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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.

Comments

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Frank,

I would only do that mock if we answer our O-line in free Agency. I should've shown my whole scenario,

Free Agency

LT- E.Monroe
RG- G.Schwartz
RT- Veldheer

Then Draft

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

If you answer the O-line question in Free Agency, and Resign or Franchise Grimes, Then we can spend the whole draft getting the BPA in every round, Instead of answering needs in the draft.

Tell these guys Dashi, the tricep is there to stabalize the weight while you push with your chest and core. I swear, guys like Salguero and Mayock who haven't lifted anything ever who go on to use that as excuse obviously never lifted with any great success. Having them tell you the success behind lifting is like listening to me tell you the success behind creating a priceless piece of art.

Agreed. I don't see M.Bryant escaping the first round.

It is a CERTAINTY that the Dolphins will draft at least 2 Offensive Lineman in the draft. So whatever mock draft doesn't have at least 2 OL you can class that person as a ball watcher who thinks the FA OL class is good when it is actually VERY BAD. So don't take them very seriously at all.

6Yrs Parcells/Ireland. Still realistically in yr 2 rebuild.

Hugely unrealistic, if any here thinks believes all of our holes can be fixed in a single offseason. This offseason I would:

Still thinking........

Well, until seeing what we're actually able to do in fa, it's virtually imfuckingpossible!

Posted by: Dashi | February 24, 2014 at 02:54 PM

Sounds like Flip/Flopping Dashi,Stick with your post and don't YG on us...

actually you utilize the triceps the first 35 degrees during the bench. after that the chest and anterior delts kick in during the press, however when you lock out the bench the triceps are utilized again.

Last year 9 Offensive linemen(3 of the Top 4) were drafted in the first round. I doubt 4 linemen get drafted in the first this year.

Last Year 3 WRs were drafted in the first. I bet at least 6 will be drafted in the first this year.

Hype!! The Media and the NFL want you to believe this is the best. They say that every year. It is part of the propaganda.

Posted by: Dashi | February 24, 2014 at 02:36 PM

right on...

The lack of knowledge on biomechanics of the bench press on this blog is astounding. Here is a quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger,
"it took a huge amount of determination and focus to bench 400 pounds for reps with my long arms".
Anyone with just very basic knowledge of biomechanics and kinesiology know that - with all other factors being equal - short arms are an advantage with bench pressing.
The best combine bench was by Justin Ernest who did 51 reps, far surpassing anyone else to this day. How was his NFL caree by the way?

You truly are an idiot.

I haven't changed my theory in how to fix the O-line in months. Fix the O-line in free agency. Priority #1,#2,#3 in Free Agency. LT, RT, OG.

I haven't changed my stance on this in months.

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.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | February 24, 2014 at 02:39 PM

MIT

we are losing 6 OL so 6 more are needed.

draft 4 because this is the strenghth of this draft, sign 2 free agents...


also sign undrafted free agents for depth...


we need six....

Like I said yesterday, Bench press determines if the guy is strong enough to be an NFL player. It doesn't determine how great a football player he will be.

Now, if you have a guy doing 36 reps and masters technique, leverage, anticipation, and has a very high football IQ. Well, we're looking at a guy who will be a definite hof.

But, if you have a guy that does 36 bench reps and doesn't do these other things very well. His NFL career still = "NOT FOR LONG".

Massdolphin,

Great players are usually athletically superior to the average player. Yes, you have your exceptions. But 9 times out of 10, The Athletically Superior guy has a higher potential to be great.

Yeah, J.Rice ran a 4.6. Prime time ran a 4.17.

Most #1 type LTs have benched 225-lbs over 35 times. Pace, Ogden, Long, J.Thomas.

Yes, Wes Welker can make the NFL, but he will never reach the potential a Calvin Johnson can reach.

It isn't very wise to say a guy will be a great NL player based on high number of bench press alone.

There have been guys doing 40+ combine benches and not last 3yrs in the league. Exactly why high number of bench itself is far from measure of football ability.

NeMO, I did like Jessie Williams very much. he is the one guy who had a high draft grade, was projected to go in the first couple of rounds, tested well and then fell. I tried a couple fo times to figure out why that happened and couldn't find a valid reason. I don;t know what happened but Seattle got him with a 5th round pick.

As far as Michael, the buzz around him is already growing for next year. Let's see what happens. As far as o linemen go, I think there will be one in the first couple of rounds - I just hope we don;t pass over an impact player just because we draft for need. I know I'm not crazy about Zach Martin - and if we pass over a Jace Amaro type guy for him - I'd be upset.

amaro big time character issues, no way miami dips into guy like that right now

Yeah signing 2 Left Tackles one to play RT the other LT makes TONS of sense SMH.

Jace Amaro isn't going until round 2 so this board is going mad.

