A Look at 2017 Free Agency

The 2016 Miami Dolphins had a winning record for the first time since 2008, a dismal 7 year span with the end of the Parcells regime. Then began the painfully boring Philbin years (unless Bullygate excited you), where highlights were a cleaner playing field bereft of garbage, except of course for the actual play of our team. Last year began the Adam Gase era, and I say era, because I believe Adam Gase is going to be here in Miami for a long time. So what lies ahead for Adam Gase, Mike Tannenbaum and Chris Grier, our Head Coach, Executive Vice President of Football Operations and our General manager respectively?

The first wave of adding talent (and subtracting) is Free Agency. The front office has repeatedly made it clear they want to take care of their own, so that means re-signing players that are set to be eligible to play anywhere, not just here in Miami, so let the bidding wars begin! Our most important free agents are WR Kenny Stills, DE Andre Branch, TE Dion Sims, LS John Denney, RG Jermon Bushrod, special teams LB Spencer Paysinger, and special teams ace S Michael Thomas. I’d say I ordered these players in just about the correct order of importance, which of course is debatable.

Speculation as to what it will take to re-sign WR Kenny Stills is really all over the place. Estimates run from approximately $6M per to $8-10M per year. I know they want to keep Stills, but I can’t see paying Stills the latter, at least not above $8M per. We will have a lot of money invested at the WR position very soon when we re-sign Jarvis Landry, and we have Devante Parker who really needs to step it up, and if he does, he will need to get paid too, and he becomes an UFA in 2019. I know that’s still a ways to go, but Landry will undoubtedly be expensive to keep, and although Landry doesn’t score as many TD’s, Landry keeps the chains moving, and has made some incredible plays for this team. I’d say if the bidding stays at  about $8M per, Stills will be with the Dolphins for at least the next 3-4 years, but if it goes beyond that, and it can, I think we may have to let him go.

I think Andre Branch is a little different. I don’t think the market will be as active for Branch, and while he played well enough to want him back, he wasn’t really a standout. Branch played all 16 games, started 11 of them, and finished with 5.5 sacks. He had 49 tackles (27 solo), 2 FF’s and 1 pass defensed. Those aren’t jump off the page numbers, they’re pretty pedestrian actually, but he played every game, stayed healthy, and contributed, and we need that too.

Then there’s TE Dion Sims. Some here I believe got a little too excited about Sims late season heroics, catching 4 TD’s in a 4 game span. You could also say he had ZERO TD’s in the other 14 games he played. I like Dion Sims, but I think he’s best served as our 2nd TE, or #2 on the depth chart, not #1. He’s a big bodied in line TE who can block, and is a decent receiver, no more than that. Can he be a starter, sure, because he can block and catch, but if he’s your #1 TE, you don’t value the TE enough.

Besides re-signing our own players, we have positions of need right now, and the most glaring ones are at LB, DE and OL. We need at least 2 starting caliber LB’s before we start the season. If you’re wondering why I didn’t include LB Kiko Alonso in the FA’s, he’s an ERFA (Exclusive Rights Free Agent), so we have control over Alonso, at least for this coming season. We will likely place the highest tender on him which means if any team decides they want him, and they negotiate a contract, that team has to surrender their 2017 1st RD pick, which I think is pretty unlikely to happen. So we keep Alonso, but I’d let the other guys go and test the market, which leaves 2 LB spots open. I think we’ll likely add some depth players in FA, but our starters may very well come from the draft.

At defensive end, Wake is 35, and Superman can’t play forever. Along with Wake, that leaves Terence Fede as the only other remaining DE on the roster, assuming we cut Mario Williams, which is almost a given. The cupboard is bare, so no question we have to bring in a player or two in FA, because you never know how the draft shakes out.

On the offensive line, there is talent, but a lot of questions too. If the top 5 on our line can stay healthy, LT Branden Albert, LG Laremy Tunsil, C Mike Pouncey, RG Jermon Bushrod, RT Ja’Wuan James, we’re in good shape. The problem is, that only happened 5 times last season. Pouncey has serious hip issues, and of course, he said he’s excited about 2017. I would like a realistic medical report as to where he’s at, so we can make a critical choice as to what we do going forward. I won’t be surprised if we move on from Pouncey. It would be ideal if we get a clear medical report that says either Pouncey will be OK, or he should retire. This way, we can either count him, or worse, count him out. That leaves a huge hole at C. Anthony Steen and Kraig Urbik are capable, but not very good players. They’re best when just filling in, and neither showed the ability to play anywhere near the level of a healthy Mike Pouncey. Branden Albert is a great LT when healthy, but “when healthy” has been the smaller percentage of the time each season. Albert carries a $10.6M cap hit next season, but only a $3.4M dead cap hit. My guess is Albert will be back for another season, but I think it’s obvious we have to have a solid fallback plan. If Tunsil has to move to LT, who do we have at LG, and of course, who is playing C, and RG. So lets’ take a look at who can help our team in 2017 free agency . . .

Offensive Line


Kevin Zeitler OG 6’4” 315 (Bengals) – I think Zeitler is the best FA OG available in 2017, but he would also likely be the most be expensive. How expensive will be determined, but almost certainly upwards of $8M per year, and more likely closer to $10-11M annually. That is definitely a lot of money, but it’s what the top guards are getting paid now. I can see us making that happen, but only after we open cap space elsewhere. Cutting Branden Albert opens up $7M of cap space, and then you move Laremy Tunsil to LT. Is it worth it to pay $10-11M for a top 5 OG? Tough to say, we could draft 2 OG/C and groom them ourselves, it would be a lot cheaper, and there are some good OG/C prospects in this draft.

Why he fits: He would be a veteran, proven plug-n-play top quality RG for the next 5 years who played in a similar blocking scheme in Cincinnati.

Why he doesn’t fit: He will eat a lot of cap space and may make re-signing our own guys difficult or impossible.


T.J. Lang OG 6’4” 305 (Packers) – Lang was one of the bright spots on the Packers line. Lang has played every spot except C on the Packers line. He started as a LT in ’09, has played LG, RG and RT. Lang will be 30 near the start of the season, and due to his age, won’t command as long or as lucrative a contract as Zeitler. He does offer great versatility, and you know our guys value versatility.

Why he fits: Although not a real long term answer, he would give us stability for at least 3 years. He’s also able to play all along the O-line, so we have great flexibility with him. His salary will probably somewhere around $8M per annually.

Why he doesn’t fit: The only reason might be his age, as he will be turning 30 at the beginning of the season, and they may want to go younger.


Ronald Leary OG 6’3” 324 (Cowboys) – I’m sure all of us have said I’ll take anyone from that Cowboys O-line, so now here’s our chance. Leary, considered possibly the “weak link” on the Cowboys line came back and had a good season this year. He started 12 of the 13 games he played in. He has played mostly LG, but did play some at RG too. Leary is also one of the better guards available this year in FA, and of course, will be paid like it. Leary is probably 2nd in line to Zeitler salary wise, and should expect about $9M annually.

Why he fits: Another relatively young quality player who you have for the next 4-5 years.

Why he doesn’t fit: I think because Leary has played predominantly LG, unless Branden Albert isn’t on the team this season, or they feel Leary would be good at RG, he may not be the best fit for the Dolphins.


Luke Joeckel OT/OG 6’6” 306 (Jaguars) – The 2nd overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft has had a tough career. Joeckel struggled at LT for the Jaguars, starting only 5 games at LT and RT in his rookie season. He did start the entire ’14 season at LT, and then all 14 games he played in ’15, but last year the Jags moved Joeckel to LG, and then he was injured. Joeckel tore his ACL and MCL, and had surgery on October 7th, so he should be able to play in ’17.

