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Clearing out the notebook: Free agent Fox visits, more

The Dolphins are bringing in former Detroit Lions right tackle Jason Fox, formerly a University of Miami standout, for a visit, according to a league source.

The idea of Fox is to add a veteran presence and competition for the right tackle spot that currently has no clear cut starter at the position. If all else fails, Fox offers depth for the position, assuming he signs.

Fox, 25, has started only three games in his four NFL seasons.

This is not the right tackle answer for the Dolphins. This would be a move to shore up depth.

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The Dolphins have the second-most salary cap space in the AFC East this morning with $16,680,752. They have only 58 players under contract and that represents the fewest players under contract of any team in the NFL.

But the interesting thing is the players the Dolphins have under contract generally represent the core of the 2014 team.

Said another way, if you look at the Dolphins current roster, you can pluck out the starter or potential starter at every position except only two -- right tackle and one of the guard spots. And even at guard, the Dolphins have players on the roster such as Dallas Thomas, Nate Garner and Sam Brenner, who will likely get an opportunity to compete for the starting job.

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I care about Dolphins fans. I work for Dolphins fans.

And so I try to keep a finger on the pulse of what you're talking about and one thing that I simply cannot understand is the constant conversation about the wide receiver position.

It seems, based on some of what I've heard, that Dolphins fans think the team should add more wide receiver talent. And I'm talking serious talent.

When DeSean Jackson was cut by Philadelphia last week, fans asked me on twitter about the chances the Dolphins would chase him. A couple of bigtime Dolphins fans were discussing picking a wide receiver in the first round on twitter this morning.

I. Do. Not. Get. It.

The Dolphins wide receiver corps may indeed get three or four young players infused into it before the offseason is over. But those players will be back-of-the-roster possibilities.

I doubt seriously it will be a first-round pick.

Why?

Mike Wallace.

Brian Hartline.

Brandon Gibson.

Rishard Matthews.

Those are your four receivers on game day. And to answer the questions before they arise, Wallace is not being traded according to club sources, Hartline will be ready for the offseason camps after suffering a knee injury in the season-finale, and Gibson is on schedule to be recovered by the start of the regular season, according to a source, after blowing out a knee at New England last October.

So where is there room for a first-round pick? With the money committed to Wallace, Hartline and Gibson, where is the logic in investing more money in a player in free agency when the right tackle spot is bare and the tight end spot needs depth?

The Dolphins would like to add a bigger receiver type. Most of their receivers, outside of Armon Binns, are on the midsize body type. They'd like to add a bigger target receiver. But not at a high price. Not early in the draft, barring the dropping of Mike Evans to No. 19.

Wide receiver is a spotlight position. So I understand the attention. But the Dolphins seem to have the spotlight position covered, for now.

Comments

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WR1 Wallace is in fact a WR2
WR2 Hartline & WR3 Givson are coming back from significant knee injuries
WR4 & WR5 Matthews & Binns are inconsistent to say the least

WR is not a need...it is a crying need.

Football games are won on 3rd down.
What we need is a good TE, Ebron or Amaro.
On 3rd and short you have on the field Moreno, Clay, Ebron/Amaro, Wallace and Hartline.
With those 5 your OC can really be creative.
Draft a TE Hicks

WR1 Wallace is in fact a WR2
WR2 Hartline & WR3 Givson are coming back from significant knee injuries
WR4 & WR5 Matthews & Binns are inconsistent to say the least

WR is not a need...it is a crying need.
============================
Yeah 500 yards recieving for your 4th WR sucks WHAT A MORON

You always want to get better Armando. I wasn't for DeSean Jackson but I completely understand. He would immediately become the best WR on our team especially when you consider his value as a punt returner. Keep in mind our needs but always remember the No 1 need, to WIN GAMES, and a player wherever he plays, who can help us do that is going to help us. Thanks.

Mando, I think the reason people are talking about WR so much is because its such a deep draft class. We could get a guy in the 2nd round that might be a 1st round pick in other years or a third rounder that could be a high 2nd round guy in years past.

If WR is the BPA its a good argument for taking it. Like you said it seems like we only have a hole or 2 on O-line and I would argue linebacker is a weakness as well (Wheeler and at times even Ellerbe were close to the worst in the league last year and Misi was average.)

Besides that I think we should be taking BPA to enhance our roster even if its only for depth.

WR in the first round doesn't really make any huge sense. But this fan base doesn't really make much sense a lot of them are ball watchers who just don't understand the game.
A mid round WR like Josh Huff or someone does make sense for potential and depth but 1st rounder!? PLEASE STFU CLOWNS like Nick

People confuse needing another pass-catcher with needing another wide recevier.