Many great "athletically superior" athletes never reach their "FULL POTENTIAL". Reason being, they are "too overly dependant" on that superiority alone.

They fail to take it to the "next level". Only physically training enough to "just get by". They fail to become a "student of the game".

Usually, athletes in conversation for "greatest of all time", worked just as hard as they were "physically abundantly gifted". Even with "athletic superiority" alone. The ceiling goes but "so high".

Florida State OLB Christian Jones clocked forty
My second round pick.

times of 4.63 and 4.60 at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Offering rare versatility, Jones played both inside and outside linebacker in addition to defensive end for the Seminoles, and was highly productive. He stands a shade over 6-foot-3 and 234 pounds with an 80 3/4-inch wingspan. In terms of pure tackling ability, Jones is arguably the most efficient defender in this year's draft class. He's expected to be a second-day selection.

http://fansided.com/2014/02/24/nfl-rumors-miami-dolphins-hiring-jim-harbaugh-2015/ how fun would that be

Athletic Superiority + Understanding the game and your position= Greatness

Athletic Superiority + Ability to learn and be coached= Potential to be Great

Athletic Superiority + nothing= Chance. Hope that you can mold him.

----------------------------------------------------------

Intangibles+ Drive + Some athletic Ability= Potential to be Great

Intangibles + Drive= Chance to be a decent starter

Intangibles + Nothing= No Chance

---------------------------------------------------

I am not saying that because you are athletically superior you will automatically be great. Just that you need a lot less things to go right to be great than someone who only has intangibles.

MassD, I have nothing left to say to you - you obviously know squat about the lift - the arm length is an excuse.

I mean, even if you knew nothing about lifting (and you don't)

Why you have DJ Fluker with just about the same arm length as Cordy Glenn or Antonio Richardson but yet there is a 15 rep difference - is arm length really the reason? one is strong in the upper body, the other isn't - that's the freaking reason...

And of course it took effort to bench 400 lbs for reps. It takes a lot of effort for anyone - no matter what your arm length is to do so. 400 lbs for reps, my goodness, I've never seen anyone in my time at the gym who could do this...

I just realized, If I was the Dolphins GM I would have "FIRE RDUBS" airplanes flying over Dolphins Stadium during games. My first 3 picks

1.Tre Mason -Duh

2. Christian Jones

3.Ja'Waun James - I like this kid, big and moves so smoothly

Lebron is a physical athletic freak, as an athlete. But that isn't what makes him so great. What makes him so great is he's 2nd to none in the extremely hard work he puts in to be the best.

If he relied on physical ability alone, by his tenth season he would be remembered more for what he used to be able to do. Not the continued greatness he still exhibits now. 10yrs later.

tre mason?? in first rd,lol

Dusty,

I am convinced Tre is the real deal and will probably squirt all over myself if the Dolphins drafted him

Dubs,

I would fire you for the Mason pick.

Not convinced. He did have the best O-linemen in the draft to run behind.

M.Hart had 1300yds and 14TDs running behind J.Long the year he came out.

Mason is more talented than M.Hart. but still.

Mason didn't impress me much. I thought at worst he was a 4.4 guy.

Mason is suppose to be a speed guy. But he lacks pure speed.

thankfully u arent the gm then no way first rd. projected most likely 3rd, sure id take him then but no chance in 1st

You will all see!! Tre will be the man. Besides as much as I have talked him up, do you think I could change my tune now?

Christian Jones would be a good LB RDubs. Another linebacker from Florida State Telvin Smith ran a 4.52 today. Either would be a big help to our linebacking core.

Jordon, Taylor or Davis better contribute next year. You need some productivity from cheap labor.

I see us taking 2-3 OL in this draft minimum. I think taking Martin at 19 would be like Pouncey at 15 as probably more an interior lineman but definitely a good player.

Other than Borland who looks solid at Middle LB?

So LeBron doesn't work hard to be so Athletically Superior. He just wakes up and poof!!

And please, don't open your mouth about basketball. Your blindness in your opinion really starts to show.

If LeBron really worked on his game, more than his Physical Conditioning he would already be the best Basketball player to ever play.

LeBron is the Greatest Athlete to ever play. Any Sport. Not just basketball.

LeBron James Understands the game.

But in 10 years, LeBron hasn't added much to his arsenal. LeBron still can't post up consistently. By Year 10 the first thing Jordan would do is post you up.

And with LeBron Size and Passing Ability he would kill if he ever learned how to post up.

Without Grimes and Patterson we'd have lost 10 games last year at least. They were single handedly responsible for 2 wins.

Oma-haaaw!!!!

Daniel Thomas has played his last down in the NFL, verdad?

patterson plays 2 games a year

Martavis Bryant or Kelvin Benjamin at #19?

Fire Coyle!!

Cut Sturgis!!

We could've went 11-5 if not for these 2 clowns. Even with the worst O-line in history.

