« Randy Starks contract a win for Dolphins | Main | Report: Cortland Finnegan to visit Dolphins »

Dolphins think value with benefits and repercussions

It's not right to say the Dolphins are bargain shopping in free agency. Not when Brandon Albert got $20 million in guaranteed money two days ago and the highest average per year salary of any left tackle signing during free agency.

It is more accurate to say the Dolphins are value shopping. General manager Dennis Hickey has said that over and over, again and again.

"Again, we always look at value," he said. "That’s what we’ve done so far, and that’s what we will continue to do. Putting a number on those things, again we are just trying to get the best 53-man roster."

And so this is what you must keep in mind as free agency continues ... According to sources familiar with the Dolphins thinking, the club is now value shopping for a cornerback. Miami is value shopping for a running back -- and on this one, the shopping may very well lead to the draft. (More on that in a moment).

The Dolphins are still shopping for both a guard and a right tackle, although getting good value on this front may be more tricky, one source tells me.

Value shopping takes time.

And it is risky because other teams with similar needs can easily set higher values on players.

But this is apparently what the Dolphins are committed to doing. Sometimes it works and the value the team places on a player leads the player to or back to Miami -- think Randy Starks. Sometimes it fails and the value the team places on a player leads him elsewhere -- think Paul Soliai.

There are other instances where setting a certain value or price point for a player doesn't get it done. And the offensive line offers multiple examples of this.

The Dolphins offered guard Zane Beadles a contract they believed to give them (and him) good value. But the Jacksonville Jaguars blew Miami out of the water with a five-year, $30 million deal that included $12 million in guarantees.

That's right tackle money, folks.

Beadles is a guard.

The Dolphins also wanted Rodger Saffold to play alongside Albert at left guard or perhaps right tackle. But the Oakland Raiders blew Miami out of the water with a five-year, $45 million deal that included $21.5 million in guarantees. Think of this: The Raiders were going to pay Saffold, who is not durable and not a home run as a left tackle, more guaranteed money than the Dolphins were going to pay a proven Pro Bowl left tackle.

And the Dolphins offer was to pay Saffold as a guard or right tackle.

They couldn't compete. Thankfully, actually.

Well, last night the Raiders either got buyer's remorse or the team doctor became the smartest man in the organization. The Raiders failed Saffold in his physical.

Saffold is now going back to the Rams.

So where does that leave the Dolphins?

Again (as Hickey likes to say) the Dolphins are hunting for a veteran cornerback, a guard, a right tackle and a running back.

The cornerback issue is one where value has just reared its head. The Philadelphia Eagles this morning announced they agreed to terms with now former Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll.

The Dolphins like Carroll. He's big, he's fast. His best football is in front.

But they didn't value him as a starter. They valued him as a No. 3 type guy.

Carroll valued himself as a starter, or at least someone who could compete to start. And the Eagles convinced him he had a place there. So the Dolphins lose the player who started 22 games for them the past two years -- more than anyone else.

The hunt continues for a veteran corner -- one who can compete to start but can slide into the No. 3 role if he doesn't win the competition. The Dolphins like San Francisco's Tarrell Brown. They've shown interest in Walter Thurmond.

Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie and Antonie Cromartie are out there. But both are starting corners who expect to be paid like big-time starting corners. Do the Dolphins value them as such? That's the only way Miami has any interest.

I have no idea who the Dolphins are targetting at guard and right tackle now. [Update: The Miami Herald has confirmed Rams guard Shelley Smith is scheduled to visit tonight and tomorrow. He has visited the Giants and is currently in New England. He's looking for around $3 million a year. Good luck with that. He'll soon understand Dolphins are looking for value.]

The Dolphins initially called on New Orleans right tackle Zach Strief and apparently were scared away by 1. His strong desire to return to New Orleans. 2. His price. (Perhaps this changes, perhaps not).

The team desperately and I do mean desperately needs to add a couple of more veterans on the line. The consensus top guards and right tackles are apparently spoken for. What is mostly left are mid-level players.