Why he fits: Former LT, before the injury, a very agile mover, who can both pass protect and run block well. Like T.J. Lang, he would also give the Dolphins flexibility to play guard or tackle. His contract would have to be of the “prove it” variety, so not top dollar like Zeitler or Leary. He also just turned 25, so he’s a very young player, and provided his knee healed well, and his rehab has him ready to go, he could be somewhat of a steal if he can become as good an OG in the pros as he was a LT in college.

Why he doesn’t fit: Coming off a major knee injury, he’s risky, and he only has little experience playing inside at OG. He seemed to settle down some at LG, but he was not a dominant player, in fact he had a lot of struggles. It would be all about his upside, and not what he’s accomplished as a pro. He would be a reclamation project of sorts.

Defensive End


Jabaal Sheard DE 6’2” 254 (Patriots) – Sheard has played the last 2 years in New England, and has been a reserve/starter at RDE, and even played DT in pass rushing downs. Sheard played in 15 games last season, starting 8. He finished with 33 tackles (20 solo), 5 sacks and 4 passes defensed. In his early days in CLE, Sheard was a playmaker, totaling 22 sacks and forcing 7 fumbles in his first 3 seasons, and his first year with NE, forced 4 more fumbles. Sheard will be 28 YO.

Why he fits: If we’re expecting to draft a DE, Sheard won’t break the bank, and is a viable starter who can either compete with or replace Andre Branch. Sheard will probably get around $8M annually. It also takes a player away from the Pats.

Why he doesn’t fit: If we choose to re-sign Branch, there’s no way we spend that much on another RDE.

Panthers 49ers Football

Charles Johnson DE 6’2” 270 (Panthers) – Johnson is on the downside of his career, and was once a fearsome DE. Johnson, now almost 31, would certainly be a depth player who could start, and would provide some insurance for Cam Wake. He’s 2 years removed from a very productive season, in ’14 he finished with 46 tackles (31 solo), 8.5 sacks and 3 FF’s.

Why he fits: Starter/depth player who might be able to give more with less snaps at his age. Plays LE, and would be a great player to spell Cam Wake. Shouldn’t be expensive, around $6M annually.

Why he doesn’t fit: If they decide they want to draft Cam’s replacement, and feel that see enough in Fede that want to keep him.


Chris Long DE 6’4” 275 (Patriots) – Long is now a shadow of his younger self, and hasn’t been healthy enough to be the player he was. His best season was in 2011, where he rang up 37 tackles (31 solo), 13 sacks, 1 FF and 2 passes defensed. he did play in 16 games for the Patriots last season, a good sign, but only started 7. Last season Long totaled 35 tackles (22 solo), 4 sacks, 1 FF and 3 passes defensed.

Why he fits: He shouldn’t be very expensive, and he knows how to play the game, he just needs to be healthy. He could provide depth at LE behind Wake.

Why he doesn’t fit: Do the Dolphins want another oft injured player named Long? Same as Charles Johnson, they may want to draft a DE early, and feel Fede is adequate depth.


Dont'a Hightower

Dont’a Hightower LB 6’2” 265 (New England) – 5 year starter for NE, Hightower is a big throwback MLB. Last year Hightower finished with 65 tackles (only 31 solo), 2.5 sacks, and 1 FF. He’s not a tackling machine, in fact, he only reached 100 tackles once, and only 65 of those were solo.

Why he fits: He subtracts talent from the Patriots, and would allow Alonso to move to WLB.

Why he doesn’t fit: He might be expensive, and I think he’s more of a 2 down MLB. Not as much of a thumper as his size would lead you to believe.

NFL: Preseason-Arizona Cardinals at Oakland Raiders
Malcolm Smith LB 6’0” 226 (Oakland) – Smith, while a little undersized, has the speed we covet, and has played both inside and outside for Oakland and Seattle. The boy can tackle too, logging 103 tackles last season (86 solo), along with an INT, 3 passes defensed, 2 FF’s and 1 FR. In ’15, Smith totaled 100 solo tackles and 23 assists, 6 passes defensed, 3 FF’s and 1 INT, along with 4 sacks. Ran a 4.44 at his pro day back in 2011.

Why he fits: He’s a starter who can play inside or outside, has the speed to go sideline to sideline and cover, and hey, he can tackle!

Why he doesn’t fit: He fits! He’s probably better than anyone else we have now, and until we sign Alonso, he IS better!

Melvin Ingram LB 6’1” 246 (Chargers) – 5 year starter in a 3-4 defense at OLB. Ingram has been accomplished pass rusher at 3-4 OLB, has 18.5 sacks in the last 2 seasons. Last season, Ingram finished with 60 tackles (46 solo), 8 sacks, 5 passes defensed and a whopping 5 FF’s. Ingram is more quick than fast, he has good explosion.

Why he fits: He’s more talented than any other LB on the roster, can cover and can tackle.

Why he doesn’t fit: It would be a change of position to go to a 4-3 SLB or WLB after playing in a 3-4 the last 5 years. Instead of rushing the passer, he would be more involved with run support and pass coverage. He will also undoubtedly be the most expensive FA LB on the market right now, since the Browns re-signed Jamie Collins for 4 YR/$50M. You can put Ingram at that, or possibly higher, so this is a big contract for a player who will have to essentially learn a new position and new responsibilities.

I expect us to negotiate with Jelani Jenkins, which would be smart if we can get him at a fair contract, commensurate with all his missed playing time. He’s a talented player who when healthy early in his career, really impressed, and he’s our own. I hope we can come to an agreement with him as well.

There are other positions we will address as well, but these are our most glaring needs.  We may be surprised that we ignore or merely add depth at one or two of these spots, but then that will be a clear indication what direction we will be taking heading into the 2017 NFL Draft.  Incidentally, the NFL combine is only 26 days away!  Free agency is soon to follow on March 7th.  I can’t wait for ALL of it!  GO DOLPHINS!

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319 Responses to A Look at 2017 Free Agency

  1. ukfinfan says:

    Not read the article yet (thanks MIkeE), but just flew by to say I got my ticket!!!!!!
    Ticket Price: £82.50 x 1 = £82.50
    Service Charge: £7.43 x 1 = £7.43
    Delivery Charge: £2.95
    Total Charge: £92.88
    Ticketmaster are robbing little shits adding over £10, but it’s close to halfway line 6 rows back on upper tier.
    Mob-member at the game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. olddolphan says:

    JUST OUTSTANDING, MIKE!!! —Your analysis leads me to only one conclusion: GET THE BEST (if you REALLY want to win a Super Bowl)!!! In the O-Line, Zeitler clearly is the top option Cut or Trade Brandon Albert (who is NOT worth 10 Million in 2017) and invest that money into a deal for Zeitler. Move Tunsil to Left Tackle (where I expect him to play at an All-Pro level) and draft either Elflein or the big center from LSU (Pocic?) in round 2. AT THAT POINT, we’ll have one of the BEST O-LINES IN ALL OF FOOTBALL (a necessity IF you REALLY want to win a Super Bowl)!!
    Will Ross order a “cheaper” approach to the O-Line?? –I sincerely hope not.
    MIKE, you are to be commended for all the time and effort you’ve put in to this analysis!! –EVERY person on this board REALLY appreciates it!!

