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OL free agency possibilities: Stopgap, projects

Zach Strief re-signed with the New Orleans Saints today. He got a five-year deal worth $20.5 million with $8.4 million in guaranteed money, per a league source.

The Dolphins offensive line, meanwhile, will continue to seem incomplete as general manager Dennis Hickey now shops for bargain additions.

The Dolphins have a guard and right tackle spot open if one assumes sometimes NFL starter Shelley Smith -- signed Friday -- can become a fulltime NFL starter for the Dolphins.

So at guard one name that become prominent for the Dolphins now is John Benton. No, he's not a player. He's the new offensive line coach. And he happens to have been the Houston Texans offensive line before he came to the Dolphins.

And he's got his guys in his sights.

Sooo...

The Dolphins have shown preliminary and lukewarm interest in two former Texans linemen -- guard Wade Smith and tackle Ryan Harris.

Harris, 29, has been mostly a backup type during his six-year career with Denver and Houston. He started 10 games for the Broncos in 2010 but that's the last time he actually has been a starter. His time in Houston was spent mostly in a backup role. He is a depth guy and would likely be insurance, if signed, to a rookie draft pick starter option.

Smith is familiar to Dolphins fans. He was once the Dolphins starting left tackle.

That's right, that Wade Smith.

Smith was Miami starting right tackle in 2003 -- his rookie year after being drafted in the third round out of Memphis. And it wasn't a great experience (I recall one three-sack game). Smith started only two games the next three seasons and nobody seemed to notice when he departed in 2006.

But after languishing four four years and two teams, Smith's career hit a stride when he joined the Texans in 2010. He was a guard by then. And he was a starter -- putting a string of 64 consecutive starts at the position the next four years.

Smith is a veteran guard option for Miami. He's 32. He's a stopgap guy.

He'd like to return to the Texans but they have a new coaching staff and would like to upgrade their line. They encouraged him to test free agency.

As Benton has been his coach for years and the Dolphins will run the same (or very similar) zone scheme he's known in Houston, Smith could be an answer for the Dolphins. And the Dolphins could be the way he bookends his career, finishing where he started.

Comments

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I love discount shopping!!!No better feeling than getting a good deal!!

Don't forget Dallas Thomas is still on the team!

We fell much better now Jeff!

Armando

Please allow the "PROFESSIONALS" to do their jobs. Is Hickey trying to tell you how to write your columns?

To become a serious championship contender, this team is far more than a "single offseason" QUICK FIX. You of all people should now this.

Ryan Tannehill can definitely be more effective with a better offensive line.

Tannehill throws 24 TDs in 2013
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2d1iuGZHHI

Zach Strief five-year deal, $8.5 million guaranteed, averages $4.1 million per year, according to a source

Serious hometown discount there..

A "true fb" could help this oline. I would like to see us draft Jay Prosh fb Auburn.

He laid down lots of wood leading the way for Tre Mason in 2013.

JAY PROSH 5TH RD!

I have faith in Dennis hickey he is a seasoned pro he has been doing this all his life and has had great results plus he has the power of dawn on his side GO DOLPHINS GOD BLess

"SAM" = "SAMANTHA" = LESBIAN

This blog should be only for dolphins fans

Love pouncey to guard draft best center in draft mount McInnie rt Dallas Thomas Shelley Smith fight for last gaurd spot.

IF and I capitalize the entire word for emphasis, Miami goes OL with the first two draft picks and quickly concentrates on the secondary (DB/S), thenall is OK. There may be a plan to just supplement absolute dire needs and rebuild the OL squad from the draft... I would be on board with that. I am however perhaps traumatized by inane move of the recent past, when nothing made a lot of sense, and they go BPA (best player available), then I know I, and other fans might be in for a long season. I should be more trusting of the new administration but taking into consideration mistakes of the recent past, please don't blame me for being skeptical.

Go Dolphins!

S.O.S. Miami Dolphins

Forget Maduro, forget Putin...come help us

Does anyone realize that the Dolphins have over 120 million committed in contracts for 2015. That doesn't include this and next years draft classes, important resigning like Odrick or Pouncey and possibly even Clay. The big ticket shopping spree must end soon .

Jim Irsay, DUI, 4 counts of felony possession of a controlled substance. Owners are also subject to NFL's "Conduct Policy".

I found this surprising but I believe Jake Long and Joe Thomas also have short arms.... Jake and Zach have the identical arm length... Thomas shorter.

