« Former Dolphins trainer hires law firm, sets sights defense | Main | It is almost here: free agency FAQ »

The other free agent OL possibilities

The NFL's worst kept secret now is the Miami Dolphins are going to sign a left tackle in free agency. And it's also no secret that if Baltimore LT Eugene Monroe is available, the Dolphins will chase him. They will also chase Kansas City LT Branden Albert and hoope to land one of the two.

But as the Dolphins have four open offensive line spots and not just one, it must dawn on folks that the free agency derby that starts Monday is going to include at least one and perhaps two more workhorse linemen.

Why?

Because even if the Dolphins land Monroe or Branden Albert or some other left tackle, they cannot play a game with just that player and center Mike Pouncey. And believing the Dolphins can go into the draft and pick three linemen to fill the other spots is not very football savvy.

One does not simply draft three rooks, count on all of them to come in and learn the offense, learn the nuances of the game, be good enough to start, and then become cohesive and effective all while playing under a head coach whose record through two seasons suggests he's not fond of starting rookies other than Ryan Tannehill.

So veteran shopping beyond Monroe et al. the Dolphins must go.

The problem with that?

The free agency market at guard and right tackle is not exactly teeming with great possibilities.

There are a couple of good possibilities. But not great.

The guard market is so depressing that Richie Incognito would be the catch of the group were it not for his emotional problems and history. John Jerry will also be in that group and I suppose the Dolphins could bring him back -- if they don't want to upgrade, and don't mind mediocre play, and don't have a problem with him being a key player in the harassment scandal the past couple of years.

Assuming the Dolphins do want to upgrade there are a couple of guards that offer that chance:

Chad Rinehart, 29, showed himself a valuable, tough inside presence for the Chargers last season. He was battling a nagging toe injury much of the year but still showed up on Sunday and did OK work. Obviously, the Dolphins need to do their homework on the injury and decide how much that really limited Rinehart's play. Rinehart graded out slightly better than Jerry but, again, he was hurt, Jerry was healthy and there's the other stuff hovering over Jerry.

Geoff Shwartz, 27, is the brother of Cleveland Browns tackle Mitchell Shwartz and he became a very pleasant surprise for the Chiefs when he took over at right guard for them last year. Shwartz was previously the backup right tackle but when he stepped over to RG the Chiefs got better pass protection from the position. His run-blocking in adequate. (Hey, I"m not saying pay the guy like he's Jahri Evans).

(Peanut gallery: But Mando, we watched the playoffs and the Super Bowl and saw the Broncos have this guard Zane Beadles and he's a free agent. The guy played on a good team so he must be good. Let's get him!)

I was coming to him, gallery. He is a free agent -- like the others, unless he re-signs -- and he was good enough to start on a very good team. And he was good in 2012. But in his contract year, Beadles didn't shine. He was the No. 51-rated guard, according to ProFootballFocus.com. And while the metrics site is not the Bible and thus inerrant, it is widely recognized Beadles didn't play up to his previous heights last year despite being surrounded by Super Bowl talent.

So what happens if he's surrounded by non-playoff talent? What happens if he expects Tannehill to get rid of the ball like Peyton Manning but Tannehill is still holding the ball like, well, Ryan Tannehill?

Maybe he steps up to previous form. But would the Dolphins want to pay the premium Beadles is going to want to bet on a good answer to that question?

I'm thinking Rinehart and Schwartz have a lower ceiling but their asking price is also going to be much, much lower than Beadles'.

That addresses the guard possibilities. Obviously, there are a couple of right tackle possibilities.

The best of those is probably Austin Howard of the New York Jets. He played quite well for the NYJ last year and that team does not want to lose him.

But there's a market for a 26-year-old, athletic, two-year starter, who happened to handle being in New York well.

Also, adding him would mean weakening the Jets.

The other accomplished right tackle on the market is Zach Strief, who is actually a better player than Howard but is mentioned second here because he wants badly to return to New Orleans and the Saints want him as well.

Stief gave up only three sacks in over 1,000 snaps last season and that caused PFF.com to rate him right along with Drew Brees as the highest-graded Saints offensive player. Remember, if you will, Jimmy Graham also played on the Saints offense so this is a big deal.

Strief comes with the added value that he is a leader. And the Dolphins are looking for that. Strief was one of his team’s offensive captains and is known to be a top lockerroom leader.

Obviously, Strief prefers to stay with a Super Bowl contender and at a place where he's already comfortable. But at 30 years old, he must understand this will probably be his last big contract opportunity.

