jaison, because you think it sucks, I'm not allowed to like it now?

I liked it, movie is art, it's personal - to each their own.

You know i've never read a movie review in my life and at 39, I'm not about to start.

Same with music. I haven;t watched a music awards show since I was 13. I couldn't care less what everyone else listens to.

I watch a movie, i listen to music, if it appeals to me, I enjoy it. Bottom line.

I couoldn't think of a more useless or needless job than reviewing movies or being involved with an entity like the Grammys.

The only one setting records here is you.

We all know the reason Salguero keeps you around is because you are responsible for over 95% of the blog hits here. This is your HOME. You Home-O.

We don't have to worry about setting any type of record. You have been blogging here 5 years straight. And still counting. 1-2 days is nothing compared to your obsession with this blog.

Dashi, I was only pointing out that none of your picks was for a O-Lineman, the weakest link of the team last year, I'am not saying draft 5 O-Lineman but draft at least 1 or 2....
And why are you so angry, I thought this was a blg to talk Dolphins, Not insult one another.
You sound like the plumber from New Jersey, "If you don't see it my way I'am going to call you name's"..
Grow up..



I know one. Being the guy who writes Dolphins in Depth. The guy just sits at home and makes up stories or copies the AP. Then he spends all day, trolling his own blog for hits.

Dashi take your medicine....

Yes about 3 of these guys would be starters...

and yes i said sign a free agent left tackle and
maybe a guard too....


Dashi doesn't get Angry.

But if you are going to call me an Idiot.

Wow, Dashi, You are a true idiot, Not one O-Lineman in the draft????
You do know that was the weakness in the Fins or were you watching some other team????
You justshow what a Idiot you are...

Posted by: Sitting the record stright. | February 24, 2014 at 01:50 PM


Mayock, wtf has he ever lifted? Guy is tiny. Proof is in the pudding regarding arm length and lifting. 36 reps is the highest Dude had 35 inch arms. It was the same excuse we gave J martin - he didn;t lift well because he had long arms although Cordy Glenn had longer arms and lifted in the mid 30s as well.

Tell me, do you lift at all or are you just hypothesizing? It's more about technique than anything. I can watch anyone on a bench when they are about to lift and even befiore the weight comes off the bar whether they will succeed or not in their body language and approach.

Arm length, that's the most horseshit excuse ver even though year after the year, the guys with the longest arms do extremely well in the bench.

Tell me why did Jace Amaro bench just about the same as short arms Zach martin even though jace is much lighter and has longer arms?

Explain it man...


My bad. The first part of my post looked like I was referring to you, but I wasn't. I was talking to the idiot who started insulting Dashi out of the blue.

Plus, I don't think you want to trade pouncey. You are hoping to get 2 starters out of the draft. And try and find some depth.

MassD, actually Christine Michael will be a very good player. I suggest you remember that name in Seattle.

Now, you are lookigna t one test in isolation - why don't yu look at the guys that score well across the board compared to their peers in the same psoition.

last year Lane Johson was the best o tackle - 4th overall

Tyler Eifert best TE, first round

Margus Hunt - 2nd round

Christine Michael 2nd round

Brian Schwenke interior lineman - 4th round but got 9 starts

Sheldon Richardson best Interior d lineman 12 th overall - up for d rookie of the year.

Yeah, from one year alone, there's a list of stiffs for you.

DaSHI, My Bad, Maybe I shouldn't have used the word Idiot, My apology..
How about "Ireland" Like??

wally, how many freaking lineman are you going to play? That's almost as bad as ETF's trade the whole draft for a starting o line theory.

Grimes is the only DB that I would keep, and the 2013 draft class as we haven't seen them play. Davis and Taylor are investments that Philbin couldn't get any playing time from, even when healthy.

Of course OL RB and ILB are big draft needs in that order. Our offense has to develop a power running game if we are to make the playoffs next year. I'd say the coaching had more to do with the defense performing so badly last year, but we were decent in points allowed.

Thill will only survive into the future if the running game takes off, so we need to draft a quality powerback, withour off field baggage, Carlos Hyde.


I like your mock draft picks- however, I do think that the Dolphins will draft 1 or 2 OL. Not sure where, but I think they will. Unfortunately, I dont think Martavis Bryant will be there in round 2 when the team selects. I want the Dolphins to get a tall red zone threat for tannehill.

Bench Press shows who trains for real and who trains for show. (Training for real is when you workout to get stronger, training for show is just maintaining what you got)

Agreed with MIT. Arm length doesn't matter. The only part of your arm you use on the bench is your triceps. And that isn't the muscle doing most of the lifting on the bench. Chest, Back, and Core are used more than triceps on the bench.

225-lbs isn't used to test the max you can lift. It is to test if you are lifting. It is an endurance test. To see if you are putting in work in the weight room. They are testing Muscle Fatigue.

If they wanted to know your max, they would make you only lift once. Or ask the college coaches. They keep a log of that.

Mark, Christine Michael will be a factor in Seattle next year I bet. The team just has an embarrassment of riches. They are thinking of cutting Red Bryant because they have Jesse Williams waiting in the wings at D tackle. I think Williams is another guy you liked last year.

Dashi, I like your draft those are all very good players. I think we take at least 1 or 2 O-linemen though. I hope Hickey can take care of needs in free agency at least to some extent and then draft best player available or close to it through the whole draft.

Wow Dashi, Most bloggers think Miami should draft a O-Lineman or two,What say you?

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