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Tampering begins: Top 3 in areas of need for Dolphins

Let the tampering begin! At noon, NFL teams were actually within their rights to start negotiating with players on other teams. Yes, that's actually been going on for weeks, but you know the game (wink, wink).

The Dolphins need offensive line help. They need defensive tackle help. They may want middle linebacker help so they can kick Dannell Ellerbe outside. Safety? Sure. Running back? Maybe.

Below are fake GM Salguero's top three players in those areas of need as free agency negotiations begin this afternoon (legally):

Left tackle

1. Eugene Monroe, Baltimore: Young. Elite pass-blocker. Average run blocker. Think Richmond Webb without the big behind. He's quiet and a not a locker room issue, which should be a positive for the Dolphins. Will be expensive.

1A. Branden Albert, Kansas City: Also young (29) but not as young as Monroe. Has elite skill set but doesn't always get elite results. Also excellent in pass pro; not as good in running game but slightly better than Monroe. Will be equally expensive as Monroe. Loves and lives in South Florida. Albert has a history of back issues.

1B. Jared Veldheer, Oakland: Missed the first 12 games of 2013 due to a biceps injury, which raises the injury red flag. Better athlete than the other two, better run blocker than the other two. But feeling around the league is increasingly that Oakland is allowing him to shop simply to match the offer. Most teams don't like to work for the sake of having a player return to his current team.

Overall position analysis: The Dolphins had better sign one of the top guys or something is wrong. As to playing coy with the money, that won't work. The Dolphins have a huge need and everyone knows it. This is going to be an expensive proposition.

Right tackle

1. Zach Strief, New Orleans: The Saints are unloading talent to make cap room but want badly to re-sign Strief. That should tell you something that he's more valuable to them than, say, Lance Moore or Darren Sproles.

2. Austin Howard, New York Jets: Let's make the Jets weaker! Well, that's not a good enough reason to entertain signing a player but it can't hurt. Howard is not elite and won't require elite money to sign. But he's better than say, Jonathan Martin. He played better last year than Tyson Clabo. He's solid. Not great. Solid. You cannot have a Pro Bowl player at every spot.

3. No one. It's a baaaad free agent class at right tackle, folks.

Overall position analysis: This screams draft. But maybe GM Dennis Hickey has a trick up his sleeve. Or he's desperate. If all else fails there's always the stand-by Eric Winston, Tyson Clabo, Jeremy Trueblood gang at the last minute.


1. Zane Beadles, Denver: Excellent footwork and excels in pass pro. Great balance which is reason he's not often on the ground. His production is hard to argue with although he played much better in 2012 than in his 2013 contract year.

1A. Chad Rinehart: Very good run blocker. Hard worker. Versatile in that he can play either guard spot. Smart player. Plays with leverage and doesn't make a lot of mistakes. Not the most gifted athlete but he's a football player.

2. Geoff Schwartz: Want to improve the run game? This is the guy. Was a revelation down the stretch in 2013 and played better than previous starter to the point he beat him out. But ... was it the view of things to come or simply a stretch he was playing over his head?

2B: Jon Asamoah: The player who got beat out (see above). He's been solid for three seasons but dipped a bit in 2013. Interesting issue: Do you go with guy who played better at end of '13? Or do you go with guy who has more consistency over longer period of time? Asamoah is the latter.

Darkhorse: Davin Joseph: The Bucs released him this afternoon. He has always had a high ceiling but never really got there. Problem is he sometimes didn't even try to get there. He is also coming off knee surgery and he's 30. But his Bucs connections to Dennis Hickey cannot be overlooked.

Surprise candidate: The Dolphins like St. Louis Rams T Rodger Saffold as a possibility at either guard or tackle, acccording to The Herald's Adam Beasley. Saffold is solid but not very durable. He has not played 16 games since 2010. He has struggled with knee and shoulder issues.

Overall position analysis: The Dolphins can really use a veteran with good interior presence because playing with two rookie guards is a recipe for disaster. If all else fails, there's always Richie Incognito and John Jerry. Not.

Defensive tackle

1. Jason Hatcher, Dallas: Want to upgrade, Mr. Hickey? Here you go. A true 4-3 defensive tackle. A pocket-pusher. He'll get up field and disrupt. He'll also disrupt the salary cap because he will be very expensive.