And the Saints, like most teams with a highly paid quarterback, don't have a lot of flexibility within their cap.

Comments

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

me

yes me

Bang Bang!

They'll go for cheap

I have to agree with DD, from the last blog. Dolphins would be wise to draft another QB, should Tannehill prove not to be the answer. Too many Romos and Cutlers in this league, not elite being as if they were. Perhaps a guy like Aaron Murray in the middle rounds, would be good insurance behind Tannehill.

Nice 360 from previous post that the fins should go after guards through the draft

Son, a 360 means you're still facing the same direction you were when you started. A 180 means you're going in a different direction.

Idiot.

I will take John Jerry and Incognito over all of them you mentioned.

Even if the Dolphins sign two or three OLinemen, they're still going to have to draft another one. So peanut gallery is stupid.

Unbelievable. Discussing Rt and G optios and didn't even discuss the guy who would be the best at filling either - Roger Saffold.

Did he get signed while I wasn't paying attention?

f4l, thanks for teh breakdown, I feel the same.

I think Lewan, Donald, and hageman are probably our three best options for guys that may be available. I hope one of them are available because the next best option to me would be Dee Ford and the last thing we need is another end. Justin Gilbert is also right there. Then again, still waiting on Eric Ebron's workout and he may work his way into the conversation. I think the pick is one of those six and given our current team construct you could eliminate Ford so it appears to be those five ... Lewan, Donald, Hageman, Ebron, and Gilbert.

What about Monroe and Oher... BOOM!

Interesting thoughts Mando. Looks like there are quite a few O-linemen that can help us out this free agency.

Myself, I'd still pick Zach Martin from ND at 19 and move him to guard. By all accounts he'd make a better bet long term as a guard, rather than as a tackle.

The exception of course is if the 'phins are unable to resign Starks or Soliai or a reasonable replacement in FA. Then I think they have to draft a DT.

Oher would also be a good RT - take away half of the Ravens line, ahaha.

Craig, why use a first ona G when Gabe Jackson and Xavier Sua'Filo are there in the 2nd and brandon Thomas in the 3rd which are similar talents?

That's the question I always struggle with when picking martin. martin's value is inflated because he's from ND and he can play tackle but probably wouldn't be best there. The other guys I mentioned are strictly guards.

Then there's also Joel Bitonion who is a 2nd/ third rd guy who may also play guard but is athletic enough to be a tackle.

Instead of whining like a girl about why Rodger Saffold wasn't discussed go ahead and freakin' discuss him!

During that discussion, someone will likely bring up the point he is going back to the Rams.

Schwartz is probably the best bet at guard. I also like Asamoah from the Chiefs. He got benched,but I think that was more from Schwartz being really good. He's only turns 26 in July.

Steal as many linemen from the Ravens and Chiefs as possible.

Michael Oher is the 68th ranked T in 2013 according to Profootballfocus.

Pass.

Two biggest steals of 2013 draft IMO were K Alonzo & E Lacy both 2nd Rounders while Lacy almost made it to the 3rd.
There is something that almost everyone here & the NFL are missing and no I do not mean that in a demeaning manner. No one is mentioning this anywhere. Before you read further..DO SO WITH AN OPEN MIND. The reason I ask that is, what I am about to propose is not of the popular opinion BUT it doesn't mean it's not accurate.
1st I would ask all, who are the 2 most dominant teams in the NFL? If you said Sea & SF you would be correct. If you said otherwise you need to rethink your answer.
What do both these teams have in common? Dominant D's, physical & a Ground & Pound Run Game! Lynch & Gore + Physical O Line! It's Old School Football Recipe. E Lacy single handedly turned GB run game from ranked 20th to 2nd by wk 13.
All the analysts say how RB position is losing importance in the NFL!! It's complete & utter BS!! They need write about something, stir the pot, make themselves sound clever about how the game is changing and add to the debate so everyone will chime in!! They all(most) say that RB's are a dime a dozen. THIS IS A MISCONCEPTION PEOPLE. A GOOD RB IN THE NFL IS ACTUALLY A SCARCITY!!! Anyone who's ever played FF knows this!
The Dolphins need a BRUISER, a POUNDER!! I haven't given up on Miller or Gillislee yet but I don't think either can grind out the clock and wear down a D & Impose their will on the opposition either. SF & SEA DO THIS!!
Yes there are top3 talent @ Oline in draft BUT guess what, we ain't gettin them! Unless there is a top echelon @ 19 here's what we should do. TRADE DOWN!!!! The draft IS that deep at Oline. At 31st overall or even an early 2nd Round from a trade down grab one of these Bruiser type RB's! If the drop off isn't that much @ Olinemen which it's really not supposed to be then we could have an extra pick for more Olineman, get that DT, that YES were gonna need Big time!!
Albert & Byrd??? Please these guys are nothing but Cancers selfish headaches, please NOT Miami. Like to have Munroe But can we afford him? We've many holes to fill & 40Mil doesn't go as far as ya think.
Carroll is one of a few players I've watched NFL(almost 30yrs) caught standing around watching the play unfold before his very eyes! Seen more from Thomas in 2 plays than Carroll's entire tenure as a Dolphin.
Carroll may be cheap as someone stated but when he costs you games I SAY THATS PRETTY DAMN PRICEY!!
THOMAS from SF practice squad WHO WON US THE NE GAME!! How much you think a practice squad player is gonna Cost? NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL CHEAP!!!!
Restructure Pattersons contract(guys a baller) if he's unwilling, Cut'm loose.
Let Thomas, Davis, Taylor & F/A duke it out..