  3. Well done. FA is definitely going to be interesting again this year and when I look at the DE position with Wake and Fede being the only two guys under contract other than Williams who is definitely going to be cut because he’s a waste I’m pissed that Tannenbaum AND Grier put us into this position. AGAIN. There’s no excuse for this. This shit happens all the time with this team where they are backed into a corner in one position or another and are left to scramble to try and fill holes.
    Lucky for us we had Branch show up at the facility last year and we didn’t let him go.
    I want to get the offensive line fixed once and for all and I do agree with OD it needs to be done. So, we’re going to need to be aggressive going into FA to go after a guy like Zeitler and we’re going to need to come away with at least one DE in the draft to get closer to where we want to be.
    I still am sticking to my guns that if we have a shot at Reddick, Walker, Smoot and Phillips they are the guys I want. The only other option would be for us to move up a bit after those first three picks and hopefully have a shot at a guy like Banner at G.
    If that can happen I’d forgo the Phillips pick. I guess.

  4. olddolphan says:


    30-24 New Eng. I REALLY WANT the Falcons to win 51-0!! But that’s NOT going to happen. The Pats GOT BETTER & BETTER throughout the playoffs. And you’ve GOT to know Belicheat has, somehow, received an advance copy of what Atlanta plans to do on offense and defense. This “cheater’s edge” should be enough to propel the Pats to another ill-gotten title.

    UKFINFAN: Way to go, man!! YOU are a TRUE ticket-buying DOLFAN!!!

  5. Mike E. says:

    Way to Go UK! Glad you’re going to the game! I hope they give you a good showing, I expect nothing less.

  6. Mike E. says:

    Thanks OD, Lou – I appreciate that.

  7. Mike, excellent work My brother. I like T J Lang from the GB Packers from this bunch.

    we need 1 or 2 experienced OL, and some versatility, He provides both IMO

  8. Mike E. says:

    Thanks David. All the guys I listed at G are experienced actually. Lang just happens to be the oldest. lol

  9. I still maintain that the Gary Johnson Weed Initiative was the best way to go in this last election. Too many people arguing about politics these days. If Johnson were elected and weed was legalized everyone would be too stoned to argue.

  10. stangerx says:

    MIke E — what an awesome draft primer…..makes me worry we will lose you to the SS, but nah…too much good insight for them.

    Reading about Zeitler gets my mouth watering a bit. Even thinking about changing him for Albert, but don’t see a huge reason we can’t keep both for next season at least. His first year hit could be kept low and even when it pups in year two, then we go do whatever with Albert….even if it is keep him for less as the other G. Is Zeitler strictly a LG?

    • Mike E. says:

      Zeitler is a RG Stanger. What you said about the first year for Zeitler is a good point, and Albert’s dead cap hit next year is something like $1.5M, which is negligible. Any one of those guys I listed would help us this season, with the exception of possibly Joeckel. He’s an interesting case, and no question he has talent, but he may not be healthy enough this season after the knee injury, and he still has to learn how to play inside, he only played 4 games.

      • stangerx says:

        Not sure if it is the evolving game with blitzers coming from all angles and inside or out or maybe the last years have shown how badly not having good ones can hurt you…….but I’m valuing those lunchbox offensive guards a lot more than I used to. Seems the NFL in general is too.

  11. Phindog says:

    Great Job Mike E !!!

  12. Mike E. says:


    Just think how much better Ja’Wuan James will be with a guy who’s getting after it at OG right next to him. There could be plenty of running room on the right side. Bushrod was fine this year, he wasn’t a negative, he just wasn’t really a positive either. You get either Zeitler, Lang or Leary, and I think that changes for sure. The real kicker is what happens with Pouncey. You know we’re going to give him every chance to play, but I’m sure they will hedge their bets by getting a G/C in this draft just in case.

    • stangerx says:

      Will admit not a huge fan of James (especially given where we was picked), but that is all the more reason to bring in a strong RG, even if he stays the same. That and LB are where I would be looking first in FA. Seems young and talented draft pups at say DE, TE or S fit better with what we got now.

      And for sure we are all betting on Pouncey’s health. And while that C/G is hedging….also fits in quite well with what we need for depth on this team. If we keep Bushrod as the ultimate swing we will have four guys who can line up at LT.

  13. Mike E. says:

    Thanks Doggy!

  14. This is a great tweet from Andrew Luck:
    Capt. Andrew Luck

    Dearest mother —
    Our cannon specialist, Lt. Patrick from the McAfee peninsula, is departing the unit to be a war correspondent.
    — Andrew

  15. So the Texans owner rips Osweiler and threatens to draft a QB. Who’s fault is it for signing him and giving him that huge contract? You go after a guy with a ton of money. Gotta have him. Then you sign him and figure out he sucks and you’re not happy. Did Osweiler twist their arms?
    Did they do their homework on him? How in the hell can a team blame the player? They’re the one’s who made the idiotic mistake.

  16. sb7mvp says:

    Good job on the article Mike E

  17. If you have an account with Scottrade and have had IRA distributions in ’16 and have had tax withheld you better check your 1099-R

  18. stangerx says:

    HOUSTON — If Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills becomes a free agent on March 9, the Eagles are expected to make a push to sign him, a source familiar with the situation who requested anonymity informed NJ Advance Media…..
    And so it begins. Nothing specific on that other than quotes from people saying the Eagles need help at wideout. Would almost make you think the unnamed source “familiar with the situation” is Still’s agent, but nahh….couldn’t be..

  19. Mike E. says:


    This kind of ties in w/today’s article . . . We’re in decent cap shape, and I expect our cap space to increase when we cut some of the dead weight.

    • stangerx says:

      Even without playing games with re-structuring and such and after taking care of the lower-level guys, we should have enough for two studs or three legit starters.

  20. stangerx says:

    Some us couldn’t figure it out either Chris.
    On Wednesday, Hogan pointed to his 2012 cut with the Dolphins as the low point of his professional career.

    “I had a great offseason when I was down there, a great training camp. That is where I got the nickname (7/11). I was on Hard Knocks all that time. It was great, a lot of exposure. A lot of good feedback from coaches telling me I had a good training camp and I got cut. It was emotional. Obviously anytime you get cut from a football team it is tough.”

    “it was an eye opening experience. As good as I played and as good as I thought I played it wasn’t enough.”

    Since then, Hogan has outproduced nearly every receiver the Dolphins kept instead of him. Davone Bess, Armon Binns, Brian Hartline, and Marlon Moore are no longer in the NFL.

  21. manitobafinfan says:

    Well Done Mr Mike.. Would love to Get both Smith and Ingram.. but I wont hold my breathe…
    Keep up the great work..

  22. Tim Knight says:

    Good job Mike!

    Hey David good to see you stop by.

  23. Mike E. says:


    The issue with Hightower is that I think he’s probably only a 2 down LB for us. Not sure if that’s the best scenario for us.

    • manitobafinfan says:

      I agree .. we have enough players that only play 1-2 plays a series as it is.. 🙂 and for the $$ these guys get we want Full Time

  24. stangerx says:

    We get such talk every year, but seems at #22 maybe even more an option this one around. Also nice to see at least this guy sees depth at LB and DE.

    Considering the depth at LB and DE in this draft, I think the Dolphins would be wise to entertain trade offers in which they traded down in the draft. If we see a run of players in the first round, such as the DB or QB position, the Dolphins may find themselves in the perfect position to trade down in the first, adding a 2nd or 3rd rounder in the process (or multiple late round picks). They could still draft a viable starting DE or LB at the end of round 1, bolstering their defense as well as adding valuable picks that they could use to add depth or even another potential starter on day 2 or 3 of the draft.

    The Dolphins are in great shape in that they are placed in the first round in a prime spot to received last minute day 1 trades from teams desperate for a certain player or position that may not be there.


    • Mike E. says:

      Honestly, I had to laugh while reading this. T-Bomb loves to wheel and deal, but usually he’s going the opposite direction, moving up, instead of back. Depending on who’s there at #22, I’d consider moving back, but then he’d very likely have to move up somewhere else, it’s his nature. Until I see otherwise from him, I think he sees something, and goes and gets it, rather than be patient and move back. We’ll see what happens.