Like i said Martin won't be able to play LT right away and won't need to but in time... there is a possibility. Think he would be more than adequate at RT...lack of size or arm lenght will not be the reason he won't be able to.

Then again drafting an adequate RT in this deep of a draft for impact players seems like such a waste of a first pick.
Posted by: Mark in Toronto | March 17, 2014 at 11:13 AM

I still think finding a RT FA, bargain or not, is the way to go. Zach Martin, if they draft him, is truly on OG, not a OT. I still think the tires need to be kicked on Charles Brown from NO.

Resign McKinney right now 2 years 6 million and put Thomas at right guard and move on

Then we can draft bpa and really be ready for the draft remember this is a very deep draft

SAM(ANTHA):

Irsay got a DUI and you got a DLC (Drunk Lesbian Citation) so what's the difference?

Let the good times roll baby

Marc,

Are you talking about Dallas Thomas? Maybe they are happy with who they have on the team as far as OG goes? Would Mckinnie play RT?

If benton thinks having two backups on the line starting is the right course of action - then this must be one confident dude ...

personally, I'm not so confident.

Frank agree on free agency. Charles Brown is another LT but I don't think there are many LT jobs out theere and he lost his with NO last year to personal 2nd round favourite Terron Armstead (NO got great value in the 3rd)....

he's only 26 and unlike these others is an actual starter... battle tested and proven. Moderate upgrade to what we had, I'd take it at this point...

2014 is gonna be some kinda mixed bag of Oline..rooks, pb's, former Dolphin retreads, last season leftovers,udfa's..

My glass is usually half full..not so sure @ moment

st patty's joke of the day: what's the difference between a refrigerator and a woman? A refrigerator doesn't fart when you take the meat out. ooooooooooooooooH

MIT

There's also the option of trading back, picking up and extra 2ND RD pick. But, it would be a "nosebleed section" 2nd rd pick for sure.

Jeremy, no worries on the free agnet spending - not going to happen anyway.

But keep in mind they will also roll over ~ 20 million, cap is going up significantly and they will shed $20M in cap space by ridding themselves of Ellerbe/Wheeler by next offseason.

There is no cap crunch looming.

I do like the possibility of signing a cheap option like Harris as a fallback option if the draft option isn't ready to start day 1 next year.
However I think that a player like Mosley will be our first pick this year second will be a RT . I like Meowhart. He seems to finish his blocks very well. Is also athletic and will be able to work in the Zone scheme.
I also really like the LSU backfield. Jeremy Hill and his fullback JC Copeland would be awesome in Miami.

"Nosebleed section" 2nd round pick?

Really awkward use of mixed metaphors there, Sam. You're not an adept enough writer to attempt things like that so I'd just stick to VERY basic sentence structure if I were you.

Are we going to resign McKinnie?

Sam, I hate trading back but if they don't find an answer at one more o line position before the draft, they may have no choice.... Man, I hate passing up on top prospects because we have been unable to not draft or sign adequately. No bigger injustice in this sport than wasting drafts...

I thought Brenner played pretty good last year, am I wrong?

Actually McKinney as a right tackle could be a one year short time solution
he has tackle experience
he would not be the first one to change from LT to RT
Would probably sign on for one year
Could work out
I am not to sure that we will draft a RT with our first pick
I see us getting the MLB with the first pick
or trading down to pick up an extra pick in the second round
2 OL and a MLB are must fill needs in the draft and better to try to get them early so that we can have a better chance that they become starters

McKinnie has stated he would play RT.

I truly don't believe McKinney would be willing to move to Rt after his entire career @ left. Having said that the only way I'd want Mt Mac returning is if he had the most ridiculous offseason training regiment of his career & even then I'd take 'm only as either a backup to Albert or as security @ future Philbin press conferences. I think McKinney is done like his last nights White Castle drive thru dinner..

Someone posted a while back he was seriously training this offseason..anything more on that from anyone?

just curious....since the Colts have now had 7 people arrested from their organization since 2010, anybody know when the Wells investigation begins, into their dysfunctional/lacking leadership front office? After all, driving drunk is obviously illegal and literally puts lives in danger (vs a 300 lb guy getting bullied and called meanie names), so I'm assuming that investigation will start any day.....anybody happen to know the date?

Mark, I would look into Brown at this point. Him and Penn (probably not gonna happen) look like the best tackle options. After that we might as well bring Clabo back.

I see pick 19 coming down to 2 guys. Zach Martin and Ryan Shazier. I guess a distant 3rd would be Xavier Sua-Filo, but he is strictly a guard and 19 seems a bit early for him.