The Dolphins need a second, bigger, stronger, tackle-breaking TIGHT END.

Saying WR is a "crying need" is the definition of why people hate the Dolphins fan base. Lack of real football knowledge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdV-9FwwurY


Posted by: deity | April 02, 2014 at 10:55 AM


Jordan, I agree.

CPhinsWin it's completely true too. I wouldn't hate the Dolphins bringing in another TE in the first couple of rounds or WR in mid rounds for depth and more explosion. To say it is a "crying need" is so far off.

I don't get this at all. If our QB could throw a deep ball, we would not be having this discussion. Why would you RT would all of a sudden hit Jackson deep? WRs are not an issue on this team.

I agree with Nick Savanne. Wallace is a solid #2 but NOT a #1 WR. Then you have three, count em, THREE, wide receivers coming off knee injuries - Hartline, Gibson and Binns.

Armando, I don't care if you say they are recovering nicely and will be ready for training camp. The reality is that it is rare that any football player, much less one that relies on speed, cutting, and pushing off their knees constantly like a WR, comes back as strong as they were just one (or less than one) full season after injuring their knee. You're crazy to think otherwise.

And then you have Matthews, who I like, but as a slot receiver and role player as depth who can improve over time but just isn't a top quality #1 caliber WR. And Binns has never produced on game days EVER in his short career and is injury-prone since he came in the league so I'm not sure (other than is size) why everyone is so optimistic about this guy, especially now that he is coming off a big knee injury and missed all of last season as a result.

So given all of that, what is missing is a clear cut #1 WR, especially one with size (6'2" to 6'5") and decent speed who can dominate and jump over DB's to fight for balls in the air as a strong possession receiver to keep drives alive and act as a red zone threat (thus opening up the run game at the goal line - defenses won't stack the box if we split out this stud WR).

If we don't add one of those this offseason, preferably through the draft with how deep that WR class is, then we may be in trouble if the three injured receivers don't come back to full strength or re-aggravate their injuries (which is common).

We would especially be in trouble next year if we lose Wallace (cut him if he doesn't produce this season because he would cost too much moving forward) and the other receivers don't develop and perform as planned. That would leave us with a decimated receiving corps and is way too risky of a plan.

So NOW (this offseason) is the time to add that stud WR to get them developed while they don't have to be the clear cut #1 WR this year (since technically Wallace is that guy and hopefully combined with Hartline can take the pressure off a young rookie stud WR in year 1 as they learn the offense, the NFL game and develop).

Although we don't need to draft a WR in the 1st or 2nd round, we should start looking in Round 3 and can find decent talent that fits the bill depending on how the draft is unfolding in Rounds 3-5. That is why fans are hot and bothered about the WR position, Armando. It's baffling why you don't get that. Hopefully you get it more now.

From the last blog, I agree that a lot of people hope Miller fails just because they want Dashi to be wrong. Miller still deserves a chance to prove himself.

I see Moreno coming in as a replacement to Thomas. He might even start, but Miller will get his fair share of carries. I think it will be a 50/50 split or close to it. Moreno will hopefully improve us in short yardage, goal line, and 3rd downs.

If they draft a guy, I see him being the third back and being what Gillislee was supposed to be last year.

Thigpen is a gadget guy at RB and good for maybe 5 plays a game. Still can be a weapon if used right. He could possibly be upgraded by Dri Archer on day 3 of the draft, but its all just speculation for now.

Just my 2 cents on the RB position.

Is he talking to you Mark? You know Armanda, you draft for the future as well. So replacing Wallace in a year or 2 with a big, fast, hands catching WR would be an intelligent thing to do. Unless you think paying the Body Catcher 15 MIL per is the appropriate course of action. Wallace was Irelands guy to make a "splash". Philbin would have preferred to go in another direction. Obviously the OL is the biggest thing to be addressed today. But you have to keep your hands on the present and your eyes on the future. So WR is not something that HAS to be addressed but if you can find a kid that could be a pro-bowler in the future and pay him peanuts for 4 or 5 years. How do you not take that?

The Dolphins have NO SIZE at WR or TE and nobody to work the middle of the field and still this guy asks, why WR or TE... my goodness...

Tell em Moose @ 10:58.

