« 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.

Think Value?

Funny thing about this, its a "two-sided coin", there's now and then there's later. Both has to be weighed very heavily before settling on "the final decision. Example:

First Tier Free Agents

Yes, we grabbed one, Albert. First tier fa's are quite expensive, but are still "Great Values" when looking further down the road. I'm speaking of grabbing two first tier fa's when there's one 26 to 27yrs old.

Jarius Byrd would have made great sense in this case, though many cried, "he's too expensive". His youth(26yrs old) made him a "definite value." Also, if not Byrd, put the "full court press" on at least one other OT.

So, in this tier, I give us a "B-" grade. Should have added at least 1 more top tier fa. Byrd or a OT

2nd Tier Free Agents

Here, we signed a DT. Resigned Starks. Definitely getting great value. Getting Shelly Smith(OG) here would definitely finish things off, giving us an "A grade" here.

I know Carroll didn't get resign, I place him in this category, but it clears room for the the rookie corners to fight it out for start across from Grime or the "3rd corner" position. Cant rule out "resigning Patterson cheaper" here either. That would give us an "A+" in our 2nd tier fa shopping category.

3RD Tier FA

Running back, running back, running back! Can it be anymore obvious? Bringing Ted Ginn back as a returner would be a huge bonus too.

still no moves, lets hope they are working hard

Actually the team logo should be two cherries and the team will be renamed 'The Miami Low Hanging Fruits'.

Given Tanne's propensity to sacks and fumbles I agree that we needed 4 new offensive linemen but not just average - we need them to be good players NO MATTER THE COST
So I too am a little disappointed that the top 5 FA or maybe 6 who would have definitely upgraded our OL (who were an improvement over what we had)are now gone to other teams
I really hope some of you are right and that Hickey does have a good master plan
I think he just miscalculated the value of some of them and it cost us.
To us the value is much higher than for any other team because of our fumble prone QB and weak OL we had
I am not going to loose faith yet - like one of the bloggers said maybe we will make a trade and get 2 second rounder's for Dion whom we obviously did not and still do not need.
Maybe there are other trades in the works to bring us more draft picks
until the dust settles I will reserve my judgment.
But I want results NOW . Not next year or the year after

Frank @ 3:13, considering their current RT is Dallas Thomas - I think you would be an upgrade.

cheap ross
put an end to
the $pending

I really don't like the Dolphins philosophy on running backs. Marshawn Lynch is the man in Seatle, Frank Gore is the man in San Francisco. These are championship quality teams. I think that this is Philbin's philosophy he brought from Greenbay, the only problem is that he didn't bring Aaron Rodgers with it. Even Aaron Rodgers has struggled in the playoffs in the past not having a strong running game. Now that Philbins gone they've got that fixed (Eddie Lacey). The new fad of under valueing running backs is a mistake by the NFL. Soon they will learn that throwing the ball 40 times a game and average running backs by committee belongs in the Arena league. I still prefer a little bit of 3 yards and a cloud of dust over passing fantasy football numbers that don't end up in championships(Peyton Manning & Tom Brady in his ALMOST perfect season.

pujo...agree completely

55 td's
and no ring

Get BEN TATE now!


Not sure what you see, but this team was pretty much a piece crap on "BOTH" sides of the ball in 2013.

The "bend don't break" defense was only "a couple bends away" from breaking and sending us into a "4-12 season". It's a "MIRACLE" a defense that "bent so regularly" did not "give up FAR MORE points". My great fear is, "Will the points come pouring down on them this year"?

You just do not fix "all that ailed" this team in a single offseason. As I've been posting, "to do it CORRECTLY its a TWO YEAR fix".

You can not throw "bunch of crap" at the wall hoping that it all will stick.

They can sign whomever they want in FA but the truth of the matter is unless they draft at least two guys that will become team leaders who haven't been influenced by another team and can bring an IDENTITY to this team then Miami will continue to go nowhere.

Read up on Tate, I just did, Injuries almost every year that took him out of the lineup, and he never has played close to a full season of hits.

Daniel Thomas was used primarily as a short yardage back most of his career with the Dolphins. So his ypc average is misleading. I'd much have a guy that has made a few mistakes because of too much effort than a guy who is mistake free and gives too little effort(Lamar Miller). Never could understand the love for Miller who has some descent speed but to me a poor football player.

