With Free Agency set to start within the next 24 hours, we expect the Miami Dolphins to be active. We’ll get into exactly what/when free agency is going to start in a minute. But first, we want to fill you in on where the Dolphins are at this point. Jeff Ireland admitted the other day that the Dolphins would be active once the league year starts, but not ‘super’ active. Per ESPN’s John Clayton, the Dolphins are $13.6 mil under the proposed $120 mil salary cap. The salary cap projections are estimates, as the teams are still learning about the full details of the new CBA. Therefore, it’s a little difficult to tell exactly how much money teams are going to have to spend once free agency finally starts.
The following schedule is (hopefully) the latest update from ESPN, for the week ahead:
Tuesday – Signed players can enter team facilities. Starting at 10am EST Trades can happen and teams can sign their drafted rookies and any undrafted rookies. Teams can also negotiate with all free agents.
Wednesday – Teams that play their first preseason game on August 11th can open training camp (Not the Dolphins).
Thursday - The Dolphins open training camp! Teams can cut players beginning at 4pm EST.
Friday - Teams can begin signing free agents at 6pm EST.
What to expect from the Dolphins?
1. The Dolphins have made it clear that they want to add another running back to pair with Daniel Thomas. Our favorite among the crop is DeAngelo Williams. Picturing him wearing an aqua #34 jersey has been something we’ve thought about for 3-4 months. There is a catch with chasing DeAngelo Williams; The Panthers have roughly $30 mil in cap room and can probably outbid the Dolphins if they REALLY want to keep him. If this happens, or perhaps while it’s happening, the Dolphins will turn their attention to Ahmad Bradshaw. The Giants are actually over the projected cap by $11 mil or so. This will make re-signing Ahmad Bradshaw much more difficult. Prediction sure to go wrong: The Dolphins sign Ahmad Bradshaw
2. If running back was primary target #1 for the Dolphins, then acquiring a QB to compete with Chad Henne is a close second. The Dolphins brass knows that this is a make or break season for them (I’m looking at you Mr. Sparano). They know what Chad Henne has been and they know that they need to upgrade the QB position. Now, an upgrade could come via free agency or trade, or it can be Chad Henne finally realizing his potential. It’s been reported everywhere that the Dolphins will target a veteran QB to compete with Henne. The Dolphins will kick the tires on Kyle Orton to see what the asking price is. If it’s a 3rd or 4th rounder, the Dolphins will likely bite. IF Orton falls through, they might look to sign Vince Young or one of the many other QB options we’ve talked about for months (McNabb, Bulger, Hasselbeck, etc.) Prediction: Orton or Young are Dolphins by Sunday
3. The Dolphins will look to add an OLB to add depth to the rotation and give more of a pass rush than Koa Misi can currently provide. We’ve talked about Manny Lawson, who could be an option, but it’ll depend on his price tag.
4. We expect the Dolphins to add depth along the offensive line, which could come from a variety of places. There are a TON of free agents out there!
5. While the position is pretty much set, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Dolphins looked to bring in another wide receiver. Plaxico Burress is a popular name, as is Mike Sims Walker. We don’t know how comfortable the Dolphins are right now with the WR position, but from the outside, it does look like they’re set.
We’ll keep you posted on the latest news, as it happens. For the most immediate updates on happenings around the Dolphins, you can follow us on Twitter. You can also join us tonight on Phins Up Radio at 11:30pm EST.