...On long movies..I don't mind them if there is purpose. Take the Godfather, or Part 2(We will pretend that part 3 never happened) Both movies are of the appropriate length. The Deer Hunter had to be as long as it was. I do miss the intermission. The last film I saw with an intermission was Pulp Fiction. Those movies just felt "bigger", or more important.

Jordan,

Matthews got 448 yards for 2013, including 120 vs TB which gives him 20yds/game for the remaining 15 games.
That why I wrote he was inconsistent. I did not write he sucked.
Read what people write before insulting them and proclaiming you are the only one who knows football on this blog.

Mando, you should also mention that only the top 51 contracts count towards the cap.

So even though they only have 58 players signed, the guys we likely add outside of the draft will be guys competing for a back of the roster spot so unlikely to impact the cap.

DD,

I agree with your point on L.Miller. what we should be asking is if he can carry the ball like a feature back.

Great point on the lack of carries, Last year they were at least 4 games L.Miller was averaging about/more than 5ypc but he got the ball less than 15 times. Those are 4 games that if he would have at least got over 17 carries he would have went over 100yds. Even behind the worst line in team history. He would have easily surpassed 1000yds last year.

Posted by: Dashi | April 02, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Deity,

Not hating on Leo. I compared him to Deniro. He just isn't my cup of tea.

Posted by: Dashi | April 02, 2014 at 11:12 AM

If Gibson is healthy, I like our receivers.

I'm more curious about the TE position. Specifically, any chance that Keller returns?

And I certainly hope we intend on extending Clay.

I prefer J.Fox over E.Winston. Even if it is just for depth.

Me personally, I don't care for another WR, unless he is over 6'3" and can become a red zone threat!! We have ZERO WRs that we can throw a fade to in the redzone. I wouldn't want another Burner. Just a Huge target that you can put on one side and the other team knows you are throwing a fade to him.

Nick Savane, Brian hartline partialy tore his PCL, did not require surgery. It is not a significant knee injury as of an acl. He will already be back for OTA's. Brandon Gibson acl was significant as it did require surgery and typically requires 6-8 months to recover. it will be the 10'th month in august. barring a setback Gibson should be able to play week 1.

deity, some guys and obviously Mando is one that doesn't see that the draft is not for one year, but for 5 and rookies are not the best way to plug holes on your roster (especially with Philbin). You have to take the best talent available and if it happens to be a TE like Amaro or even a DT, you do it. Right tackles can be found anywhere (expect for this franchise it seems) but where you going to find a 6'2 220 lbs guy who catches 80 balls a year and counts 2m against your cap?

Only 2 places, the draft and in your dreams...

Gibson was clicking with RT and doing very well last year until he went down with an injury. Once Gibson gets that first right in the hands drop out of the way, he does really well. Look forward to seeing him back in the offense in 2014.

Supposedly jermichael Finley is getting clearnace to play and is physically where he needs to be to play.

I would think it's good news if the Dolphins consider this guy.

They're short one quality receiver Mando. I really liked Robert Woods in last year's draft and he's going to be a great player for Barfalo. They can use the 2nd and 3rd round on OL - keep R1 for BPA. Based on all the mock drafts out there - Marquise Lee, Zack Martin and TJ Mosley will probably be available - Lee or Mosley would be my picks.

lol

I think they should have went after Finley last year. So it would be a good move IMO. Still though, I would really like to see what Keller could with a season with RT. They were really clicking also. Not sure where he is with the knee though.

Gibson is Miami's biggest WR (at least it looks that way on TV) at 6'0 205.

Green bay's WRs other than the one speed threat in Cobb are all bigger than Gibson...

Do any of the WRs on our current roster look like M.Evans or K.Benjamin? Or even M.Bryant.

Yes, we are stacked with 6' 200lb WRs who are good route runners with good hands. And we also have M.Wallace who is the Deep threat.

What we are lacking is a Prototypical #1 WR. A guy that is 6'4"+ 220lbs+ and can out muscle and out jump a CB for the ball.

..Dashi. I don't know how much of the Chip Kelley influence we see in our offense this year. I'm sure we will see some. The Eagles, the Oregon offense is a run based offense. We are going to run it more.

I hope we pick a feature back. We have to IMO for this offense to click. Inside zone, outside stretch. 2 basic concepts that have to work or this offense will stall. You have to have a guy that gets it going. I don't think splitting the carries every week will work.

Now who gets the snaps could change each week dependent on what the gameplan is.There may be certain weeks that Moreno is guy who gets the bulk of the snaps.

I am not suggesting that Miller will have 300 plus carries. But certainly in the 225-250 range.

Lets see how he does with this opportunity.