      • stangerx says:

        Might be the T-Bomb can throw a change up. My bigger worry about him coming in was the the Jets went into cap hell while he was GM, but have seen no signs of that so far. That might be cause would go completely against Ross’ nature and matched up real well with Ryan’s though.

      • Mike E. says:

        Ya think the tiger’s gonna change his stripes? 😉

  25. Tim Knight says:

    Mike, I like Zeitler because he upgrades the OL right away. Some of the guys on defense could be the type we sign as depth without breaking the bank like a Malcom Smith. The DEs don’t really excite me.

  26. getterdone says:

    Mike E, I Grade your article I = Incomplete!
    You can’t mention all those FA OL w/o RG Larry Warford….IMO!!!
    25yo 6’3 317 graded well in both pass pro & run blocking!

  27. Tim Knight says:

    Stanger, I think Tbaum and the Jets thought they were close and were trying to win a championship which they came close to doing twice. I also think he may have learned from that experience that it’s not the best approach. We’ll see this offseason.

  28. getterdone says:

    Also Mike E, why no mention of JPP. Bring his azz back to Fla. He turned 28 Jan, so he’s got 3-4yrs left of solid play. He returned nicely from the hand surgery. He explosive & rangy. I wish we were giving him Mario’s money @ DE!!!

  29. Mike E. says:


    I know he’s very good OG (Warford), But he’s bigger than the type of guys we’ve been drafting and picking up as FA’s, so I’m just going by our recent history. Show me one OL on our team that’s over 330 lbs.

  30. Mike E. says:

    LMAO @ Toba

  31. getterdone says:

    I think JPP had a 10 sack season in him with the likes of Suh commanding dbl & triple teams and Wake or Branch also wreaking havoc from the other side. JPP also is a 4-3 End with more left to prove to the NFL world.

  32. getterdone says:

    Mike, Warford is not 332 brah.

    • Mike E. says:

      If he’s 317, then I’m sure he’ll be in the conversation. You can write an article about Warford for next week. JPP too . . .

  33. getterdone says:

    LOL @ Toba picking up on the “explosive” nature of JPP + Jason POW POW! Down goes Brady!

  34. getterdone says:

    Mike, we could both fly to his home in San Diego & ask him to step on our scale.

  35. The Flying Pig says:

    Great piece Mike

    But where is the discussion about FA Tight Ends?

  36. Mike E. says:


    Warford was 332 at the combine. Pro Football Reference has him listed at 332, his Wiki page at 333. Only thing I found that says his 317 is his player page on the Detroit Lions site, so it’s possible he slimmed down, I don’t know.

    • getterdone says:

      ESPN, Yahoo, Rotoworld, CBS, etc etc all have him @ 317. The combine ended for him over 4 years ago….lol 😉

      • stangerx says:

        When you are as big as Warford — my guess is whether he weighs 317 or 332 depends on if you put him on the scale before or after practice.

  37. Mike E. says:


    If you’re inferring that I only have eyes for one TE, well . . . . . You may be right! lol

  38. Tim Knight says:

    I want us to approach FA in a way that we can take the BPA at multiple positions. Use FA for some upgrades in areas that need it then add some nice talent in the draft on top of that and all of a sudden your team is really good.

    We can say draft LBs and DEs but remember there are learning curves and too many NEED rookies could slow down your progress as a team. Even really talented rookies sometimes take a year to get up to speed. You really nailed it when you find “one” that can start and be a part of being a better team. We almost had two this this year in Tunsil and if Howard didn’t get hurt. But they will definitely be a part of this team getting better. I think Howard could be very good even though he was banged up and had his ups and downs. He has really good ability.

    • Mike E. says:

      Are there any DE’s you think might work for us? I know you didn’t like the list I put up, but was there another guy you had in mind?

      • Tim Knight says:

        No I don’t, when I looked into them I didn’t see any DEs I would spend a lot of money on, but I don’t follow every team close enough to know if there are good players on the rise. Hopefully Grier and his dept. find them. I would be okay with even guys on Branch’s level who are entering their primes to keep the DL strong and definitely draft one early where you don’t have to reply on him but allow him to develop at his pace whatever that may be. If he’s really good great, if he needs some work okay.

  39. Mike E. says:


    Gotcha – There are so many 3-4 ends in this FA class, and also, a lot of 3-4 LB’s too. It’s surprising how many teams play 3-4 again.

  40. Tim Knight says:

    Mike, I agree on Melvin Ingram, he’s a guy who intrigues me as a more dynamic Misi. Could he play SOLB and play some DE like Misi did but at a higher level? I wouldn’t be opposed to a player like him. A flex edge guy. I liked his game coming out of college, and even though he hasn’t been great in the NFL, he had some injuries early on, he has been solid having a good follow up season to his best season last year. He’s a player at the right time to pay some money for.

    I would support signing him.

    • Tim Knight says:

      Let’s say we go bonkers for LBs in FA because we retain Alonso and want to match up other guys with experience rather than go too young right away.
      SOLB Ingram
      LB Alonso
      LB M.Smith

      Would you do it?

      • Mike E. says:

        As long as it’s not at the expense of getting an OG. I don’t think Smith will be a big contract, but Ingram will be over $50M for sure. I think Piggy might explode though if we don’t draft a LB early.

  41. Mike E. says:


    I have to admit, I didn’t even think of flexing Ingram to DE on passing downs, that’s not a bad idea at all. Maximize his worth.

  42. Mike E. says:

    I really like Malcolm Smith too. I think he could be very useful for us. He can play all 3 downs, be in nickel and dime packages too.

    • Tim Knight says:

      Agreed. He fits today’s game as a space LB. That’s why I labeled him and Alonso as just LBs. Move them around. Ingram would likely be on the LOS like the old 5-2 defense that Arnsparger implemented back in our heyday. That became the 3-4 defense. We used it a lot this season with different personnel. Ingram could make it more dynamic.

  43. Tim Knight says:

    Mike, we could still take a LB early but not have to rely on him right away. To me it’s also not about drafting whatever position early, it’s about adding good players. If that’s through FA at some positions who cares? I would love to attack FA in a way where we could take a Howard at #22?

  44. Tim Knight says:

    Mike, we could definitely still add a guard. We could also draft one of the better ones early if we patch other areas in FA. It’s all about the balance of talent and what our FO thinks is available and where.

    • Mike E. says:

      I think we probably should get one in FA, and draft another OL. We have to get to the point where we have enough guys to plug in and not lose cohesion. I would love to have the flexibility to draft whatever we wanted at #22.

      • Tim Knight says:

        We could probably do both. We’re going to have a good amount of cap maybe even close to $50M because I think we’re going to move on from some guys making good money.

  45. Mike E. says:


    I’m on board with spending this season, but no trading picks away next year, because if we spend in FA, there won’t be any compensatory picks coming our way.

    • Tim Knight says:

      The comp picks don’t concern me. I don’t want to go all out to win right away, not get there and have to hit restart at some point. This offseason will tell us a lot about where we think we are and how this regime goes about its business.

  46. The Flying Pig says:

    Mike E. says:
    February 2, 2017 at 6:32 pm (Edit)

    If you’re inferring that I only have eyes for one TE, well . . . . . You may be right! lol


    I kinda assumed

  47. Tim Knight says:

    T.J. Watt could be a guy we draft to backup the Ingram role. When his # is called he plays. It’s that kind of depth that allows you to keep playing your scheme.

    Just for the record, this is all hypothetical, not the only way. Just a possibility.

