I'd open up free agency on Saturday night by making Mike Wallace a five-year-$60 million offer, which features $32 million in guaranteed money. If that doesn't get the deal done then I'd immediately move onto Greg Jennings, making him a respectable four-year offer, which would pay this older reciever $8 million a season. The guaranteed money on Jennings' deal would be
I'd focus on locking down one of those two receivers before sweetening my initial offer to Brian Hartline, which would be in the three-year, $14 million range. Make $8 million of Hartline's offer guaranteed, which means any other suitor would need to come strong to lure the eighth 1,000-yard receiver in Dolphins history away from Miami.
If no Wallace or Jennings, then go get Patriots free agent Wes Welker. The goal is to avoid striking out completely like last year.
After addressing the receiver position I'd upgrade the tight end spot by pursing Martellus Bennett, Dustin Keller, or Jared Cook, in that order. Make them all a three-year offer in the $4 to $6 million per year range and see who bites down hardest. While Bennett's quirky personality doesn't fit Philbin's style (he prefers sheep), Bennett is the top every down tight end on the free agent market.
If forced to settle on Keller and Cook, two seam threats who struggle as pass blockers, re-signing Anthony Fasano for a two-year deal worth about $4 million becomes a priority because Bennett is the only free agent tight end other than Fasano who can actually block, and nobody on Miami's present roster can.
Once the playmakers are upgraded, I'd use the remaining camp space to fortify the offensive line by making another run at former UM standout Eric Winston, offering him a respectable three-year contract worth $14 million.
Despite being cut by Kansas City on Thursday, Winston's still young, durable, and has been one of the more productive offensive linemen in the NFL the past four seasons. His presence would allow Jonathan Martin to move back to his natural position at left tackle, and encourage the Dolphins let Jake Long walk.
Once the offense has been addressed, the priority on defense should be finding an upgrade over Chris Clemons, and adding a veteran pass rusher who can serve as a stopgap for the next two seasons.
Offer Ed Reed, Dashon Goldson and William Moore the same deal Bill Parcells gave Gibril Wilson back in 2009, signing him to a four-year deal worth $28 million (with $16 million guaranteed). Reed would be my top choice despite his age, but Goldson and Moore are no slouches.
If we fail to land one of those safeties, I'd rummage the bargain bin and make a respectable two-year offer to former UM standout Kenny Phillips, who has been productive when not sidelined by knee injuries. If I can't upgrade the position with one of those four safeties I'd ride it out with what I had (Jimmy Wilson or Jonathon Amaya) and draft one early if Clemons signs elsewhere.
The finishing piece to my free agency plan would be signing Osi Umenyiora, a pass rusher who still has plenty left in the tank despite his minimized role with the Giants last year. A pass rushing specialist like Umenyiora would be ideal opposite Cam Wake as long as he's not commanding more than $6 million a season. If the two-time Pro Bowler becomes too expensive than make a run at Dwight Freeney or John Abraham, two older defensive ends, as the fall back plan.
The easiest way to improve the entire defense is to beef up the pass rushing. Better pass rushing improves coverage. And speaking of coverage, I'd address the cornerback position by adding a lower priced veteran like Adam "Pac Man" Jones, who can still be productive, and doubling down on cornerbacks early in April's draft, selecting two like the Dolphins did when they drafted Vontae Davis and Sean Smith together back in 2009.
Cornerback is an expensive position, and since every free agent has warts, the odds of a team getting what they paid for at that position are slim. Therefore, go young and hungry at that one spot, and spend the rest of free agency bargain shopping.