He plays really big. They no doubt need a 6'3 - 6'4 guy. If I see another corner fade in the endzone without one, I could possibly implode.

I agree that Fox offers, at best, depth at that position and a name to for the time being at least, fill the roster spot which for now is vacant... scary. I also agree that fans have to take a deep breath and stop calling for the exciting flashy positions to be filled during the draft like WR in the 1st 2 or 3 rounds... oh how exciting (I'm being sarcastic)... we have plenty of receivers while we lack a complete OL, however, taller receivers are in and ours are not the tallest, so I suggest a mid round possible pick with Brandon Coleman from Rudgers. Not blazing speed but at 6'6" speed isn't all that important... point is, he will have to be double covered because of his good hands and height, which is something that didn't happen this year because teams lost respect for our passing game, since the best defense for our passing game was a quick QB rush given our OL problems.

...If this draft class was last year..no way would we have been able to move up into the 3rd spot. Watching the South Carolina pro day...Clowney is a freak. I don't know how good he will be. Chances are he may crash and burn...But If I could get on that plane..I'm buying first class seats. I think he will be a game changer.

NOTICE THE LABEL WHICH DESCRIBES FOX: CAREER BACKUP

Fox is a career backup with just three career starts with the Detroit Lions in four seasons. -Walker

One of the biggest issues with the OL even when it had played well in years past is ZERO depth. It has been complained about on this blog ad nauseum. So it looks like they are trying to shore some of that up.

DALLAS THOMAS IS THE STARTER

Because he is the only OL on the roster (besides Pouncey & Albert) that does ot have the 'career backup' label attached to his name.

Wide receivers are set in Miami. Don't forget Moreno can catch, Clay redeemed himself last season, and Keller is still a possibility if he gets healthy. They need QUALITY O-linemen! Armando what about this guy Jackson who plays guard and is available? Went to the pro-bowl twice? Whats wrong with him now?
What the Fins need now via free agency is a guard and definitely a bad ass middle linebacker. But who? Is the question.

DD,

You know I knew what Sherman and Philbins wanted to run, 4-Wide Spread WCO. But they couldn't because of our O-line.

I also hope that Lazor brings in some of the concepts from the C.Kelly offense. Can't wait to watch the preseason and see what our bread and butter plays will be. The system will be similar to what we were already running. But it is more run oriented than our previous offense. Most of the formations are the same.

Agreed. I don't want to see L.Miller get 300 carries in a season. But 220-250 carries will be great to see what he does.

Height our biggest WR Hartline is 6'2". Weight I think its Gibson or Matthews at 200-205. Not considering Binns here, I'm not sure he makes the roster.

I'm not sure I would take a tall WR only. Height isn't a huge issue to me. We could use a good WR prospect for depth even if he doesn't play much right away. Again, the reason this is being talked about is this a GREAT WR class.

Mando, yes we do have some good WRs on our team, but Binns and Gibson had season ending injuries last year, not to mention Keller. When Hartline went down in the final game we had Wallace, Matthews, and Marlon Moore. That was literally all we had. Injuries happen and depth is important.

Also, I think Mike Evans is going to the Bills if he is there at 9. Could be a pain having to play him twice every year.

deity @ 11:46

You are so right.
Lack of depth on the OL is putting it mildly. At some point Fat Albert is going to conclude that he does not like the heat and humidity.
Since the heat and humidity are the worst in July and August this bodes ill for us.
In the past we could move Jerry to LT and he made a useful scapegoat, now we don't even have a legitimate scapegoat to replace Albert with.

Oh well - business as usual.

I agree with you tiredfinfan. OL, OL and then some more OL, but unfortunately, it looks like the only real talent left worth the price, is in the draft. I'm not as crazy as most about Zach Martin. I'm liking Mewhort, JaWuan James, or even Morgan Moses should he drop to the 2nd... I almost prefer to trade down and get 2 OL in the 2nd should we find a trading partner.

DD,

Last years draft was so poor at the playmaking positions and lacking star power that 3 of the first 4 picks were linemen and 2 of those were RT. How bad of a draft is it when 2 of the Top 4 picks were RT.

I am still amazed that all Ireland had to trade to move up to #3 was an extra second round pick.

Our receivers are fine, and getting a offensive line in there that gives Tannehill more than a second before he is being pressured will make them look better next year.

The running game is my concern. We still need a power back that can run through people. I know they won't draft Hyde at this point, but they should.