2. Linval Joseph: Want a cheaper Paul Soliai? Here you go. A run-stopping player with limited pass-rush ability (less than Soliai). He's also not going to catch too many guys from behind. He was good in his contract year.

3. Earl Mitchell, Texans: He's a one-gap guy but he has excellent quickness and athletic ability that translate to other uses. He can also push the pocket so he's not just a run-down player.

Overall position analysis: The days of Paul Soliai and Randy Starks seem over. Soliai is perhaps the best run-down player on the market. But he's a run-down player in a passing league. Starks is the best pure DT on the market in my opinion but he's 30 years old. And that one-finger salute that he extended to Joe Philbin and his coaches? That has not been forgotten.


1. Jairus Byrd, Buffalo: Want to break the bank? Here you go. But he also offers the best defensive playmaker on the market at any position. Man averages nearly one turnover every two games. 

2. Donte Whitner, S.F.: If the Dolphins were of the mind to get him, they could let Reshad Jones become the roaming free safety he probably should be. Whitner is a strong safety enforcer. He hits hard, he causes offensive players to think twice about going across the middle, he's a tackling machine. He is older and he probably wants to stay with a winning team.

3. Taylor Mays, Cincinnati: Only reason he's on here is his ties to Kevin Coyle. He's a north-south, stiff dude. But he's fast and he hits like thunder.

Overall position analysis: The Dolphins would do well to draft here. They need to unleash Jones. And paying too much at this position would tilt too much money, added to the 2013 Jones extension, to the back end of the defense. 

Middle linebacker

1. Jon Beason, New York Giants: Nothing will happen with him until Tuesday because he represents himself and teams cannot talk to players before Tuesday. But he's a savvy veteran. He has a great motor. And he loves Miami.

2. Karlos Dansby, Arizona: I think we know this isn't going to happen. He doesn't, um, love Joe Philbin. But ... playmaker? Check. Solid inside presence? Check. Hard worker? Check. Plays hurt? Check. Of course, all his abilities didn't translate to the Dolphins. Coaching the reason? Check.

3. Daryl Smith, Baltimore: Want a true team leader? Want a tackle machine who won't be collecting his tackles eight yards downfield? Want an accomplished A-gap blitzer? Want a solid player who isn't going to break the bank because he's getting up there in age? This is your guy. 

3b: Brandon Spikes, New England: This won't happen because Spikes has a mind of his own and Philbin doesn't like that. He's also really only a run-down player and very, very limited in passing situations. But want to help solve Miami's declining run defense? This would help.

Overall position analysis: It is just sad to me that a year after spending so much on Dannell Ellerbe in free agency, the case could be made that he really isn't suited to be a middle linebacker ... or that the Dolphins didn't coach him well enough to man the position at a high level.


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Fins will keep Tannehill, will address OL problems which, by the way, will lead to a better ground game with the RBs we have. Maybe add a guy like Sproles as a safety valve.
Now to the other side of the ball. Get a SS and a real ILB and add a DT not named Soliai or Starks. A guy in his mid 20s like Mitchell formerly of Houston and maybe another in the draft and we'll be good to go.

I posted this before.
It will be a very telling sign if it's not reported that T-Hill and Wallace are practicing together on their timing in the off season. That will tell you a lot about their commitment to winning.

Also I hope we see Lazor move Wallace around in different formations to exploit matchups unlike Sherman did.

233 incompletions last season for Ryan Timothy Tannehill

yup he's awesome



Sure could use a FB on this team

No one else can block and DT cannot get a 1st down
The Fins cannot get a 1st on 3rd and short

By the way
The 12-4 Panthers FB Tolbert went to the 2013 Pro Bowl

Hmmm . . .

T.Boyd is a joke.

You guys have the Gull to talk about Tannehill, yet you admire some lame qbs.

You are smoking rocks if you honestly think Matt Moore is better than Tannehill. Even Matt Moore knows this isnt true.

T.Boyd isn't even a Troy Smith.

Taj Boyd played with SAMMY WATKINS, De'Andre Hopkins and M.Bryant his whole career at Clemson. Those are 3 first round WRs, Sammy Watkins has the potential to be HOF Special.