You guys thinking the oline is going to be "totally rebuilt" with "quality pieces" in a single offseason are "stroking yourselves".

Hickey landed at least one great piece, which happens to be the most important one on the oline. What, did you think that "all of the top tier olinemen" were going to just come flocking to Miami, as "soon as the free agency bells sounded off"?

Just keep "dreaming a dream" please never awaken me. :)

Patterson could not stay healthy

Carroll was so overrated and last year will prob be the best year of his career

The fact remains
We lost 7 INTS by losing these CBs
Patterson-4 Carroll-3

Is CB Taylor gonna get us 7 INTs this season?

Pujo, I agree on DT, however even for Lamar Miller, the line was terrible, I wish I could type it like Barkley says it. I do not think we saw even close to what either guy can do with a consistant line. Because last year was just terrble.

Generally I dont agree with MIT since he seems to focus just on the stats and not the reality of how those stats were accumulated BUT I think he is dead on here - we have two OL - go overspend and fill in the OL - we are desperate and need to overpay. We cant go to the draft and expect to find 3 Starters or even 2 starters. This is kinda the same old approach - looking for bargains and hoping we catch lightning a bottle.


That is an easy one....TURRIBLE!


Exactly why Tate is a "3RD TIER" fa and is still on the market. Yes he has injury issues, but when he's healthy, he's a "real baller".

He's 3rd tier, making him cheap, but when he's healthy, "oh boy"! I would "roll the dice" and take him at the right price.

Sam, I am cool with that, but my understanding is he is asking for pretty big mney. And with his rap sheet, he is not a guy we take and rplace DT. We would need to keep DT and use another roster space unless we use LM for kick returns... Cut Thiggy.

Barry Jackson ‏@flasportsbuzz 45s

Dolphins today again reached out to Zach Strief,the best remaining free agent RT.They would like him to visit.Will play out over coming days

Rdubs, the part that stinks there... "The best remaining" Ugh, Is Clabo still with us?

I think I am on the MIT train, We should have put the money in the O-line to a max. :)


You guys need to "snap back into reality". We have Pouncey, Martin, and perhaps 1 early rd quality rookie olineman. That will give us 3 quality starters.

In "real time", not "fairytale land" that's the best we can hope for.

3 quality starters, then perhaps get a lucky and have a "4th guy" come thru. Most NFL teams only have 2-3 "really good" olinemen as starters. The rest are pretty "plain Jane average". They just "operate well as a unit".

If we end up with 3 very good olinemen, then the other 2 operate well "within the unit". Whalla, problem solved.

There is a shortage of guards out there but there are plenty of RB's and CB's who would fit our needs.
Charles Tillman, Captain Munnerlyn, Ben Tate, and MJD for example.

I have to agree with who are saying we have plenty of cap space....why all the bargain basement hunting??
Maybe all the blame we've been putting on Ireland for acorns should actually be on Aponte.

We should be looking for good players period instead of placing a dollar value on what we want to spend.
I get guys like Rodgers Cromartie don't make any sense because he would want starter money and be a progress stopper.

Paying a little more than acorn pay for a veteran presence like Tillman who might mind playing the nickle would be a good idea imo.


Tate asks and Tate does not receive. Doesn't matter what he ask, the market eventually determines what he receives. It's still fairly early, but because of his demands, he may be one of those guys that signs after draft. Far lower than he originally demanded.

Or, accepts a 1yr "prove yourself 1st" deal. Now that might be in our "ball park".

2012 CB Dick Sherman 8 INTs
2013 CB Dick Sherman 8 INTs

2009,2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 CB Sean Smith 7 INTs total

You guys are talking like we need to pay guards tackle money to be successful.


MIT's train? What, will you all be seeping together? Because that's a whole lotta dreaming that kid's been doing.

Guys, there's a thing called "REALITY". We all want to win the lottery, but, does it happen? Funny thing about reality, it seems to have a great power to wake us all the fukk up. Doesn't it?

Hickey probably wanted to sign all of the best olinemen in fa too. Have you guys even remotely taken that into consideration? Reality is the great "wakeup call" for us all. :)

Give W. Thurmond & Shelley Smith a 4 yr. deal each. Both can be had without a ton of guaranteed money. Thurmond would require more $$.

If they do sign them, OL & CB are infinitely better than last year & mostly settled in FA. Even without them, both units have improved.