I want a SB not a one & done playoff appearance!!

All praise Failbin, he has acomplished so much that we are all bowing to his alter, you have done so much to earn our respect, go f yourself you P.O.S, you back stabbing piece of garbage. Why are you the last man standing you back stabbing weasel. Thank you

Eric Ebron is absolutely a one man wrecking crew. I believe he will be as good or better than Gronkowski. He's more of a Gonzalez type but even harder to bring down.
If he was available at#19, which is doubtful, if the tackle available isn't Ebron's equal, you have to take Ebron. That's why it's imperative the Fins spend whatever they have to on a FA tackle, as they will get Ebron at, for the first 3 years would be a bargain price. Giving Tanny Clay and Ebron would be, in essence what Brady gets, and with our possession receivers and Wallace would allow the Fins to draft a RB in the 3rd or 4th round. Ebrons come around about every 5 years, O-Linemen EVERY year.

Mark,

I like the Xavier kid too. Don't know enough about Gabe Jackson to have an opinion. I could be wrong Mark but I think Zack Martin has a chance to be special but as a guard not a tackle. I justthink everything could change if Starks or Soliai walk.

Mando Man, Here is the oline for you >

Albert / Zack Martin /Pouncey / Brenner / A.Collins

Backups > Garner, Yeatman, D.Thomas, McKinney

Therefore,2 free agents,one draft pick,and let's ball !

Oh, and there is a little matter of new RB, a playmaking S, a real MLB, and resigning Soliai.
Now, with all that, let's go get NE's 1st place stranglehold... and not lose to stinkin' Jets and Bills for christsakes !!!

I'm. A big fan of Ebron too. I just don't believe he'll be available at 19.

I'd rather have Rich Kotite as HC rather that the back stabbing loser Failbin. Kotite was by far the worst coach in NFL history, Failbin will make Kotite relinquish his Crown of Thorns

rather than*

all this sounds expensive....for average, at best, talent-but also the only realistic option

Craig M,

I do see all or 97.5% of the mocks that have us taking Martin at 19 but I am betting he's gone before then. Lewan had a great combine and he looks outstanding so IMO he'll go top 10 along with Matthews and Robinson and that leaves Martin for 8 more picks before the Fins and I know NY G's need OL.

IMA at 3:29, agree with that 100%. The Dolphins have to get the most special player available @19 and someone will have to be available at 19. Hopefully teh Qbs will stay in the top 12 or so .. that will help.

Get your o line help in free agency, there is plenty available.

In FA I say we get one starting caliber LT and sign an interior OL as well. I was targeting Mack for a while until the Brown's gave him the transition tag. Then in the draft select a couple 2 or 3 when they fall to us in the right spot and also sign a 100 or so OL UDFA's. We're bound to hit on one of those guys.

just more aggravating reminders of our poor draft history with Olineman.....Jerry, Martin.....Dallas Thomas cant even see the field....Long was good, but gone--let go of depth guys like Donald Thomas, who could've contributed at least--almost shocking how bad our bad our Oline draft decisions have been

Ebron would be a huge get as well as a RB with good hands. Or even a WR to add depth to our 4 WR set.