So can Hickey fight off desperation and not sign a mid-level player for starter money because those mid-level players are going to start?

As to the running back issue, the Dolphins are in something of a tight spot. It is no longer a question of whether the team will add one. Sources tell me that is definitely the plan. The Dolphins want a big, bruising back that can pick up the short yards and also run over people in late-game situations protecting the lead.

(Good-bye Daniel Thomas).

Is there anyone out there like that? Ben Tate is available, but I don't know that is likely because he wants a bundle of cash to be the man. The Dolphins intend to run by committee.

I'm told the team believes there can be value in finding that RB in the draft -- and not necessarily early in the draft. So this can happen later.

I suppose that's what hunting for value is about. Waiting for the right time to strike. And that is often ... later.



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

My opinion with the OL from beginning has and still remains to be sign top tier LT (check) LG on team, Pouncey, solid (scheme fit)RG, draft RT (resign Clabo). So that is just me. And I'm okay with it so far.

Texas, I wouldn't bother with mack. We offer him, wait 7 days only for the Borwns to match and we are left with nothing.

I know the price on Collins is steep but I easily do the $8M a year deal instead. Signing Collins has so many benefits.

1. Gives us the best pair of tackles in the NFL and along with Pouncey and a #1 or #2 spent on a guard, we are not spending picks or dollars on the o line for the next 4 years easy.

2. When Albert misses a game or two, we slide Collins over and we suffer no drop off in LT play.

3. If Albert completely dogs it (which isn't as real a concern as 1 or 2), we have our next LT in the wings.

Sign Collins, have an offer or two for "value" free agents in positions of mild need #2 TE, #3 CB as insurance for Taylor, Daryl Smith for MLB, and close up shop until the draft...

There, done, cap in healthy situation going forward and we stocked our O line with premium talent - not guys we have to hope outperform their contracts.

Mark, never mind about Collins. I didn't realize he signed with Tampa.

We aim to be the nicest team in the AFC East.

Earl Mitchell is one of very few D Tackles that can also run side line to side line.

Dalmus > Clemons.

Hickeys whipping up a defense better than 2 watts momma grits.

looking at the lay of the land, who the Fins lost, signed, and who is/was out there....this is about what I and I'm sure others here expected--hard to argue with who they signed and what they paid (lets not quibble)....hard to argue with cutting Patterson and not re-signing Carroll for the 2.6 mill/yr that he got (Mando, he's started most games out of necessity....our poor depth and Patterson's injuries--Carroll didnt start because he was good)--the OLman are getting overpaid by a good bit, so no thanks, although we do need to add 1 or two--RB will take shape, and our young CBs have to step up, bottom line

Collins signed with the Bucs. 5 years 30 mil 15 mil guaranteed. I feel we kind of missed out there.


Didn't realize that either - 5 years, $30M - this doesn't scream value to the team? I think that's an amzing signing for TB.

Well, that does it, all the top shelf o line talent is gone. Hickey better know what he's doing. Given the history of this team... I don't have the warm and fuzzies...

S Smith can fill that role just fine

Thank you.
The way last season ended and the way Mando reported it Ross was upset that we missed postseason and so we were expecting something big.

What we got is a rebuild.

If we are going into rebuild mode then Mando should report that not put up a list of premiere FA's that are supposedly falling all over themselves to come play here.

the players
want ritchie

Shorter Armando Salguero:they spent well on two FAs, but now they've reverted to Full Ireland Mode:looking for acorns & hanging on to tons of cap $$.
They're through w/FA. More mediocrity looms.

I'm not feeling this free agency at all....

Treading water to be generous for a team that had a huge chance to improve itself...

Now if we can find 5 starters from this draft we will be improved....sheesh.

I guess then perhaps the plan is for Jamar Taylor, Dallas Thomas, Will Davis, Jelani Jenkins, and Mike Gillislee to really surprise us this year.

now that j mart
has proper coaching
he will be a beast out west

That was a good signing by the Bucs. I have to imagine that he went here because he wanted to be LT not RT and we had signed Albert for the LT job. I really can't imagine not reaching out to him.