People claiming the CB's, Safety, DL & OL are worse need to stop whining. I mean, it's just not true. You all look ridiculous with the nonstop b*ching.

Delmas over Clemmons = at WORST a wash
Albert over McKinney/Martin - Upgrade
Brenner over Brenner - Wash
Pouncey over Pouncey - Wash
Garner over Jerry - Wash
Rookie RT over Clabo Upgrade

Throw Smith in there over Brenner & Garner & it's another upgrade.

DB's are essentially unchanged because Patterson hardly played. Any DB they sign will be a major upgrade as long as he can line up every week!

Mitchell over Soliai - at worst a wash. Soliai wasn't the dominant force he used to be & not as young and athletic as Mitchell.

Get a grip fans. The sky isn't falling! If your gonna whine like man babies, at least be able to back it up.


What dah ya think 6-10 or 7-9 ?

Sam - I appreciate your optimism - I hope you are right but prior history says otherwise..... Look aT Denver - best team in AFC just got better - went out and spent $$$$ on three studs on D - werent looking for value play - they are going for it. As MIT said - big deal if we have cap space again next year.......

When Tannehill's stats are even worse this year

Who we gonna blame this year other than Tannehill?
0-line, WRs, TEs, WRs, RBs, coaching or Stiff Wind from the East, bad finger, hemorrhoids ?

Definitely NOT Tannehill

Ben Tate taking visit to Miami Friday morning!!!

Per ESPN says Ben Tate on his way to Miami tomorrow for a visit. We'll see.

Ben Tate visiting Miami. Cool beans. Awesome!

SAM I AM @3:37

You are correct.
You cannot build a team in one offseason. I do not have a problem with that.
My problem is with dishonesty. Reading Mando's columns for the past 2 months I was under the impression that a) Ross felt like we were very close to being a playoff team and b)a couple of good FA moves would put us over the hump.

It is now abundantly clear that was all a lie.
Hickey is going to draft the players that HE wants moving forward. Philbin will be fired after or during next season which means Tanne is on the way out also.

So why not be honest and just clean house all at once, why try to decieve us?


What dah ya think 6-10 or 7-9 ?

Posted by: Reel Dolphin In Sight w Home | March 13, 2014 at 04:12 PM

I think more of it than I do you. How you like dem apples, baby?


ben tate
leaving Miami

We have cap space every year because Ross is a cheap SOB and won't spend chit. That's a big part of why we stink every year.

so 7-9 All the Time

No reason to complain fish won a Playoff game 13 yrs ago and nothing since

Go Fish!

lol @ 2 watt

Tannehill sucks


Every sunday afternoon next football season? Let's face it win or lose our Sundays are spoken for.

Go Phins!

On another note, homeless turd's favorite team, the Jets, are doing next to nothing with all their money.

Giacomini & Pettigrew aren't upgrades.

Decker was a decent signing but, they need a lot more than a #2 WR catching passes from a lousy QB.

Imagine if some of the disgruntled fans on this blog were Jets fans? They'd be burning down Giants stadium!

There is a new book on EBay "1001 Excuses for Ryan Tannehill"

S400 million for a big shade tarp and a few new toilets

Sounds like a sham to Home

add another $600 million plus and u can get a whole new state of the art stadium

Freakin Corporate Welfare Con Man


Cant wait to see decker without manning throwing to him - I can hear the booo's now.

Jets were better than Tannehill's Dolphins w
Geno's 25 INTs


Go Tanny


Denver's trying to "catch up to Seattle". New Englands "trying to catch up to Denver". We're "FAR" from the class of "any of these teams". They're playing for "all of the marbles". We're still "trying to assemble enough marbles, just to be allowed into the game.


The "TIMING" just isn't right for us to "play all in". We're "too far way". "ALL IN" for us right now, could "END IN" total collapse. The timing just isn't right, be careful what you wish for.

I am the poster child for birth control


Jets are right above the Dolphins taking a dump on the fish


me too


I am also the prototype to building the perfect idiot


Sam - all good points - but at some point we need to go to the next level - and sometimes you need to go all in. Same approach isnt working year after year - fan base needs some excitement.

Geno will be better than Tanny

Tanny last year starting in the NFL is 2014

Need more proof? I don't know how to spell real


Ryan Tannehill,worst QB in the league?

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »

The comments to this entry are closed.