  48. Tim Knight says:

    This is a formation we used a lot this year.

  49. Tim Knight says:

    DT – Suh, Mitchell, Phillips, ?
    DE – Wake, Branch, Fede, ?, ?
    LB – Alonso, Ingram, Smith, Hewitt, Hull, ?, ?
    CB – Maxwell, Howard, Lippett, McCain, ?
    S – Jones, IAQ, Aikens, ?
    DB – flex?

    Fill in the blanks.

  50. getterdone says:

    I expect the FA spending to shock us all a lil bit this year. There’s going to be a very sizable Cap carry over from last year & the league will raise the Cap as well in 2017. Those factors combined with the rules of spending to a minimum threshold of your Cap will have teams like our Phins throwing some sizable deals around by necessity..IMO.
    So why not pay JPP Mario money, he’ll give us better production after we part ways with Mario.
    Pay Warford, or Leary if Zeitler gets snapped up too quick.
    Spend some on a LB Zach Brown or Hodges.

    • steveccnv says:

      We don’t have as much money as you think, unless you’re not planning on resigning anyone, in which case we have more holes to fill.

      • Tim Knight says:

        Remember contracts can start out at lower numbers if you think you’re ready to win now. If you don’t after the next two years is when you start over. I want to see us try and win while we have the talent. That can all change in a few years.

  51. mf13ss says:

    Mike E,

    Hey! VERY good write, Bro! PROPS!

    You may be the only one other than me (on fan sites, anyway) that has made mention of bringing in Luke Joeckel. Check on his knee injury and if it’s good, SIGN HIM!

    I’ve been about bringing in Melvin Ingram since December, but as you stated, he’s going to co$t long bread and as a tweener in our 4-3. I see us extending/re-signing all of Stills, Landry, Reshad, and Branch… that’s going to eat much of our current cap space, along with paying BOTH Tanny and $uh ‘QB money’ in ’17. As such, I’m not sure we’re going to target Ingram or any other BIG $$$ FAs… but we’ll see!

    Again, NICE WRITE, cat!

  52. getterdone says:

    Remember we’re freeing up Cap with parting ways with Mario, Misi, Cameron, & possibly Albert or Pouncey & possibly even IAQ.

  53. Seriously don’t understand some of the Phins fans I read saying they don’t want to pay Stills $10M/yr yet they’re okay with Tannehill getting $20M/yr over the remainder of his contract. He gets $11M/yr this yr then $20M/yr remaining yrs. If that’s the case, Stills is more than worth the money he’d be getting paid especially when you compare that contract to that of guys like Kennan Allen, Allen Hurns and Torrey Smith.
    There’s no doubt in my mind Stills will command upwards of $10M/yr and we should be the one’s who give it to him.

  54. getterdone says:

    Again, I think he does good. Dallas & Atlanta are solid teams…GB collapsed on Defense and got routed like Miami. Even Aaron Rodgers couldn’t save them against a team like Atlanta.

    Anymore “what if” games? lol smh

  55. sb7mvp says:

    Trollin’ on the river

  56. olddolphan says:

    OK ALL YOU DRAFTNICKS!!! Let’s just say for the sake of argument that Prof Lou’s right and we need to upgrade the QB position. Which QB(s) coming out in this draft would you bet will be BETTER Quarterbacks for Miami than Tannehill??? I’ve ONLY seen one, DeShaun Watson of Clemson MIGHT end up being a better QB (NOT a lock). CHANCES of us landing him AND upgrading the O-Line, LB and DE positions this off season?? –CLOSE TO ZERO!! —IN FACT, I’m NOT sure we can do what needs to be done this off season at O-Line, LB and DE, let alone getting whoever is the top QB available.
    INSTEAD, let’s focus on our top 3 needs and leave the QB spot for another off season. IF we fill those top 3 needs, WE WILL BE PLAYOFF CONTENDERS THIS SEASON, barring catastrophic injuries. IF WE DO NOT fill our top 3 needs, we will NOT BE serious contenders for the Super Bowl, unless, by some miracle, BOTH ALBERT AND POUNCEY BOTH PERFORM AT VERY HIGH LEVELS FOR ALL 16 regular season games and the playoffs. IF you actually believe that will happen, then I guess it’s also time for Dolly Parton to perform in the nude on a pogo stick at halftime of the Super Bowl!!!!!!

  57. Mike E. says:


    Do you promise to write an article for us every Thursday after my head explodes when we don’t draft a TE? 😉

  58. Mike E. says:


    Do you still think Lamp will be available at #54?

  59. Let me ‘splain some things about my all defense mock above. Reddick and Phillips are two fast, athletic LB’s who played DE in college. Both can probably play on the outside as both can set the edge and they also can cover as they have done it in college. Not a lot but they have that ability.
    But, what this gives you is two DE’s in Walker and Smoot who are the future at those positions.
    Smoot is the quick twitch guy who can beat you on a speed rush to the outside or he can beat a block to the inside to make a play behind the line. He needs a bit more weight and a bit more strength but that’s what strength and conditioning is for.
    Walker is Walker. No explanation needed. But Reddick and Phillips being two former DEs in college give you an extra added element that allows you to bring either from the outside and drop a DE in coverage, stunt one to the inside on a pass rush or blitz one up the middle. There’s numerous things these four guys allow you to do. Walker is also a guy you can bring in on passing downs and play him inside for extra pass rush.

  60. stangerx says:

    Sure doesn’t seem that Jason Taylor had a lot of love for Cam Cameron. Zach either. Taylor told Mando that real early on over lunch, Zach looked at Taylor and said, “you know were screwed.”
    “Cam was an idiot. I have no idea how he got the job. I’ve never been around a more incompetent head coach than Cam Cameron. I’m talking youth football, college. It was unbelievable.

    Everything we did, he had to have a problem with. That was his way of being the biggest voice in the room. If I talked or Zach talked in a team meeting or after practice, he would always need to have the last word.

    It was the weirdest thing. We’d all look at each other because he would repeat something one of the players already said. That dude lost me first day of training camp. Even at minicamp, I’m wondering what are we doing?”

    • Mike E. says:

      I have a feeling there was a pretty big disconnect with Philbin and the players too, but maybe not to the extent of Cam Cameron.

      • stangerx says:

        Article also came out a couple days ago that JT had a lot of respect for Saban (even if he admitted he kept it on the down low after what happened….until now). Also apparently loved Johnson. Almost makes you think he likes the Bear Bryant types.

  61. sb7mvp says:

    Wasn’t that Cameron who took the last game of the preason off and let Mulan key HC just in case something happened in the regular season and the interim coach had to run the team?

  62. stangerx says:

    Schefter already said this was over and that there would be no surgery and Tanny would at least be ready for camp, maybe even OTAs. But here is Walker bringing it up again. And last I checked it was up to Tanny, not the team. Hoping it is just click bait.
    Knee surgery or no surgery? The Dolphins are reaching a critical point with their most important player. It has been nearly two months since Tannehill sprained the ACL and MCL in his left knee and, as of Friday, no decision has been made public about how Tannehill and the team will proceed during the offseason.

    The Dolphins are taking their time to decide if rehabilitation or reconstructive knee surgery is the best route for Tannehill. If they choose the latter, the recovery timeline could extend into the regular season. The worst-case scenario is ACL surgery, which typically takes 9 to 12 months to rehab.


  63. Mike E. says:


    I’m concerned about it too. I haven’t seen one source say Tannehill definitely doesn’t need surgery, he just needs to rehab and strengthen the muscles around the knee area and he’s good to go, and will be ready at the start of training camp. It’s been pretty cloak and dagger, and I don’t know why.