No Home-o. But they just caught M.Sam with a Woody at the combine.

"the tricep is there to stabalize the weight while you push with your chest and core."
That is one of the most ignorant statements I've ever read. The triceps function is not to stabalize the weight. The triceps function is to extend the arm at the elbow. And you can't 'push' up a weight with your core.
Instead of criticizing others on something you have zero knowledge on, why don't you pick up a book on anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, or kinesiology and actually learn something? When you are unable to cherry pick at bunch of useless stats to 'prove' your illogical arugments, your lack of knowledge really shows through.

Dashi,

Your comprehension is so poor. Would have to write a complete book on a post so you fully understand.
I never said that about LeBron you are victim of your own comprehensional shortcomings.

Your problem is, Dashi wants to be so much smarter than others, before understanding and realizing that the rest of the world isn't nearly as stupid as you perceive everyone else to be.

Geesh, how the rest of the world survived "THOUSANDS OF YEARS" before the "BIRTH OF DASHI" truly has to be the "GREATEST WONDER" of all. Get over yourself. The rest of the world has. The climax of your "know it allness" has relegated you to posting in a meaningless blog.

That's about as important as it will ever get for a know nothing like you. You will never achieve anything great, simply because you'll never achieve getting out of your own know nothing way. Just trying to be honestly truthful with you, not bashing.

Mike Mayock apparently compared Michael Sam and Olivier Vernon today. They are a similar size.

Vernon did 31 on the bench and Sam did 17.

Vernon ran a 4.8 40 to Sam with a 4.91.

A bit of a stretch there Mike.

Man, I really wish we could draft a guy that turns the league upside down a la Luke Kuechly(we came very close there). Like Sammy Watkins will do for Cle this year. I quess it's not in the cards for us.

Man, I just realized tht Martavis Bryant had Sammy Watkins on his other side. Jesus!

MassD, I talk about it because I actually do it.

I bench 1.5X my weight for reps. Think I just woke up doing this? Oh, and I have 34 inch arms (length). No short arms here...

If you are benching by using your arms more than through your chest - then I can tell you - that's why you can't bench...

You aren't ignorant IF YOU DO INSTEAD OF JUST TALKING ABOUT IT....

When someone says "value" in the same sentence as Grimes there is an issue. That would be the same issue Ireland had, with the "Is your Mama a ho". It seems that this franchise does not value anyone that is valuable.

Lets go back a couple of years. Jason Taylor? They cut a lifelong Dolphin when he could still play. Zach Thomas. One more season. He could have subbed in. Dan Marino? Well he lost 62-7. Lights out, that is it.
Trace Armstrong. Traded. How about Ogunleye? Gone to Chicago. It seems that these pricks just don't want to pay for real talent.
Oh they go out and get a wide receiver last year. But they forgot to get him a coach that knows what to do.

What a joke this franchise has become.

Everyone has gone O-line mad !!! Sure we need some o-linemen, but a powerback is a must for this team too. Many seem to think that any RB will be a success with the right line, not the case.

A power back like Carlos Hyde would get the extra yards we have really struggled on the last two years. The only way Thill has a chance to progress is with a dominant back who pushes DB's to take a peek in the backfield often enough for Thill to hit a few deep balls.

really pointless to talk about who to draft until after free agency is over

Dashi was 100% right on his statement on 3rd down Defense. And every opposing offense knew it. Why is Coyles still here again? Trying to be optimistic but it's tough.

What? Cornerback? The Dolphins can't be serious! The team has no offensive line except for Pouncey who is probably going to be suspended for a few games. They can't rebuild the entire O-Line with rookies! The Dolphins need at least a couple of free agents like Brandon Albert. But, then again, it's the Dolphins we're talking about!

If ANYONE on this site thinks that we should keep Nolan Carroll for ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY, you need to get your head examined and put the weed down!!!! The worst CB since..... NO ONE!!!!

Does anyone with common sense disagree with the following contract for Grimes - 3 years - $24 million - $12 million guaranteed payable in first two years ? We cannot completely blow all of the cap-cash because Tannehill will want a good contract next year if he improves to an acceptable rating. Is Jimmy Wilson capable of taking over at free safety from Clemmons ? Will we get a RB that can score on 4th and one. Oh my, the trials and tribulations of being an armchair GM. Go Dolphins !!

How about Red Bryant at DT if Seattle releases him. Big body at a cheaper price.

Resign Grimes, he played hard. Other corner, one of the guys drafted last year needs to step up or platoon them. Oline is the huge priority, pick up 1 free agent, draft another 1st pick. The RBs will rn if they have some space, especially L. Miller. Tanneyhill will improve if he is not getting his arse kicked every other play.

Maybe I am missing something here but the cornerback play of Grimes was as good as any cornerback I have seen in a Dolphins uniform since hell... I can't remember back that far! If you don't keep anybody else keep Grimes he is a class act!

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