Personally I would take Shazier and see who fits in the middle the best between Shazier, Misi, and Ellerbe. I think Shazier could do it.

My 3 linebackers would be Shazier, Ellerbe, and Misi. I would bring in Jenkins for Misi on passing downs. Wheeler would be depth and special teams unless he is amazing in camp.

There is a lot more depth for O-line in rounds 2 and 3 then middle linebacker. The only linebacker I like in that range is Borland. O-line I can pick from Bitonio, maybe Sua-Filo, Gabe Jackson, David Yankey and others.

McKinnie is a fat slob. No way he'll play in a Benton Zone. He needs tackles that can get to the outside and block a screen.
As for my cap conundrum for 2015 it's worse than I thought Mark. The 120 million committed doesn't include Finnegan or Shelly Smith.

Mount McKinnie told WQAM he would be willing to move to RT and that the transition shouldn't be to hard. I say sign him on the cheep- we need all the insurance we can get along the OL.

Strief was a 7th rd pick, Shelley Smith was a 6th rd pick--another few guys that were on the Fins radar (or the fans radar) but recently signed with other teams were late rd picks--its not a stretch to think we can find a solid option in the mid/late rounds--sign another insurance guy or two, develop D Thomas, draft 1-2 Olman in the early rounds....and draft another 1 in late rounds--2 or 3 gotta stick, no?

agree re: McKinnie....sign him to a reasonable/cheap deal and add him to the RT mix, as an option/depth--I'd do the same with Clabo and Jerry, if the money was right (little)--they need bodies at this point and experience counts

A first round MLB makes a lot more sense than a Guard or RT given the supposedly depth at those 2 positions in this draft
but .................Our needs are very very big for a RT and a Guard
Hickey will have a heck of a decision to make when it is our turn
draft a MLB who can be a starter or draft an OL or trade down and pick up an extra pick in the late second round or early third round ?
McKinney can transition to RT lots of LT have done that towards the end of their careers as they loose a step
I would prefer to have McKinney trying out vs a rookie for RT than to bring back Clabo
and McKinney could become a back up tackle if he does not win that competition
as a one year option this might provide us with sufficient flexibility to allow us to go LB with the first pick
We know we can pick up the FB and the RB in later rounds

I'd like to believe guys like Wake, Wallace will be willing to restructure IF needed when time comes..also I doubt Moore would still be under contact @ that price if any at all..depending on draft & young talent @ CB position I doubt Finn is here nxt season..his contract is geared towards a low 1season stop gap

I've watched Dallas Thomas' draft videos and I'm shocked he couldn't crack the lineup last year. He's really mobile. I see him as a serious prospect to win the Right Guard position this year.
As it is there are 4 guys who can fight it out in camp for that job, Brenner, Thomas, Arkin and Garner. There has to be starter from that bunch. This to me is a spot where I'm not too worried.

you know what they say about short arms and small hands....

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | March 17, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Wheeler maybe, Ellerbe? Doubt it. But, what difference does it make?

Again, you're Assuming on things you are unqualified & just not smart enough to know.

You can shed contracts all day but, what does that do? It just opens more holes that must be filled with the cap space you save by releasing them. NET GAIN = 0.

So next offseason you'll be happy we saved cap space? Be sad we signed cheap replacements? Or be glad we give the replacements same or similar money to which we just freed up?

God, I don't know what's more alarming. Your ignorance or the fact that you are proud to continually demonstrate it.

ralph making sense....we have several significant needs so I'd strongly consider trading back out of 19 for an extra 2nd or 3rd rder, obviously depending on who is there at 19--definitely hope they take BPA regardless, which could definitely be a LBer around there--Ireland seemed to say that he took BPA but with a positional need in mind, which really isnt BPA in my opinion....basically justifying taking a guy to fill a need in many cases--rank them, and stick to that, regardless of need--draft talent

PLEASE NOT THE WADE SMITH HORROR GATE AGAIN? I HAVE VIVID MEMORIES OF JAY FIELDER DROPPING BACK TO PASS AND LOOKING FOR RANDY MCMICHAEL IN THE END ZONE AND THEN.... SACK !

WADE SMITH HOLDING FIFTEEN YARD PENALTY LOSS OF DOWN!

Lets bring back Jon Giesler and Erick Laakso to play guard and tackle.