That also changes my mock as I had the Bucs taking LT early.


Whats the deal with you, bud? I see you on here every day fighting with someone. Today and yesterday it was Mark. Other days its been me. I've seen you fighting with Dashi. And why? Because other people have a different opinion than you. It turns into name-calling and insults. Same pattern as YG. He could never handle other people feeling different about something than him. Always tried to make it seem like he was smarter than everybody else and only his way to look at things. And like. You, he would do it at this time of year....FA and the draft. Always go to worked up, and it eventually turned to name-calling.

Interesting that we haven't seen him on here in months. Just sayin'......

Hickey better prove himself to be a draft day wizard.

ross pooped his drawers
and dawn pooped her panties
when Monroe
signed 4 millions
cheap ross

I think Kadeem Carey will be the best RB out of this draft in terms of overall abilities.


A little patience, bud. Free agency only started less than 48 hours ago. Nobody ever won a championship by spending in FA. You're setting yourself up for major disappointment (think Eagles from two years ago).

Another guard in FA, and Zach Martin to play guard or RT, plus a RB via the draft and we're well on our way to being improved.

Do we have anymore FA moves left or was that it?

I wonder if the Bucs will cut Donald Penn now that they've added Collins? Might he be the guy to play RT? I like what the Bucs have done so far. Good moves.

Gotta listen to Dashi. He was right on Lacey last year.I think Tre Mason or Andre Williams might be the targets in the draft. Be awesome if Hickey could add a stud like Martin in Tampa.


I have a to agree a little with your assessment of FA so far. I believe we have improved but not to the degree that we go into the draft NOT needing any position and being able to draft BPA. We still have a gaping hole on the OL.

Our DL is pretty much the same but younger and IMO our D backfield has improved a little if Delmas can stay healthy. Another corner in FA would be good. Someone mentioned the other day that Munnerlyn would be a good pickup as a nickel back and I agree.

The one FA left that might help the OL situation a little is D. Joseph. But that is just a stop gap for a year or 2.

Win or lose, I'll take boldness over safe mediocrity any day.

Ànd cue the oh so. Original 'Mouthy M for Moron' from FYI at any point now. Again, same type of behaviour we used to see from YG.

Face it. The fins are done with FA. Why the obsession with value when you HAVE THE MONEY AND YOU STILL NEED THREE MORE O-liners?
They're effing up so they hang onto $. Shameful.

I like Anthony Collins but I think you. Guys are nuts if you think the Dolphins should have paid him $7 million a year to play RT. Good player but you do realize hes started very few games in his NFL career before last year, right?

Ordered my Revis jersey already

Gonna be a great year!

1st day of FA: "Hooray for Hickey!"

2nd day of FA: "OK...good."

3rd day of FA: "ZZZZZ..."

Keep D.Thomas. Not his fault JI put together one of the worst OL in Fins history. There's value in keeping him and not focusing effort and money elsewhere. focus on the OL and giving RT17 more time and everything should benefit.

Then I'm nuts.... They have the money! Spend it on an o-line at least. Pennies wise & pounds foolish.
Disappointed that FA Means Albert & MITCHELL & NO ONE ELSE.

Might have to get a pair of NFL gloves

Hard to choose between Patriots Revis gloves or
Jets Eric Decker gloves


maybe just get both pair

Wonder if elite RB Daniel Thomas will make the Pro Bowl this year?

Dolphins might want to consider trading Tanneeehill
for Thad Lewis


Eric Decker can catch with his hands Home, so pass on him. No one to throw him a pass anyway. Instead of Revis gloves buy Ryan socks.

You're a very strange dude Reel Dolphin. You don't see anything with a non fan hanging out in a Dolphin blog posting comments all day?

Seek help immediately......

Cameron Marshall might just be the back they are looking for.

DT won't but RT will.

