The Dolphins have at least two players - cornerbacks Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain - other teams would like to have. If Miami decides to rebuild, the two might not be around for the long haul.
The team's weakness is its offense, which has scored the fewest points and touchdowns in the NFL. But the defense will soon need to rebuild, too.
Madison, linebacker Zach Thomas, defensive end Jason Taylor, defensive tackle Tim Bowens and linebacker Junior Seau all are 30 or older. Safety Sammy Knight is 29, defensive tackle Larry Chester turns 29 later this month (and is out for the season with a knee injury) and Surtain is 28.
Also, some within the organization say Surtain doesn't take care of himself enough and might deteriorate fast. He has had at least two arthroscopic procedures on one of his knees and missed time this season with a groin injury.
``Pat gets by on his God-given ability and that's it,'' a team source said. ``Great player, but you have to wonder how long he'll last?''
Also, Madison and Surtain have contracts that either balloon or expire after next season, making them potentially expensive to keep long-term. Finally, backup cornerbacks Reggie Howard and Will Poole could step in as capable starters.