I don't think we will have to worry about the CAP next year
too many options
Plus we will be cutting ellerby and wheeler
maybe cutting Moore
definitely cutting McKinney if he does comes back (he would be a one year stop gap)
maybe restructuring Wallace for sure
adding more rookies to replace veterans so maybe cutting another high price veteran or two
so lets not worry about the CAP for next year - we will be fine next year.
It certainly should not be the driver for what we do this year
just don't sign guaranteed long term contracts right now
what we need to do is fill the needs we do have
Rt; Guard; MLB; FB

I feel cheated.

I was talking about this on The last blog.

MIT,

We can agree to disagree on Z.Martin and the reason he won't make a good tackle in the NFL.

I agree with your last assessment on the situation. Why spend a #19 pick on an "Adequate" Tackle, When you can get an Impact Player at #19.

I know you are not in the camp for drafting Z.Martin. But you have given the best argument on him as a player.

LETS EXAMINE THIS STATEMENT FOR A MOMENT:

"This Team Isnt Far Away"

Every coin has "TWO SIDES". Remember 2007? Had we been coming off of 2007(1-15) to 8-8(2008), that would have been the ideal "1st yr rebuild".

But, instead, we went "BACKWARDS". 2009 we "dipped to "7-9". 2010 7-9, then to prove we weren't getting any better, 2011 we were 6-10. Then, Tannehill's 1st season, 7-9 again. Last season, 8-8.

So, if 8-8 is an ideal "1st yr rebuild", is it not fair to conclude, that in 6 seasons, this team has yet to surpass "YEAR ONE OF REBUILD"? I would think so.

Folks, the 2nd yr rebuild goal is to solidify the 1st yr build enough to become a "WILDCARD" playoff team. We are not going to see a "COMPLETED TEAM" at offseason end. As fans, anyone looking for this, I suggest you at least become "temporary fans" of the TOP $ TEAMS in this league.

The Miami Dolphins will not be one of them. Not in 2014, they wont.

neMo, I really do like Shazier, if he's our #1 pick, I would extrememly happy with that - he's active enough in the run game to try at MLB - bigger than Mosely too if size is the reeason for wanting him at OLB.

140+ tackles and 6 sacks with his type of athleticism is no joke..

..starter in miami!!!

Nice pick Benz, I agree.

I also think that as long as we have McKinney and Clabo to fall back on, we won't get desperate at RT. Albert is an upgrade on Martin and Smith is a much better athlete than Jerry. If Thomas can rise to Incogneto's level, which is not a giant leap, we should be better than the start of last year. Remember, we won the first three games.

There are things going on behind the scenes with last year's players that we don't know. But I think re-signing Clabo or McKinney is as good as anyone left on the free agency market

A "true fb" could help this oline. I would like to see us draft Jay Prosh fb Auburn.

He laid down lots of wood leading the way for Tre Mason in 2013.

JAY PROSH 5TH RD!

Posted by: SAM I AM | March 17, 2014 at 11:09 AM

LETS EXAMINE THIS STATEMENT FOR A MOMENT:

"This Team Isnt Far Away"

Every coin has "TWO SIDES". Remember 2007? Had we been coming off of 2007(1-15) to 8-8(2008), that would have been the ideal "1st yr rebuild".

But, instead, we went "BACKWARDS". 2009 we "dipped to "7-9". 2010 7-9, then to prove we weren't getting any better, 2011 we were 6-10. Then, Tannehill's 1st season, 7-9 again. Last season, 8-8.

So, if 8-8 is an ideal "1st yr rebuild", is it not fair to conclude, that in 6 seasons, this team has yet to surpass "YEAR ONE OF REBUILD"? I would think so.

Folks, the 2nd yr rebuild goal is to solidify the 1st yr build enough to become a "WILDCARD" playoff team. We are not going to see a "COMPLETED TEAM" at offseason end. As fans, anyone looking for this, I suggest you at least become "temporary fans" of the TOP $ TEAMS in this league.

The Miami Dolphins will not be one of them. Not in 2014, they wont.

Posted by: SAM I AM | March 17, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Jeremy there is no cap conundrum, take my word on that, will you. I've drawn up the scenarios plenty of times... Shelley signed for $2m a year, finnegan probably won't even be on the roster in 2015.

I'm in the camp that says start, or give significant time to, several of our 2013 draft class (Jordan, Taylor and Thomas specifically, Jenkins to a degree) and roll with it--they cant develop sitting on the sidelines, and the guys starting in front of them contributed to an 8-8 record last year--play them already, in camp/pre-season, and a couple of them better shine....how much worse could Jenkins be, vs Wheeler?--or Thomas vs Jerry, Martin or Clabo?

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