    • stangerx says:

      Thankfully, only problem I ever had with my nears was some cartilage stuff (which even if hadn’t sorted itself out in a like three weeks would have meant a minor scope).

      The two months in does match up with my vet said about one of my dogs though after she hurt her meniscus — he said maybe it is just a sprain or maybe she will need surgery. “There is really no way to tell without getting in there — we’ll see how she recovers over the next month or two and then decide.”

  64. The Flying Pig says:


    I’m having a hard time imagining Reddick will be a 1st round pick

    A small school guy like needs to have elite athleticism and dominance at his level
    You pair that with the LB which is not treated like a premium position in the NFL
    And it seems unlikely he will go in the 1st
    In fact – he will be probably be available in the 2nd round for us

    I can’t imagine a Temple LB going in the 1st
    Brian Utlacher is the one LB from a small school (I think New Mexico) that jumps out at me – but he was dominant in college

    I haven’t seen that much of Reddick. But was he dominant at his level. I don’t see that in what I have seen so far

  65. The Flying Pig says:

    My thoughts are if you want a player to contrubute right away
    You go big school or at least big conference

    The transition to the NFL is smoother when that happens

  66. stangerx says:

    Nice breakdown of the TEs in the draft over at the phinsider. This part did make me wonder if Mike E has been cheating on us though under another name:

    1. O.J. Howard, Alabama: Howard is an elite talent.

    “He’s the most polished blocker out of any tight end in the class…..

    He’s a raw, athletic freak who is a star in the making. An overall elite talent. He shows toughness over the middle, and bulldozes his way over defenders. His massive hands and gifted athleticism allows him to make any catch in his radius. Linebackers will struggle against him; most defenses will require a safety on him.”

    Full and good report:


    • Tim Knight says:

      If we have a shot at him we should probably take it. If not a couple of years down the road when Howard is killing teams we’ll once again be saying I wish we had a TE like that. 😉

      • stangerx says:

        Seems the real Q is becoming if we will have a shot at him, but it is early. Check out the list though. Maybe this guy has a TE wet dream for us……but makes it sound like there are a good four or five immediate starter prospects this year. And not like they will all go in the first two rounds.

      • The Flying Pig says:

        It really depends who is on the board

        But I’m starting to feel like maybe Howard might be a good pick
        and I’m generally anti-anything but LB

        If we picked Howard I would hope we would make some kind of move to move up in the 3rd to get a better quality front 7 player

        The next 2 picks should be front 7 defensive players if that happens

        If you end up with a TE in the 1st and 2 LB or a LB and DE in the 2nd round or early 3rd, did you miss a chance to bring in young talent on defense via the draft….I don’t really think you did

    • Mike E. says:

      Not me, but a smart man nonetheless! 🙂

      • stangerx says:

        lol — and I even left out the guy’s conclusion. 🙂

        “There’s not much more to be said about Howard. He should be one of the most feared offensive weapons in the NFL for years to come.”

  67. Tim Knight says:

    Piggy, you have to see what we do in FA first. We may not have voids at LB after the fact.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      We will see
      that is not a good crop of LBs in this blog

      and not just that – what about 2 or 3 years from now
      we need young defensive players via the draft

      we’ve either drafted busts (Dion Jordan) or parted ways (Taylor and Vontae Davis) with most o our defensive draft picks

      we need a base to build around that you create via the draft not free agency

      • Tim Knight says:

        I’m open to a lot of ways to improve the team. It doesn’t matter what we say here anyway. LOL

      • Mike E. says:

        Malcolm Smith is 27, and he will probably as good or more likely better than any LB you draft this season.

      • stangerx says:

        Yep — we will see both for this draft and whatever is down the road. Seems a key part is what they do with just Jenkins and especially Misi before we even get to talking to FA’s. They keep Misi and they are only looking for one starting LB rather than two for next season.

      • The Flying Pig says:

        I’m not buying that at all Mike

        Sure he could be better than anyone we draft
        Only bc we draft the wrong player

        But Malcom Smith is as good as he will ever be for anyone
        He’s in his 6th year
        He will cost a ton of $
        and we probably only 2 of those years

        That’s just not how your build a defense, relying on free agency
        A lot of those FA signings end up being cap casualties in a few years

        you get more bang for your buck in the draft

        I’m not saying you can’t use free agency

        but compare our draft picks on days 1 and 2 offensively to defensively over the past 5 years

        We have 2 defensive on the roster over 16 picks in that period (Howard and Phillips)
        We have 6 offensive players in that same period

        You can’t have sustained success that way

        I also not overly impressed with the LBs available free agency
        If Smith, who has been on 2 teams in 6 years, is the cream of that class – its not a great class

        If you draft this years Eric Kendricks, Dion Jones or Denzel Perryman that blows away a pick like Smith – its not even close. Thos eguys are much better than them
        And you can squeeze 5 years out of them without breaking the bank
        Unlike a mediocre FA that you will probably consider waiving to save cap room within 3 years

  68. Tim Knight says:

    Stanger, Misi may not even be able to play again with his neck injury. So that diagnosis has to come first.

  69. Mike E. says:

    If a player retires, his salary comes off the books and the cap, right?

    • Tim Knight says:

      I believe so. There is usually an injury settlement. Not totally sure how it effects the cap though. Al is usually good at this stuff. Haven’t seen him in a long time. I hope all is well with him.

  70. Mike E. says:


    Smith isn’t even close to the cream of the crop, but he’s the type of player we want, a guy with speed to go sideline to sideline and make tackles, and one that can play all 3 downs and cover. I also don’t think he’s going to cost a lot of money either. It’s just one player man. We have Alonso, we draft another 2 LB’s, and we’re set, but we don’t have to draft them RD1 and RD2. We can get one in RD1, or RD2, and then another whenever.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      We don’t want average players
      we want good players

      I don’t get this philosophy at all

      You want to get the one piece we need to take our offense to the next level

      but on defense – we will spackle the holes

      All he progress we made in 2016 will be lost if our defense is a collection of players that temporarily fill holes

      We might lose Earl Mitchell this offseason. We will lose Maxwell in 18. What about Reshad Jones. If you don’t bring in young talent on defense NOW we open ourselves up to real problems down the line

    • The Flying Pig says:

      about 15 more tackles

      But Kendricks is a much better player
      I don’t even think its close to be a legit debate

      Look at Oakland vs Minnesota’s defense rather than individual stats
      and you will see an enormous disparity

      How bout what Smith does for Oakland next year
      bc he is leaving this offseason

      And that is what you get when you use free agency like that
      we will be talking about LB again by 2018

      • Mike E. says:

        First of all, it depends on how long a contract you sign him to. Secondly, it depends on which RD you draft your LB. If it’s the 1st, you can sign him to a 5 YR contract I believe a 4 YR with a 5th YR option, and I think after the 1st, it’s a 3 year max, I’m not sure. It’s not like you draft them and you have them forever, and in some cases, you may not want them at the end of the contract, like Dion FF.

  71. Mike E. says:

    I’m not sure I get your line of thinking about Oakland’s defense and Minnesota’s defense. Are you insinuating that Kendricks is why Minnesota had a good defense, and Smith is why Oakland didn’t?

    • The Flying Pig says:

      Its never one player

      I bet Kendricks is a big part of why Minnesota had a good defense

      but whatever, if you dispute it fine, give the credit to the other young defensive players they have drafted over the last few years

      • Mike E. says:

        Minnesota has a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball. That’s crazy talk! Linval Joseph, Everson Griffen, Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes, Capt. Munnerlyn, Anthony Barr, Danielle Hunter, but yeah, it was the Eric Kendricks show. Luke Keuchly is a hundred times better than Kendricks ever will be, and Carolina’s defense sucked ass last season. C’mon Piggy, you’re skewing the reality here.