Clemson runs one of the most explosive offenses at any level. If you have seen Clemson play you know T.Boyd isn't the reason Clemson scored so much.

It will be interesting to see how T-Hill progresses now that he is weaned from Sherman's tit.

Lets roll Hickey!

Posted by: Phillie CHIRINO | March 09, 2014 at 06:59 PM

Good post. It caused me to take a closer look at some of the others. Strief is a good looking, natural Right Tackle. I would be just as happy taking a chance here.

As I mentioned, McKinnie would be a worse case scenario.


With a "NEW QB" in Miami, should Tannehill fail 2014.

Pouncey was overrated and spends all his free time selling illegal guns and trying to Free Hernandez

Soon the Gangsta wanna be Pouncey will be in prison w his pal Hernandez

Dolphins will need a center, this time w o gang colours or signing w a crooked flat brim hat on crooked

Good call Phillie, the more I find about Strief the more I like.

....Strief was one of the Saints' offensive captains, and he was one of their top lockerroom leaders. A seventh round draft pick for New Orleans in 2006, he started 42 games, including the playoffs. Head coach Sean Payton inserted him into the starting lineup three seasons ago.

The website Pro Football Focus gave him and quarterback Drew Brees the highest overall ratings for Saints players in 2013.

After allowing just three sacks and four quarterback hits on one of the most pass-heavy offenses in the National Football League, Pro Football Focus also gave Strief the seventh highest rating among tackles in the league.


Im now "THOROUGHLY CONVINCED" of your great propensity for DERANGENESS.

One poster mentions Boyd and you've virtually accused everyone.

"YOU GUYS"? Only "ONE POSTER" mentioned DISHY. :)

Nobody uses a FB.

Teams have upgraded. They use H-Backs. Tweeners between FBs and TEs.

C.Clay was suppose to be the Fins H-Back. But Keller was taken out in preseason and Clay had to move into the #1 TE Role.

What the Fins need is a TE to pair up with Clay. So Clay can move back into his original role in this offense.

The Eagles didn't use a FB either. They used an H-Back.

This isn't what you want. This is what the Dolphins run.

Dashi isn't happy with the signing of B.Albert. D.Aponte better sign him to a team friendly contract. 3-4years. Half guaranteed.

Fired in 2015

Dion Jordan
and 90%
of the other below average slacker players

and take the Clown Car pf players with you


Keep taking up blog space! I love it. Really. You re so entertaining. Im pi--ing my pants with laughter here. Ive just never heard so many brilliant observations before. Have you ever tried standup? YOU ARE HILARIOUS!

LeBron James should play for the Heat and QB for the Fish

Can't be worse than Tannehill's 233 incompletions

Am I the only one that sees we desperately need a starting RB? None of our's can carry a game when needed.


That "one poster" never mentioned him becoming a Dolphin. He referred to a media article where the writer hinted SF should draft him as a "BACK UP" to Kaep.


Cromartie cut by the Jets.. thoughts on him lining up opposite grimes?

Dashe from here on out will be known as Fraudshe.

kcal has their lt, Baltimore is negotiating with the lt they traded for so that really leaves carolina

The reason why I wasn't over the moon about the T-Hill pick wasn't because I didn't think he had the talent . It was because he was raw and it would take a few years for him to develop. So I don't understand why so many people are so down on the kid. Having no threat of a running game and bad pass protection by not only a poor O-Line but with running backs that couldn't pick up a blitzing Girl scout.

This is his third year. If he has a decent O-Line in front of him. They Can run the football a little bit. Receivers are fairly healthy. Then I think we can more accurately criticize him. There is no doubt he still has some things to work on and I would still take another QB if we have the chance to push the kid.

I still believe that beating he took in Buffalo on that cold rain soaked windy day was the tipping point in a year when almost any QB would be beaten down. Look at Romo and Cutler. The beatings wear you down.

Geez, how many times is someone going to mention Tannehill was raw coming in? It was widely known on draft day and has be posted here well over 19,000 times and going.

Thill will be our QB next season! And no amount of Stat throwing and complaining is gonna change that.

In what decade do we get a franchise QB?

We had a franchise QB and still didn't win squat.

