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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.

Guard

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.

Safety

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.

Comments

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Wally I don't see a rookie MLB starting for us, and we need someone to start instead of Ellerbe.

Wallyfin,

Now that Albert will be in the fold, 1st rd can be BPA or Z MARTIN as you stated.

I know in previous posts you've read my "AFFECTIONS" for drafting Z MARTIN as our OG. An OG in Miami that "PULLS"? WOW!

Albert LT
Z Martin LG
Pouncey C
RG?
RT?

Many scouts believe Z Martin will have a pro bowl career playing guard.

Tannehill will either prove the homers or the trolls right either way.

Albert was my 1B pick with Monroe being 1A, but I'd be happy with it.

Ian Rappaport says we have interest in Byrd. That would be a huge signing. Hoping for good things from Hickey.

Miami's Stanton hits first spring home run

Associated Press
JUPITER, Fla. -- Giancarlo Stanton hit his first home run of spring training for Miami and the Marlins lost to the Tigers 3-1 on Sunday.

Alex Avila has a two-out, two-run double in the eighth for the Tigers.
Stanton homered on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the fourth, a shot that landed on the second-floor balcony of the Marlins executive office in left field.
Tyler Collins evened the score for the Tigers to 1-1 when he hit a one-out home run to right in the seventh.

Nemo

Monroe only has "youth over Albert". After 6 seasons, Monroe is "as good as he's going to get".

Albert is "slightly better run blocker". They're pretty even as pass protectors. All things being equal, I rather have the guy that has a slightly better run blocking advantage.

Ravens still finished 30th in rushing with Monroe. Younger doesn't always make a thing a "better deal".

Tannehill will either prove the homers or the trolls right either way.

Posted by: NeMo | March 09, 2014 at 11:32 PM


He has already proven the trolls correct.

Byrd would be awesome but we already have a free safety unfortunately he's playing strong safety.

We actually need a Kam Chancellor type of player badly.

Jeff Ireland was a "younger gm". We're now well aware this did not make him a "better deal". :)

Both Jerry and Clabo will be back. We still have last years rookie. We only need to draft one or two lineman now.

MARLINS OPENING DAY
Jose Fernandez will be the youngest opening day starting pitcher in Marlins history when he faces the Rockies at Marlins Park on March 31. Fernandez will be 21 years, 243-days old when he takes the mound.
PICKED FOR PANAMA
The Marlins released their roster for their "Legend Series" trip to face the Yankees in Panama City, March 15-16. Manager Mike Redmond said Brad Hand will pitch the first game and Nathan Eovaldi the Sunday game in Panama.
Many players, such as Giancarlo Stanton and A.J. Ramos, volunteered to make the trip.
"I had some guys who really wanted to go," Redmond said. "We tried to split it up as much as we could because we have three games to cover here, too."
The team will have a Saturday morning sightseeing trip to the Panama Canal.
Among the others are: closer Steve Cishek, infielders Derek Dietrich and Adeiny Hechavarria and outfielders Jake Marisnick and Christian Yelich.

Both Jerry and Clabo will be back.
Posted by: Quino | March 09, 2014 at 11:46 PM


Wrong.

Darkoak

For Your Eyes Only:

Jarius Byrd (Dan Pompei article)

There aren't many like him," said one NFC high-ranking exec. "Athletic play-making safeties are hard to find."

Since he has been in the league, Byrd has more interceptions and forced fumbles than any other safety. He has come up with 33 interceptions or forced fumbles in 73 games—or one every 2.2 games.

"Interceptions change games, and that's what he does," said a pro personnel director. "When you have an elite talent like that, you better pay him. The fall off after the elite guys is pretty drastic. Most of the league is playing with safeties they just hope get lined up right."

The issue is how much Byrd is worth. The word on the street is he wants north of $9 million per year. That is a lot of cabbage for a safety—any safety—and that explains why the Bills apparently will allow him to get to the open market.

Once upon a time, the conventional wisdom said you don't want safeties at the top of your salary pyramid. That wisdom is changing as the passing game is becoming more prominent. A safety who can cover can be an antidote for the new-age, athletic, pass-catching tight end, and he can allow a defensive coordinator freedom to use his cornerbacks and linebackers more aggressively.

"The safety position has become more valuable in recent years," a senior executive said. "It's more important than ever to line up in the right place, and it's never been more difficult to overcome mistakes at that position. You also need to have more interchangeability at the position now, because offenses are stretching the whole field. Before, it was strong safety in the box, free safety deep. It's not that way anymore."


Shula 73. Does your mother know for sure who your father is?

If going "2nd best" fa safety, you have to go after Cleveland's TJ Ward.

Enuff said!

Just for you **Tannehill Haters**.

Ryan Tannehill will be hoping to jump into some elite quarterbacking company this season with a great 2014, but he’s already ranked among several NFL greats when it comes to jersey sales.

Announced by the NFL on its Facebook page, Tannehill has the 3rd best selling jersey in the AFC from April 1, 2013 to February 28th, 2014, just behind Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Tannehill is ranked 10th overall in the NFL in jerseys sales....

We have plenty of CAP room
Lets go for Byrd
This will make a hell of statement as to who our new GM is
It also will show the fans that The FO is serious about improving this team to playoff caliber
getting Byrd is more important than many realize
Byrd, Grimes and Patterson all playing healthy

NOW That is a great trio in the backfield, and not many teams are going to be able to beat us through the air.

Then the DT the rest of the OL and RB can be obtained in the draft if we need to, but I don't think our GM will stop at 2 Free agents. I think he will get another lineman, or a MLB, and who knows maybe a TE or a RB also

I also do not discard some trades maybe with the Eagles ?? Plus McKinney played pretty good - as he advances in age you can move him to Guard - he would make an awesome Guard, plus he would also be a backup to Albert. Re-sign McKinney.


Tannehill is ranked 10th overall in the NFL in jerseys sales....

Posted by: odinseye | March 10, 2014 at 12:24 AM


Were does he rank in "PLAYOFF APPEARANCES"? That is the launching point to "winning championships" isn't it?

2013, TANNEHILL CHOKED, at even the "possibility of making the playoffs".

How else can you explain losing the final "two gms in a row" to teams whose playoff chances "ended mid season"?

I know, "lets blame it on coaching and the oline again. :)

Only need 1 win in the final 2 games to make the playoffs. The greater the stakes, the worse his game became.

Tannehill's game 16 performance was worse than game 15. That's called "big time choking" folks!

I would say Tannehill "pooped his pants" before start of "both our final 2013 games".

Tannehill's game wasn't the only thing stinking our final two "playoff-less" games.

Now, GN, Im off to bed! :)

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