      • The Flying Pig says:

        How many of those payers did Minnesota draft?
        How many were brought in via free agency

        You are missing the point entirely

  72. The Flying Pig says:

    It doesn’t matter how long you sign a FA
    the length of the contract means nothing most of the time
    How many guys are cut before their contract expires

    You overpay in FA every time
    and the players you bring on in many cases too expensive to keep within a couple of years

    The numbers usually play out that good draft picks on your team longer than free agents signings

    Its one thing I you are signing a blue chip player like Suh
    but not the caliber you are talking about

    What are you suggesting we do in the draft?

    • Mike E. says:

      OK wait. I agree with you that overpay in FA, but we won’t be killing the cap by signing Malcolm Smith. He won’t be expensive, and you do know you have to spend a certain amount towards the cap anyway, right? For some reason, you just don’t want it to be at LB, even though I’m saying we should draft 2 LB’s in this draft anyway. Where do you think we should spend in FA?

  73. Tim Knight says:

    Danielle Hunter? Isn’t that a girls’ name? LOL

  74. Mike E. says:


    More than half of them were drafted, but what’s your point? I would love to build our team through the draft, that’s always been my wish, and think we’re heading in that direction, as long as T-Bomb doesn’t keep trading away all of our effing picks! We have 1 viable LB right now. We can’t freaking draft 5 LB’s this season. I said we should draft 1 LB in RD 1 or RD 2, and then another anywhere else. We also need edge rushers too. It’s going to take a few years to build up. If we have stability at coach and GM, that will allow us to build the team the same for years, which we haven’t had.

    • son of a son of a shula says:

      Hewitt is viable and I think developing nicely. Maybe not a starter but certainly viable depth at the position.

      • Tim Knight says:

        Agreed. He’s entering just his 3rd season so he still has upside as well. He has the physical ability. He needs to speed up the mental part of the game. But he does flash at times.

  75. son of a son of a shula says:

    Mike, what a great job this is so well written. Congrats to you and thanks.

    Smith scares me. All I can think of is Wheeler.

    I like Sheard and Hightower of the players you listed for our Defense. Both could be big contributors for us.

    • Mike E. says:

      Thanks Sonny, appreciate that man. Wheeler never had 100 solo tackles, but I hear ya. It seems like Smith makes the tackles, Wheeler was just around the guy who made the tackle.

  76. mf13ss says:

    BUILD through the Draft, augment via FA… that’s how to build a winner. Being the NFL has a salary cap (thankfully, unlike other sports), ya want a constant infusion of youth (up-and-comers) IF the proper coaching/management is in place (we do now).

    Being we already have savvy vets on Defensive side of the ball, it’s time to draft young bucks… especially at the LB position (NEED!).

    Draft either Takkarist McKinley, Hasson Reddick, or Zach Cunningham on day one… WINNING! One of them will be on the board @ R1P22.

    Priority one, however, is to re-sign Kiko Alonso… and I doubt he’ll be cheap after the year he just had.

    • Tim Knight says:

      Alonso is a RFA so a 1st or 2nd rd tender are possibilities.

    • Mike E. says:

      Agreed on almost everything except that we have to take McKinley or Reddick. I think there are other options, but no question we need at 2 LB’s, and at least 1 DE.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      That’s what I say

      We need some young guys on defense
      Albeit, I am okay with not using the 22 on a defensive player depending on the board

      But if we did that – we need to make sure the next picks are defense
      And those picks might have to be bumped up

      In the case of the 3rd make it an earlier pick

      If you get 3 quality players in the first couple of days and 2 of them are defensive, I’m happy

  77. mf13ss says:

    Hey, Son! How are ya, Brother!

  78. Mike E. says:


    I meant 1 starter at LB, I didn’t make that clear.

  79. mf13ss says:

    Marinofan13 says:

    January 29, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Post-Senior Bowl Week, here’s how I feel about our R1P22…

    1a) Takkarist McKinley
    1b) Haason Reddick
    1c) Zach Cunningham

    One of these three SHOULD BE on the board when we select, and any one of these three should bolster our Defense dramatically and relatively quickly.

    – McKinley is most thickly built, heaviest, and the fastest of all three… so he may be our target from the newest “LB University” (Jim Mora’s UCLA: Barr, Kendricks, and Jack), IF he lasts to R1P22. Management has recently stated that we want to get quicker on Defense.
    4.4* speed. Pac-12.
    Wart: torn labrum in right shoulder (general 3 month recovery time post-surgery, which has not yet occurred or may not be needed… but likely will occur post-Combine, not before, if warranted).
    * = McKinley all but guarantees he’ll run a 4.4 at the Combine as he’s currently training for as much.

    -Reddick seems to be the most MLB ready, so he may be our target if we truly want to move Kiko outside. Most obviously, Reuben Foster will be off the board by the time we select. GRAND Senior Bowl week by Reddick. He’s not quite as fast as McKinley, but he’s very fast. Reddick is the most positional versatile LB of the three and that’s important to note.
    4.5 speed. AAC.
    Wart: AAC stats [such as his ’16 TFL (22)] make him seem bigger than his counterparts. Plus, only 99 solo tackles in his 4-year collegiate career in the AAC.

    – Cunningham is the only one of these three to declare early. His production has been the most SOLID of the three, and coming from the SEC. His upside is outstanding, though he’s considerably slower than both McKinley and Reddick. Cunningham is by-and-large the ‘producer’ of these three.
    4.7 speed. SEC.
    Wart: lanky and light for the position (6’4″, 230), coupled with 4.7 speed.

    I’m certainly NOT trying to overrate ‘straight-line speed’, being ‘processing speed’ trumps as much (not to mention, ‘3-cone speed’). All three of these cats are STUDS in their own right. I’d be good with any one of these three, truly.

    We don’t HAVE to select a LB @ R1P22, but I’d strongly suggest it… unless there is a BPA at a position of dire need. IMO, we need to get younger and better on the Defensive side of the ball.

  80. son of a son of a shula says:

    I was the original TE guy going back to Kyle Rudolph and the guy who went to Detroit the year before that. Howard is one of those high football IQ guys someone will get a really good player getting him.

  81. mf13ss says:

    I’m truly HAPPY that 4 of the best from Omar’s blog are sharing our thoughts right now: Son, Tim, Mike E, and M13! 🙂

  82. Tim Knight says:

    I think we all believe we need an infusion of young talent on defense. But you can add some of that in FA with guys in their mid 20s who have experience and are in their prime. Not all FAs get massive contracts.

  83. son of a son of a shula says:

    Ok here’s my news:

    I’m at the ER because my daughter had a scare but everything is fine we just got the all clear and I’m going to be a GRANDFATHER!!!

  84. Mike E. says:

    Grandpa of a Son of a Son of a Shula?

  85. Randy says:

    The feeling in Minnesota is that Kendricks actually took a step backwards this past season. I think they still feel he’s a good player, but he fell off a little…. to nearly as many impactful plays. Hunter is seen as a possible top end pass rusher. They love him up here. Just sharing what I hear….not saying it’s accurate. Lol
    For all the hate Spielman gets around here, that dude has made some very good draft picks.
    And M13…it hurts that I’m left out because I was there BEFORE Omar got a blog.

  86. mf13ss says:

    CONGRATS, Son!!! I’m VERY happy for ya, Bro!!!

  87. Randy says:

    Congrats to you, your daughter and son-in-law! Gramps!