There is a good chance Matt Moore will start next season. Philbin is fed up with Tanny and knows Moore is a capable replacement. Heck, Moore was voted team MVP before idiot Philbin benched him.

In what decade do we get a franchise QB?

Posted by: Zonk | March 09, 2014 at 09:54 PM

The same decade that you stop posting useless drivel.

We had a franchise QB and still didn't win squat.

Posted by: Qour | March 09, 2014 at 09:57 PM

Well, at least we had winning seasons. And playoff games.

Am I the only one that sees we desperately need a starting RB? None of our's can carry a game when needed.

Posted by: Waldo | March 09, 2014 at 09:43 PM

We need 2 new RB's.

Lastly about T. Boyd! A Back up Quarterback should be the one to take your job when called to play. That was Tom Brady Goal playing behind Drew P.

As a senior in 2013, the Tigers went 11-2, with Boyd completing 283 of 413 passes for 3,851 yards, 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. On November 14, 2013 Boyd set the ACC career passing touchdowns record.[9][10] In his final college game against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2014 Orange Bowl, Boyd helped lead the
Tigers to a 40-35 victory, completing 31 of 40 passes for 378 yards and five passing touchdowns. He also had 127 rushing yards and a touchdown.[11] His performance set an Orange Bowl record for total yards in a game.[12]

Boyd finished his career with school records for passing yards with 11,904 and passing touchdowns with 107. Dolphins need play makers!

Fellow DolFans The game is changing Look at your traditional quarterbacks last season watching the Super Bowl and Payton Manning had no answer being one dimensional? Defense wins games complimented by a well balance offense.

No one can sell me the current team after blowing their Playoffs Opportunities against two losing teams.
I'm only a Fan! I love my Dolphins that come to play!

The same decade that you stop posting useless drivel.

Posted by: Kiick | March 09, 2014 at 10:08 PM

That wont be until we get a franchise QB.

Per PFT:

All signs point to Branden Albert signing with the Dolphins

Posted by Mike Florio on March 9, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT

Last year, the Dolphins nearly traded for Chiefs tackle Branden Albert. This year, they need only to make a deal with Albert himself.

Per a league source, all signs currently point to Albert signing with the Dolphins not long after the market officially opens on Tuesday.

Albert instantly would be installed as the left tackle in Miami, succeeding Bryant McKinnie. Who replaced Jonathan Martin. Who replaced Jake Long.

Like Long, Albert was a first-round pick in 2008. After his rookie contract expired, Albert played in 2013 under the franchise tag.

If/when (when) Albert leaves the Chiefs, it’s possible that right tackle Eric Fisher, the first pick in the 2013 draft, will flip to the left side. It’s also possible that Fisher will stay on the right side and Donald Stephenson, who started seven games last year, will play the left side.

Looks like it's already a done deal. :)

Admitted homer Jimmy Cefalo said we need a new QB, 2 new RB's, and 4 new OL. YIKES!

That wont be until we get a franchise QB.

Posted by: Zonk | March 09, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Or until you reach menopause.

Albert instantly would be installed as the left tackle in Miami, succeeding Bryant McKinnie. Who replaced Jonathan Martin. Who replaced Jake Long.

Posted by: SAM I AM | March 09, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Should've never let Big Jake leave.

We need 4 OL + 2 DT + S just to fill up the roster to 53. Once again anyone that wants can come here and start.

Live with it dolfans, Branden Albert is "NOW" your new starting LT. It's only a matter of waiting for 1st day of free agency.



Only "need 3" olinemen now. Albert should be announced by "THURSDAY" latest. :)

LT --------------- check ALBERT
C --------------- check POUNCEY
RG --------------- ?
LG --------------- ?
RT --------------- ?

WE now have 2 PRO BOWL starters on the oline.

Get used to it dolfans. :)


Good news indeed.

Maybe Philbin should consider talking "Mt McKinney" into playing the LG or RT spot?

OK, so Alberts a done deal. Hopefully Hickey is already working on Saffold with Strief's people in the wings.

I still prefer Monroe, but Albert is better than anyone we played since Long's first couple of years.

We still need Delmas too. He'll be cap friendly and a monster upgrade over Clemons. All the Lion's Fan's were bummed big time when Delmas was let go.

