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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.



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Who needs Jake Long, Karlos Dansby, Reggie Bush, Brandon Marshall, Vontae Davis, Paul Soliai, Kevin Burnett, Tony McDaniel?


Strong run bloacker

gave up the 2nd most sacks amongst tackles last year

so he's not a left tackle anymore - may work at rt..

Posted by: Frank from PA | March 13, 2014 at 01:33 PM

Best post of the day!!

oday in 2000: After turning down an offer to join the Vikings, QB Dan Marino retires from the NFL


Posted by: Mark in Toronto | March 13, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Uh, that would be Shelley LONG who played Diane, Mark. Stick to the CBC news. LOL
Shelley Smith, the actress/model? Now That's whom the Fins need to sign. Tanny's wife with a butt.

Rome wasn't built in a day!!

This team has been f'c-ed up for so many years. We think it will be totally fixed in 3 days of FA? Not realistic.

I for one am very glad to see Hickey act prudently and not go on a drunken spending spree. Ross is NOT cheap. He spends his money each year in an effort to improve the team and fanchise overall.

Hickey has made smart moves with Grimes, Starks, Delmas, Albert and Mitchell. Smith is no super star but he is likely an upgrade over Jerry for god sake.

I think they will add a total of 2-3 more players in FA. Stud signings? Likely not but more than likely upgrades.

I also think it's fair to say that Hickey will land at least 2 starters in the draft who will obviously help in big ways.

No time for panick. Stay the course. Remember we were one game away from the playoffs. A few better coaching moves in a couple of games and we would have been there. This is NOT a REBUILD project.

As my much as we need another Olineman..Frank is right. There are lots of options & time. Don't get me wrong we have to have another OL f/a but it's not like we're the Denver Broncos either in a "must win right now" situation.
Speaking of which if I were JOHN ELWAY how am I not making a play for AP right now!! Viks would be silly NOT to trade AP..they're in a clear rebuild mode.

The Dolphins are close I believe but if anyone here thinks we're SB bound..that's just ridiculous.
-don't see Martin there @ 19 if he is great but based on what I've seen I draft m as a G maybe RT but thinking G.
I'm seriously not in favor of a RB f/a as I've said before..mainly because if they didn't BLOW IT UP on their last team I highly doubt they're coming into this Dolphins Oline to do just that. Had D Thomas been buried on depth chart for 3 seasons I'd say hold BUT he hasn't & needs to be released or pkgd for a trade. I'd be more in favor of keeping Egnew over Thomas given strides he made from 1st to 2nd yr..it's clear cut development, haven't seen that from DT.

Someone keeps mentioning..

Two words: Chris Johnson

One Sentence: his own teammate said he blames everyone else for his problems, just what I want..a guy who doesn't take any responsibility..NOT!

Even after all LM hype last offseason I drafted Lacy(FF)when LM still on the board& being Fin fan. And same reason say it over & over We need to draft a Bruising, Punishing Pounding RB in Draft..the odds of getting THE GUY you need after the 2nd Round dramatically decrease.

Draft a new HC

oh yeah, and i almost forgot, with the sacks from last year still piled up in my head, and not to say i told you so but...BEN TATE is not just a first down waiting to happen, he is that EXTRA layer of protection for tannehill, picking up blitzers that last years crew was simply unable to do. this is a GREAT need...i was pounding the table for lacey last year, and he proved to be every bit what he could be... i know that landing a BEN TATE doesn't stamp our ticket to the superbowl, but it DOES protect tannehill, and isn't that what were trying to do? obviously so after signing brandon albert...and aren't we trying to give tannehill better protection so as to launch BOMBS to mike wallace....yes, ben tate is much more then an answer for 3rd and 1(which is also an area of major concern) just think, one man, one man that could fix MANY problems...the deep ball, 3rd and 1, maintain a lead late in the game, another worry for defenses that would inturn reduce the pressure and sacks felt by tannehill... ALL IN...Mr. Ross if you were a gambling man, this may be as good of a bet, if not THE best bet you can make...go all in on BEN TATE!

I realize it's been said somewhere here, but if those 2 corners Ireland drafted combined can't be better than was Carroll......
YOUR son, FZB, Mr Ireland did this to us. No O-Line, drafting Martin, no running game.

Wondering, has Patterson signed on with anyone as yet? Why not offer him 2.5 million, 1 year contract? Nothing to lose except 2.5 million.

Running back Darren Sproles, who Wednesday expressed a desire to be released by the New Orleans Saints, was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday for a fifth-round draft pick.