With Gibson already out we were dead in the water when Hartline went down. It certainly wouldn't hurt to have more options in the passing game even if we get the o-line shored up and a more consistant running attack.

Another reason to pick up more than one OL in free agency is it would give flexibility for the draft.

I don't want to go into the draft having to pick a lineman. Rick Spielman did that in 2004 and passed on Vince Wilfork to pick Vernon Carey -- which everyone down here knew was stupid beyond belief.

I want to be able to pick the BAP.

Texas, I agree there is a very good possibility that Martin is gone at 19. If we take Monroe, the Ravens will have big holes on their O-line.

Yes, I know Martin isn't the flashy pick, but if I can get a Pouncey or Kyle Long (taken at pick 15 and pick 20 respectively) type at guard or possibly right tackle I won't be disappointed.

I also like Donald, Hageman, Jernigan (he's better than what he showed at the combine) at D-tackle.

Ebron is also a stud, but I think he will be gone by then. So is Gilbert, but I think he is gone too.

Trading back or up is also possible, but its really hard to project that before a draft and more often than not it does not happen.

Eddie @3:29,

Not a bad looking list for the o-line. Not sure I'm completely enamored with Brenner as a starter but you could always keep Jerry for competition and you had also had Garner on the depth chart.

No reason we couldn't draft another guard as well.

This will debated for the next few weeks but it will start to become more clear once the Free Agency process plays itself out.

The team is going to rework its OLINE after all the natioan and local press it has received. Ross will demand it and THILL, Philbin and Hickey need to have it addressed or their jobs will be on the line. I think Pouncey is the ONLY starter to return next year. Jerry, Clabo and McKinnie are gone unless they sign for backup roles & backup pay.

Guard - I still think they can find a starter between Gardner and Brennar. I hope that is the case. Ifthis is the one weak link on the line I would be OK as both seem solid citizens and pretty capable of getting through the year.

Guard - I think a solid experienced G can be found in Free Agecy - those listed here are fine options to consider. I wouldn't overpay for them though. I think really solid options will also be in the draft rounds 2 & 3.

LT - I think there are 4 decent options in Free Agency that should be pursued. I wouldn't pay any of them more than $9m per year. If they can't land one then Hickey should go 'balls out' for a starting LT in round one. I would go Lewan or Martin depedning on trade or no trade realities in the round.

RT - I actually like Oher there. Hoard as well. I don't think they will cost too much and I think they should really consider him.

factoring in a fine or even a brief suspension, I'd also consider re-signing Jerry if he'd take a reasonable contract--wouldnt view him as the starter but he's a capable backup.

We need Dallas Thomas to step up big time, and contribute something

Craig, we will probably go into the draft with DT as our biggest need which may line up nicely with BPA. like alst year, there may be a couple of real good players there in hageman and Donald. One at least WILL be gone though (I think). I would like them to re-sign paul though. It settles things nicely for the front 7.

Texas, Pittsburgh will also be a fly in the OL ointment.

I don't think Jerry will be back. A comparable replacement can be found and I think the team wants to distance themselves from the whole scandal BS. Pouncey gets a pass since he is very good.

NeMo Yep it is hard to say what happens but in my current mock (before FA) I have Gilbert going to the Lions. I have Martin going to the Bills at 9. I think that will change. I would be happy if Martin fell to 19 I just don't agree that will happen. There are some blue chip players in this draft and you can see already Houston is passing on a QB and going after Cassel so they can land one of those blue chip players. If I am Houston I don't pass on Clowney.

I have to picks that I was struggling over and the Martin pick to the Bills was one of them The Vikings pick is the other. For some reason I have a feeling the Vikings try and trade down and are wanting QB Carr but not at 8 so that is a hard pick. If they stay they may reach or go BPA. As we all know their GM doesn't go BPA.

Oops I have *two* picks that I was struggling over.

Yes, I agree Mark.

Mark, I hear a lot of talk about DT Donald and you being a strength guy, do you think he'll get ate up in the pros in run D? I worry about him due to that reason.

Jernigan I worry as we saw him take plays off in the Bowl game. He was extremely winded.

Yeah Texas, unfortunately we know all about their GM. Maybe they will trade down for Carr or Garropolo like you said.

This is just speculation, but if he wanted to move down I wouldn't mind if Hickey traded up to number 8 to grab Matthews or Lewan. We'd be set at right tackle and have a backup left tackle in case of injuries or a drop in play. It would probably only cost 19 and our second rounder.