Wouldn't it be nice if the Fins could land a WR like B Marshall!? Like that would ever happen! Same year that guy was signed, there was another big, possession receiver. What was his name. Boldin?

The fact they haven't signed D Jackson is just silly. I don't care if you "NEED" him. You take him! They couldn't double Wallace and Jackson, and if they rolled coverage either way Hartline and Clay and a RB would eat them alive...

Of course, it doesn't really matter until they get a real QB

If CJ Mosley is available at 19 we have to take him, period. That one move alone would improve the entire defense.

Lineman can wait until the second (Moses, Richardson) and WR can wait for UDFA!

As for TEs we have a few and don't think for one minute we truly know what we have since these guys have been misused by Sherman. Lazor is for better in my eyes without even having to call a play yet. I keep thinking back to that game winning catch by Simms in the endzone.

OC makes or breaks a team. With that said we truly have no idea what our offense can do. For this reason I am pumped for 2014! GO PHINS!!!!!!!!!!

Statler, they apparently worked out Terrance West as a potential power back the other day.

He played for Div I-AA, but he played like an NFL player going up against Div I-AA competition. Check him out of you're interested.

We need linemen, we need an solid upgrade at Linebacker. WR is probably one of our strongest positions if healthy, so no, I agree with Mando here.

If Mosley is there at 19 it is a NO BRAINER

Armando,

Regarding your assertion that the Dolphins have enough talent at the WR position. What happens if the speed receiver Mike Wallace gets injured. Who will open things up with speed to allow Hartline and Gibson to continue to flourish in the shorter passing game? No one else has the talented speed of a Mike Wallace. Moreover that's what is needed to keep teams from overplaying tight with their CB's. The Dolphins do need depth in the speed WR role and perhaps they will get that in the 3rd of 4th round of the draft.

wow the poor d again
the krappy o
will never let them rest
a career back at qb
a career back up at the rb's
a career back at wr 3,4,5
career back up at te
career back up at rg/lg and rt.
.lol

Promicheal completely agree with that assessment. Although I believe he was talking about 1st round WR. We do need another quickness hands speed guy in the mid rounds.

I would say we need a WR but it doesn't have to be in the 1st unless someone like Evans falls to 19. I highly doubt it but would take him if he fell. There are a number of 2nd and 3rd round guys that can fill this need.

There is a lot of good points in the blog as to why we need a WR. And I agree with all. You also have to play to the strengths of the draft. Its very strong in the WR position and you have to always look to upgrade. If you become complacent then your team will continue to be mediocre.

I believe there are some hints that the phins will be drafting a WR or 2 in this draft. Hint 1 is the fact that Philbin mentions scoring more points a number of times in his owners meeting interviews, That could be taken a lot of ways but for me there was a lack of TD production in the Red Zone from the WR pos. Hint 2 is that Miami has not brought in ANY WR during free agency that I know of. This tells me they are looking to the draft to improve competition for this position.

If they have brought in a WR point me to the article. I haven't seen it.

BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE!!! If Benjamin is available in the 2nd round, you take him. He was dominating guys 2 years older than him as a sophomore last year at FSU. AND, it wouldn't come at agreat cost, as you mentioned. What are 2nd round guys getting paid?? Not much in the grand scheme of things.

The best draft scenario I could think of is a trade back if we can get a trade partner. Then take Z. Martin or Sua Filo or possibly Amaro. Ideally if we can pick up another 2nd with that trade back in the first then we take a WR in the 2nd. Adams, Moncrief or Bryant come to mind. Jordan Matthews is another. For the 3rd, 4th and possibly the 5th round I like Latimer, Norwood and Street.

Latest fanspeak mock result


19 DT AARON DONALD PITTSBURGH
50 OT JOEL BITONIO NEVADA
81 DE KAREEM MARTIN NORTH CAROLINA
116 RB BISHOP SANKEY WASHINGTON
155 WR BRUCE ELLINGTON SOUTH CAROLINA
190 OLB KEVIN PIERRE-LOUIS BOSTON COLLEGE
234 G RYAN GROY WISCONSIN

Note on this mock, Lewan went 15 to the Steelers. If this even came close to happening in reality, the Dolphins should move up ahead of them.

Oddly, i hate trading up or down but in this draft I would be a big proponent of either depending on where Mr. lewan ends up being available.

Haha, Texas we were thinking the exact same thing at the same time...

If lewan is out of reach then move back and get the best combination of targets and o linemen between the first and third rounds, seems like the sound approach to me.

Yeeeey, more acorns...

Who you calling an acorn, you chestnut!!

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