The deal was first reported by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

More from ESPN.com

The addition of Darren Sproles to the already potent Eagles offense gives mastermind Chip Kelly another weapon in creating trouble for opposing defenses, writes Todd Archer.


"Darren Sproles is an unbelievable offensive weapon," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. "He can do it all -- run, catch -- plus he's a proven winner. And on top of that, he can bring all of those dynamic skills to the return game as well. There is no question we were all excited once we found out we were going to be able to trade for him

Budtki, Doesnt Ben Tate have a bit of an injury problem? He also only played at most 1/2 year per season. Not sure going all in on that is a great move. Somthing to look into, I think he was hurt early in his career often.

We have Daniel Thomas but he only plays good in the snow
That's why Miami drafted him???

and Egnew is due for a breakout year, possibly Pro Bowl

. . . . crickets

WR Nicks heading to Indy to talk Friday

Carolina might be the 1st team in the NFL to play w no WRs


Agree IMA.. Offer Patterson a "Delmas" contract..

Soo happy no chance of Carroll returning..

About protecting Tannehill...Vonta Leach to the best of my knowledge is still out there.

Sproles to Philly for a 5th rounder?

Way too much- we've got Thomas, Miller and Gillislee!

WHOAAAA!!!! I would sign him in a second

Ian Rapoport ‏@RapSheet 9s

#Patriots Pro Bowl DT Vince Wilfork has asked that the team release him after 10 seasons in New England, according to sources.

Yep id take a fb for Thill protec


I would go John Kuhn from the Packers, he is a FA and a better threat at catching the ball!

I actually agree with Mark im sick of the Funs rolling over cap money for next year. We're an 8 and 8 trying to push for a playoff spot.

You dont think STeve Smith, Julius Peppers, Cromartie wont help this team?? I do theyre vets but also leaders who know how to play the game at a high level at least another 2 years.

Hickey sittin on his hands isnt going to make this a playoff team!

Protect Tannehill with smart play calling. Keep a defense off balance and make them pay when they over commit.

Though I'm not against Vontae Leach, I want more traditional I-formation running anyway.

So Clemmons is signing with Detroit? That's nice...we've managed to exchange s****y safeties with the Lions. This is like when we traded Sammy Smith to the Broncos for Bobby Humphrey where we essentially traded one crack head for another.

Dolphins will need money to sign a real QB next year

@2:02, you do know that I've been intentionally calling this player Shelley Long as a form of protest for the inactivity on the o line free agent spending, right?

Just checking...

That why were back to a rebuilding year. You just cant loose all those offensive lineman and replace each one.

The goal this year is 6 or 7 wins and 7 or 8 next year
maybe 8-8 or even a winning record in yr 3

I would love Vince Wilfork fat a** taking on 3 blockers hes 10x the NT Solai is /was.

Wilfork must be sooo out shape right now pro 400 lbs and limping

Home thats quite possible

Ray, this is the badge of honor of being a Dolphins' fan ... the roll over cap space ... we will be the first team to have a $1B cap space and field a team for $12.50.

Due $7.5 million, the Pats had approached Wilfork about restructuring his contract. He clearly didn't like what they were selling, and would rather take his wares to the open market. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Wilfork isn't open to any sort of restructuring. Cutting Wilfork would clear $8 million in cap space, but leave behind $3.6 million in dead money. Wilfork appeared in just four games last season before tearing his Achilles' tendon. Going on 33, Wilfork has spent his entire 10-year career with the Patriots

From Walter football - via B. Jackson.

3/13: "Miami has called to express some level of interest in several other guards, including Daryn Colledge, Wade Smith and center/guard Even Dietrich Smith. Davin Joseph remains a possibility." - Barry Jackson, Miami Herald

Rdubs...even better

With GB connection, wonder why Philbin & co. don't go for it?

Wade Smith?? LOL... Lets bring back Fred Evans! LMAO

Remembering Wilfork in bitter negotiations w the Pats. It got ugly. However since, Wilfork has become one of Bobby Krafts FAvs. Would not be surprised if they let him go.
He is old, coming off a major injury for an incredibly large mammal and is expensive

Wow, the Iggles got Sproles for a 5th rounder? Total steal.
Another fall back option at RT is to sign Eric Winston. I beieve he played better than Clabo last year?
If Wilfork leave NE, he won't be coming here. Count on it.

I just dont get why we dont sign some vets on a short contract whos proven theyve been decent players in the league.. A team with a bunch of rookies and and 2nd year players isnt going to do squat.

