Dolphins top choice at Left Tackle is Eugene Monroe
Monroe will turn 27 in April, while Albert will turn 30 in November. Monroe is also considered the better and most likely, less expensive option. If that’s the case, you can see why he’s the Dolphins top choice….and why the Ravens are trying to resign him. Monroe and the Ravens are apparently “not close” in their contract negotiations as of this writing.
If I were the Dolphins, I’d look to add a left tackle and a starting caliber guard in free agency, then use 3 draft picks to find 2 starters and a backup. The line needs a complete overhaul after surrendering a franchise high number of sacks in 2013. As we’ve mentioned, this is the make or break year for Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins will only be able to make intelligent assessments if they give him a suitable offensive line. If not, they’re wasting time. The offensive line was also a major reason why the Dolphins running game was awful in 2013. The unit must be improved and must be improved this offseason.
Other areas the Dolphins will likely target in free agency include running back, linebacker, and safety. The Dolphins brought in D’Qwell Jackson yesterday for a meeting. Jackson is the type of linebacker the Dolphins are looking for. He’s got good instincts on the field and he’s a leader. However, there are a couple of obstacles. First, there are a number of teams interested in Jackson AND the Dolphins have a lot of guaranteed money allocated to Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe. Jackson will turn 31 this season, so he’s not exactly a long term fix.
However, considering how poorly the Dolphins new linebackers played in 2013, he’d at least be an upgrade. Wheeler, according to Pro Football Focus, ranked below Jackson in just about every statistical category. The problem is that he has over $5 mil guaranteed in 2014, so the cap hit for cutting him would be prohibitive.
What this all amounts to is an exciting time (hopefully) over the next few weeks. The Dolphins have money to spend and certainly have a number of holes that they need to fill. It will be interesting to see how Dennis Hickey’s strategy for the offseason plays out. We can only hope that his strategy is executed better than his predecessor’s!