Donald could go to the Bears or the Cowboys I'm not sure he is there at 19, but would probably be a great pick even if only 1 of Starks and Soliai is back.

Not much else has been said about a possible Jordan trade.

The sad thing is we probably couldn't get a 1st rder for him and we spent a one and a two.

Water under the bridge unfortunately. Coyle really needs to get some production out of him.

Maybe he can play on the o-line? lol

Also, I think the Bills will take Evans or maybe Ebron to give Manuel another weapon. Just a guess though.

Jernigan I think was winded because of the hurry up offense of Auburn and having to deal with their constant running game and being double teamed. The D was on the field a lot that game.

Jernigan had a pretty meh combine, I want to see how he does at his pro day. I would still put him up there with Donald and Hageman as far as D-tackles go, but maybe I am being a bit biased here.

I've seen enough of Austin Howard to tell you that if we sign him it would be a huge mistake. He just isn't good.

We have to remember that we have 3 or 4 more games than College as well. If Jernigan got winded there he'll have issues in the pros as I would imagine every coach in the NFL saw that game. He's got skills I have no doubt but he'd have to be a in a very good rotation.

I am not opposed to trading up or down.

Texas, that is my concern with him. He's strong enough to play and man nobody is more explosive in the pass game. But he's light in terms of pure bulk - he may be too similar to Odrick in that regard. Hageman will just throw guys aside. As you compare hageman to Gardner, I would compare Donald to John Randle.

BOTTOM LINE

We're phucced

There is no reason for people to keep obsessing drafting another QB. When a new Manager comes to town, he scrutinizes the QB first, since it is THAT position most closely linked to the managers success or demise.
Hickey will the same. NO ONE... NOT ONE DAMNED SOUL on this blog has a clue how Tannehill will respond to Bill Lazor. Ot having a decent O-line and RB behind it. Tannehill's one weakness is the long ball. Not having a perfect long ball is FAR FROM being a game breaker for a QB.
Tannehill survived 58 sacks. A long list of QB's would have needed Trauma Hawk to fly them out of Sun Life stadium to the Broward Trauma unit. RT's durability is phenomenal. His back shoulder pass is great. His memory is short and he is mobile. He's actually a better passer while moving (stats back it.)Perhaps someone beside everyone in the world but Mike Sherman noticed that an will make use of it?
But Hickey will still want an insurance policy. I'm starting to wonder whether Miami is eying a guy like DT Louis Nix, allowing one of two DT FA's to walk in the first round. I already said Monroe is a Baltimore player. That team will break your heart because they keep good players. Don't even THINK about him until he signs a deal. You'll only set yourself up to get upset. In the end... Baltimore usually signs the guys they really do want to keep.
Either Zack Martin (or similar) or Nix will IMO be Miami's first pick. But it is the 2nd, third and fourth picks that Miami needs to nail. They'd best be doing their homework...

Texas, good point on hitting the rookie wall.

The perfect scenario at D-tackle would be getting one of Starks or Soliai back. Then if they drafted one even first round the rookie could come off the bench as part of the rotation at least for their rookie year.

It would let the rookie learn the ropes, but still make an impact and provide good depth. It also keeps D-tackle a strength.

We might take one guy but we might take someone different too.

And don't get me wrong guys, I like all those guys but have concerns. I like Benjamin also but have concerns about route running. I guess at 19 we can't be toooo choosy huh?

fanspeak mock draft for the day ...


19 DT RA’SHEDE HAGEMAN MINNESOTA
50 G GABE JACKSON MISSISSIPPI STATE
81 RB BISHOP SANKEY WASHINGTON
112 WR BRUCE ELLINGTON SOUTH CAROLINA
143 CB RASHAAD REYNOLDS OREGON STATE
174 OLB KEVIN PIERRE-LOUIS BOSTON COLLEGE
211 OG JOHN URSCHEL PENN STATE

go finsssssssss

Has Pouncey been traded yet?

I think you should be traded zonk you troll

hageman at 19 is reaching

If there are no quality o-line left trade down and get a lower 1st and 3rd pick for the swap. We really have to get a top tier powerback and land a solid ILB. If Philbin doesn't like starting rookies, then whats the point of getting excited about the draft ? We have to start rookies on the o-line this year perhaps two, RT and maybe LG. Bremner and Garner will be fine at either G spot for this year.

marco we havent a clue yet, free agency hasnt begun

1 2 3 4 5 6 »

The comments to this entry are closed.