Wilfork is actually from Palm Beach county, FL
Univ of Miami standout
Draft 21 st overall

Pro Bowl 2007,2009,2010,2011,2012

Anything left in the tank?

I like the idea of looking into 1 of the 2 Cromarties for the other CB position, I think both our young corners did not see enough playing time last year to start. I'm not so sure about the bruising back in free agency however, I think that guy could be picked up in the draft in the lower rounds. How bout this, look into Darrin Sproles to go with Miller and the draft bruiser, sounds good to me. they WILL NOT get any O lineman this early in FA, they are all holding out for big bucks, that's where the value thing comes into play. I think they get someone like Zach Martin with the 1st pick, so really your looking at both guard positions and they will not pay a guard tackle money, period. I think Hickey is doing an admirable job without scarificing the future, Look at the Cowboys, what a mess.

Only watch the Dolphins to get hypnotized by the new electric blue color

the team, ... meh

Sorry, forget Sproles now, I just heard. oh well...

Home Wilfork would be motivated to kill the Pats for letting go as well as being an outstanding leader. Doesnt matter Fins wont sign him. Have we forgotten Philbum dont like leaders

More on LardASS Wilfork
In 2012, he was voted co-captain for the fifth straight season by his teammates

He finished the year with 48 total tackles and 3 sacks. His strong season earned him a spot in the Associated Press All Pro first team and in the 2013 Pro Bowl

In week 4 of the 2013 NFL season against the Atlanta Falcons, Wilfork tore his right Achilles' tendon while trying to get past Falcons offensive guard Justin Blalock

Wilfork missed the rest of the 2013 season after being placed on injured reserve

While the rest of the AFC East engages in an arms race, the Dolphins happily resume their acorn race.

Good point Ray


CB Taylor should step up this year and earn the starting position

Ireland cannot be wrong on every draft pick

or can he? ;)

Shows over.

Find FA is over. Pop the champagne, we saved a buncha money! Woo-hoo!

haha @ 2:44

Actually signing EDS would keep me from hyper ventilating....

Wilfork is DONE.... if we don't sign Anthony Collins or another top o lineman so we can sign this broken down player for $8M - i would not be happy...

Davonne Bess is o the new live

Bess is running down the interstate naked & high on meth
yelling, pass me the ball

he slipped and tackled himself

. . .nothing new here



Teams that felt like they are '1 player away' are making big moves specifically Broncos and Pats in AFC.

Teams that are trying to move from bottom 3rd to middle 3rd are also making moves, see the Jags.

Teams with one side of the ball in good shape are making moves for the other side of the ball, see the Jets.

What are we doing? Nothing

FO just cannot escape the Full Ireland Mode
Shameful FA performance except for two acquisitions. More good-value mediocrity looms large.

LOL @ Emo

Should get a fresh start by renaming team "The ACORNS". TWO Nuts will be new logo.


Thank you for the kind comments. I call it like I see it. I think our friend Mark is being too reactionary. Trust me guy the Dolphins KNOW that the OL is PRIORITY. Barry Jackson reported today that they reached out to other OG and brought in Shelly Smith who is a system fit. Maybe its RT position that they are waiting for the draft for? That said- Oher, Winston, or Clabo would be fine pieces for now. They can be had on the cheap at a later date. Other than Dietrich-Smith, what OL should they go after?

Donald Penn is a LT and Oak will come calling now that the Saffold deal fell through. Who else can they bring in Mark? Dont just pick anyone up who is no better than what you have on the current roster. That said, one more OL starter minimum, needs to be picked up in FA.

Aint It Great To be Crazy!

Bess was seen "acting irrationally"—singing, dancing, his pants falling to his ankles. A deputy approached Bess, who crushed a cup of coffee on the officer, assumed a fighting stance, and removed his shirt before eventually calming down and being arrested.

It wasn't Bess's first run-in with police, as revealed in an incident report obtained by the Miami Herald. On March 11, 2013, when Bess was still with the Dolphins, his mother flew in from California after being told he hadn't slept in three days and wasn't acting like himself. Police arrived at Bess's home to a strong smell of marijuana, and several friends attempting to restrain a raving, incoherent Bess. Police then took their turn:

Six BSO deputies were needed that night to restrain Bess, who was screaming, "Hide the guns!" "Where is my weed?" and "I want to get in the end zone; throw me the football!" according to the incident report.
Bess was taken to the hospital under the Marchman Act, a Florida law that allows for family members to have an individual hospitalized for substance abuse and given a psychiatric assessment without his consent.

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