My latest Fanspeak mock:

1) Eric Ebron TE
2) Brandon Thomas -OT/G
3) Lache Seastrunk -RB
4) Tahj Boyd -QB
5) Andre Williams -RB
6) Lamin Barrow-ILB

i don't think they are good with lamar miller being the number 1 back. i think they want an eddie lacey type to be their number 1 and miller to spell him and do some work out of the backfield in the passing game.

Realistically no chance the Dolphins make the Playoffs for the next three years

Next year we release Tannehill and retool the LBs

At least Kuechly and his team are doing well
like to see them sign WR Nicks & WR Edelman

Am a fan of the Dolphins

Home roots against them every week

Especially watching Tannehill get sacked
Cheered loud 58 times last season
Oh and the fumbles and turnovers . . . lol

This is not REAL Home anyway. REAL home died of an overdose in an alley last year. This is 2 watt on a copy cat binge.

1)Tannehill = Bust

2)Martin = Bust

3)Egnew = Bust


Don't ever mention 'we' in one of your sentences. you're not part of the 'we'. You're some half-wit who slams all things Dolphin.

Get a life bud.....

Ross = Millions More in Corporate Welfare please

woodshed, ebron will be gone before we pick. but would like that if he dropped to us.
only one OL??

Just tuned in so I may be saying something already covered? Smith, per ESPN is rated as a B-. They say that he's fast w/ quick feet and fits very well into a zone blocking scheme. The negative on him is that his pants are a bit light and doesn't have the great anchor in pass protection.

Home failed his GED equivalency with a score of 33.3%

Keep studying home.

Hickey has already earned my benefit of the doubt. Shrewd and intelligent moves so far.

As for D. Thomas, well, I wish I was wrong the night he was drafted when I said it was a terrible pick. Especially considering they moved up to get him. Turns out I was right, because that guy is not a good RB. I have no idea what they saw in him at Kansas St, and I still dont. He doesnt do anything particularly well.

Lamar Miller on the other hand has showed quite a bit of promise. He's been respectable despite the fact any holes to run thru have been few and far between. Put an actual offensive line in front of him and I think we'd have one of the more explosive RB's in the league.

no one here has mentioned the possibility of trading a mid/late rd pick for an OG or OT....uh, we are allowed to make a trade and if we can pick up a solid, experienced Olman with a 4th or 5th, or even trade a player, why not?

Craig, i don't know if you checked out exactly who's left out there in free agency but none of these guys are a significant improvement over John jerry, Richie Incognito, or Tyson Clabo.... wish I could rest as easy as you here but I don't see where the upgrades are coming from. Signing one very good young vet from free agency for the line was not sufficient. Does signing Shelley Long make you feel like we took care fo the line?

Wonder if the 3rd overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft fro the Dolphins will make more than special teams this season?

Ross has proposed to pay for all stadium renovations in exchange for the same tax break the Heat and Marlins get. Ross would also make contributions to education. 25% and dropping

Keep studying home

IMO Zack Martin is better suited to play RT. My reasoning is the bigger guys in the pros will have a field day shoving him back into the QB's pocket and not allow TH to step up and throw. I also feel the power rushers such as Williams for the Bills will give Martin trouble. With time he may get bigger/better at handling those guys but his best asset right now is handling speed rushers with ease. That is why I believe his best value is RT.

With that said I would rather wait til later rounds and get a RT. There are several that will be available.

Home does like the new Dolphin logo

Also like the new stunning blue colors instead of teal

the team well realistically they need a lot of work

Craig, he actually signed for $6M - we paid $5M for Clabo... I don't know how anyone can't see this was a giant miss... perhaps he didn't want to play RT - but I think he like others wanted to get paid more than anything else - not like he would be playing for another contract after this one ... sweeten the offer a bit and get it done..

I guess this off-season we're seeing the fallout from Philbin convincing Ross that last year we paid a lot and didn't get a lot of return on investment. That argument was in reality a smokescreen to cover up bad coaching, infighting, and a lack of player development. Ross sided with Philbin and so here we are.

This is why last year we really were chasing the Patriots, and this year we're back to looking for acorns.

Which team in the NFL has 5 pro-bowlers on the OL?

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »

The comments to this entry are closed.