I find that the some of the users on this site usually have a better sense for talent evaluation than the Miami Dolphins General manager a.k.a. "He who shall not be named." For obvious reasons like Jason Allen, Nolan Carroll, Vontae Davis, Brandon Marshall, Legadu Nane, just to name a few.
So I will attempt to analyze some logical off season moves the Miami Dolphins could possibly make this off season.
I will not make salary predictions, just personnel moves... I know financially we might not be able to make every prediction I make but I am not trying to predict the future, I am simply trying to give a guideline of what we should strongly consider.
First - Use the Franchise Tag on Jake Long... most people here are ready to let Jake Long walk but elite L.T.'s don't grow on trees... we need to see if he truly fell off or if he just had a bad couple of seasons... his body of work has more good than bad and we should not give up on him just because he has hit a rough patch... but if you use the tag here and he has a bad season in 2013 then we let him walk and sign or draft another L.T. and we won't be stuck with his huge contract next off season.
Second - Resign our proven players to formidable contracts... We should start to establish a winning culture and tradition here in Miami, in both tradition and culture consistency is always the key. Our franchise has to start showing our players loyalty, no more trading good veteran players at under market value, and we need to begin signing our own homegrown players like Sean Smith, Brian Hartline, Randy Starks @ reasonable market value.
It is very important that we assess if we can effectively replace and upgrade this team's current free agents before we let them walk. i.e. Reggie Bush, Anthony Fasano, Chris Clemons, or Sean Smith. We should not let our own Free agents leave the team if we cannot definitively upgrade their position via free agency or the draft and we should cut the players that we know are liabilities like Richard Marshall, Nolan Carrol, Koa Misi and even Daniel Thomas(I know he won't be cut but a girl can dream can't she)
Third - Sign key play makers via Free Agency - Even after we resign our veteran free agent players we still have holes all over this team. Our biggest weakness this last season was passing offense and passing defense. We need to sign or draft a #1 wide receiver, a cornerback, a freesafety, a tightend and a pass rush specialist.
Key Free agents at WR: We should sign 1
Dwayne Bowe - Red Zone presence
Mike Wallace - Speedster
Greg Jennings - Would be great to mentor any young wide receivers we have or may draft. ** My Choice**
Key Free Agents at CB: If we do not resign Sean Smith we must secure at least 1.
Aqib Talib - Knows New England playbook *licks chops*
Brent Grimes - Best CB in free agency with high upside and young ** My choice **
Dominique Rodgers Cromartie - A good lanky DB with good speed to replace Sean Smith if we need to.
Charles Woodson - good depth at right price
Key Free Agents at FS: WE NEED TO REPLACE CHRIS CLEMONS! But we probably won't cause Jeff Ireland is our G.M... But if we did...
Ed Reed - I can't see Ed Reed leaving Baltimore but he would be the best player we could find via Free Agency or the draft. Living legend and instant team leader.
O.J. Atogwe - definitive upgrade over Clemons but he is 31 yrs old
Kenny Philips - U.M. alum and Miami loves their canes and he would be an upgrade over Clemons.
Key Free Agents at TE: There will be a plethora of good T.E.'s via free agency and the draft: IT IS THE PERFECT TIME TO UPGRADE
JerMichael Finley - Incredible talent that comes from a winning tradition and my favorite choice but will be $$$
Jared cook - Upgrade over Fasano athletically
Martellus Bennet - All around upgrade over Fasano
As far pass rush specialist go.. there are too many good pass rushers available via the draft to even speculate what route we should go but one thing is clear... we should draft a pass rusher instead of paying big money for a dime a dozen defensive end in Free Agency.
I know... I know.. No way any of this happens... it would be too awesome.
As far as the Draft... I hope we trade down our first round pick this year... it is the best year to do it... a lot of overall talent in the first and second round this year and we could establish ourselves for a long time this off season with five picks in the first 100 selections but we must make the most of this off season. This needs to be our last hoorah because if attendance gets any worse we risk that our Miami Dolphins end up the Los Angeles Sharks.