The above scenario would allow us to gop after a Linebacker early too. The first two picks could be used on a O-Lineman and a Linebacker!

I'm stoked! Unless Hickey is as retarded and conceded as Ireland, we will be in great shape very quickly!


Not getting swindled like Ireland

@ Waldo

Nope I posted a super long post other day explaining why we need a RB! But not just any type of RB. We've got Miller & Gillislee. Can't say anything on Gillislee because we haven't seen him. LM? Meh..maybe but like T-Hill I don't think he can be fully evaluated without an Oline..

Short version of previous post- 2 most dominating teams in NFL are Sea & SF..common denominator tough physical D's with dominant Oline & Ground & Pound Run Games!!

We don't have a back that can impose their will on a Defence late in games to finish!! WE NEED A BRUISER!!

Saying we need a RB makes you & I perhaps in the minority however I am of the (I'm certain of it)it's unpopular opinion the Dolphins need to draft a BRUISER no later than 2nd round! If it were me & the guy I really coveted for Oline wasn't there @ 19 I would trade DOWN get an extra pick & draft someone like HYDE @ 1st avail pick..for 3 reasons..it's a myth that good Rb's are dime dozen in NFL actual scarcity 2nd: Da we get extra pick 3rd I do it only because draft is soo rich in Oline & I don't think the top 2 bruiser rb's last as long as projected!
Yes that was short version..


We already had a "2013 jump" on just how much $$$ Albert is seeking. So, he should be signed Tuesday, 1st day of free agency.

Nothing left to negotiate, we knew his "asking number" last season.


PFT reported: Monroe and Ravens Closer To A Deal".

Should know by now "OZZIE ISNT DUMB". No one expects Ravens not to resign Monroe.

I never for once thought it would happen. Cant always listen to Armando. :)

@ Dashi

Seattle uses a FB..just sayin


"Havent seen enough of Gillislee"? According to Dashi, we do not need to.

Do not you understand Dashi's 98% right? Dashi would claim to be 100% right, but he's still trying to conceal to mankind that he is really God. :)

Stay aggressive dolphins take it to them Mr.Hickey fill out tour roster with tough guys

We do need a power back a real pounder a throw back runner

Good news flowing from everywhere:

Herald now reports Albert to Miami

Ian Rappaport report 49ers/Dolphins have "REAL" interest in safety Jarius Byrd.

GO Hickey!

That's why Belichek signed Blount. Bruiser!!

Hey I Love my DolFans:

Dolphins just Need to make the Best out free agency needs. This will allow the Dolphins to attack the draft for the Best players. I would not pick up a W/R or running back from Free Agency. Steve Smith could be a exception I don't know?.

Dolphins Storm Johnson UCF R/B is that play maker on any down. Powerful, fines the holes, breakaway speed.

After my last post I thought I should be clear, in no way shape or form would I want Blount in a Dolphins Uni, think he needs to stay right where he is with Belichek so he can keep 'm in check. If Blount were to ever return to rookie form for an entire season our future DT's could be in trouble so let's hope he moves out of the division altogether..

Getting on the "bruiser" tangent bad here..

Another point which I think is valid that I'd put in original post other day..

Eddie Lacy!! Single handedly took GB 20th ranked run game a season prior to ranked 2nd by wk12-13 last season!!

Also I hope we see Lazor move Wallace around in different formations to exploit matchups unlike Sherman did.

Posted by: Brickhouse | March 09, 2014 at 09:26 PM

this is a must, will make a world of difference instead of being pasted to the right sideline all the time.

I agree that Matt Moore would have won the needed games. It appears that he is comfortable not making waves!. I believe it was the year before Tannehill was drafted Matt Moore led the Dolphins 4 straight wins later that season and was bench afterwards I did not understand that. Really though when has Matt Moore quarterback in the game?

I am ok with Albert or Monroe.

But they cannot stop there and I hope they sign Strief. the tackle positions would be set.

then one of the other veteran guards and draft Z. Martin to play guard as well. o-line fixed.

MLB next with Chris Borland in round 2.

also like Hatcher from Dallas to replace Stark and Soliai.

Draft a safety in round 3.

We are going no where without a decent QB.

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