  88. mf13ss says:

    Randy says:

    February 3, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    …And M13…it hurts that I’m left out because I was there BEFORE Omar got a blog.
    RANDY!!! You’ve ALWAYS been one of my favorites, man!!! I hope all is going GRAND in your neck of the woods, my friend! I’ve missed ya, TRULY!!!


  89. mf13ss says:

    Here’s a blast from the past, my friends. It’s US in John Madden football!

  90. Mike E. says:

    LMAO @ Tim’s 2:10 – Ya never know these days . . .

  91. The Flying Pig says:

    Congrats Son

    It might feel shocking to you to learn you will be a grandfather

    But you can comfort yourself in knowing that the rest of us think you are old irrespective of becoming a grandfather…

  92. stangerx says:

    Awesome Son — make sure to get the Doc be able to add the appropriate tats.

  93. son of a son of a shula says:

    Thanks guys. I just got home we left right when I was posting earlier.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      you will never see the words “left” and “right” so perfectly content next to each other as long as you live…

  94. son of a son of a shula says:

    I think OD might be the only Grandpa in the group.
    The other possibilities may be Lou and Naples.
    Is anyone else a Grandparent here?

  95. son of a son of a shula says:

    When I started blogging I had one in high school and the other in middle school now I’m an empty nester with a grandchild on the way. Time flies…

  96. herdfan says:

    Hey Son…. great news about becoming a Grandpa. there’s nothing like a baby especially when the responsibility for it belongs to someone else. i think i waited too late to have kids to ever see any of my own.

    • Mike E. says:

      Don’t say that!

    • son of a son of a shula says:

      Should be here around the beginning of the next football season.
      It will change the whole family dynamic in an exciting way. I can buy toys for Christmas again!
      See them, spoil them and send them home is a very relaxing feeling

  97. son of a son of a shula says:

    Herd a lot happens in 10 years
    A lot

  98. Mike E. says:


    It’s going to be great. I’m looking forward to that day myself, but it’s going to be a while. You’re gonna love it!

  99. wyoming85 says:

    I know you missed me?

  100. wyoming85 says:

  101. The Flying Pig says:

    22: R1P22
    54: R2P22
    98: R3P34
    167: R5P22
    177: R5P32
    185: R5P40
    207: R6P22
    243: R7P22

  102. Randy says:

    That has the potential to be a very good draft if we were able to pull that off. So, do you think the team needs linebackers? Lol

  103. Tim Knight says:

    I’d take the top 3 right now. Don’t know enough about the rest.

    Watt could be that player Mike and I were discussing Mevlin Ingram being.

    • The Flying Pig says:


      If we drafted him I would play him at OLB and then maybe on 3rd down play him as DE

    • The Flying Pig says:

      Smoot and Cos both have a shot to develop into pretty good DEs

      Roberts is interesting
      but not as dynamic as, well you know who….

  104. The Flying Pig says:

    22: R1P22
    54: R2P22
    98: R3P34
    167: R5P22
    177: R5P32
    185: R5P40
    207: R6P22
    243: R7P22

  105. The Flying Pig says:

    Both drafts I did had OJ Howard off the board early

    • Tim Knight says:

      He probably will be. I would not be shocked if he went top 10. There is nothing he can’t do as a TE and he’s a rare athlete.

      • The Flying Pig says:

        I was surprised to hear him as an option at 22

        He’s very good
        I think better than most of the TEs that have come out in recent years

      • Tim Knight says:

        I think that will change. I’d say 12-15 for sure.

  106. Randy says:

    I’d be shocked if Foster is there at 22. He looks like a top 10 player fairly easily., to me. I’m not sure Watt is great value at that spot, but he’s probably not gonna be there when we pick again. Smoot isn’t a great athlete, but he’s definitely got potential. Harlow in the 6th is a nice pick…some think he’s a top 5 guard in this draft. I don’t know if I agree…it is a weak guard draft…but in the 6th…I’ll take a swing!

  107. The Flying Pig says:

    It kinda of makes sense for Howard to go top 15

    It’s not even like there are a lot of highly ranked receivers

  108. Randy says:

    I’d agree Howard goes top 15. Partly because there just aren’t a ton of high end talent in this draft, and he’s seen as a step above anybody at his position in this draft. That usually means you get picked a little higher. I’d take him as if he drops.

  109. Brian in NY says:

    22: R1P22
    54: R2P22
    98: R3P34
    167: R5P22
    177: R5P32
    185: R5P40
    207: R6P22
    243: R7P22

  110. Smoot isn’t a great athlete? Who said that?

  111. Tim Knight says:

    I’m just throwing this out there. Don’t be surprised if we trade up because we think there is a drop off because we want a special player. I’m not saying into the top 5, but maybe inside 15. 🙂

  112. I think Smoot hasn’t even scratched the surface yet in terms of talent and he still can be developed a lot further. He finally got better coaching this past season and gave a bit of a glimpse of how destructive he could be as a DE. He’s got the quick twitch you want in a pass rusher but it also gives him the ability to beat blocks and make plays in the backfield; another part of what he showcased this past season.
    If he goes to the right team with the right coaching staff (Miami) I think they can make this guy into a perennial pro bowl talent. He needs to take part in the offseason strength and conditioning program with the team and bulk up. That, along with coaching, could make him a force to be reckoned with. But that’s JMHO.

  113. Who would you be comparable to if you played CFB? Me: Ryan Switzer.

  114. When I look at a lot of the players in this year’s draft I probably should be looking at them a lot differently than I have in the past. Some lack the athleticism I really would like to see on this team; especially when you consider they want to increase the overall team speed on the defensive side of the ball.
    However, I truly believe that not only is the team going to be much better at picking talent for the team going forward but I also think the team is going to set the standard for player development going forward as well.
    So, I think the “prospect pool” in the draft is larger for our team than it may be for others.

  115. Before becoming a Miami Dolphin Cam Wake put up 39 sacks in 2 seasons with the BC Lions of the CFL.
    After the 2008 CFL season Wake received interest from 17 NFL teams, worked out for 8, and signed with MIA. The rest is history.
    Cam Wake was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year twice; in 2007 and 2008. ’07 was his rookie season.
    When Cam Wake was a rookie with the BC Lions he had no internet, no tv. He didn’t want any distractions.

  116. Piggy,
    One of the reasons I put Reddick where I did is the same reason we moved up to get Howard in the 2nd rd last year. If a player fits what you want to do and you have a chance to get him you can’t wait until you pick again and run the risk he’ll be gone.
    And, like I said in my post above there’s going to be players who maybe we wouldn’t have put the same emphasis on in the past but that’s because of the shortcomings in the coaching staff. Or maybe we would have taken a player in the past that didn’t work out as well because of the shortcomings of the coaching staff.
    When I look at Reddick I see a guy who has a lot of talent and that talent needs to be developed. There’s plenty of athleticism and ability there and also a lot of untapped potential. So I wouldn’t have a problem if he was our pick in the first rd. Now if we took Jarrad Davis with that pick I’d hit the ceiling.

  117. Among LB’s in the NFL Dont’a Hightower was 62nd in total tackles in ’16. He was 13th among MLB’s.
    Among NFL LB’s Dont’a Hightower was 93rd in solo tackles in ’16. He was 16th among MLB’s. Hasn’t played a full season in the past 3 yrs.

  118. Vince Williams started 4 games for Pittsburgh in ’16. He had more solo tackles than Dont’a Hightower.

  119. Hightower played 708 defensive snaps. Williams played 269.

  120. olddolphan says:

    HEY SON & HERD; –I’m probably NOT the only grandpa on this site. But I GUARANTEE I LEAD THE PACK in Great Grandkids with SIX!!! – – My two grandsons (ages 16 & 19) likely will produce MORE Great Grandkids in the next 10 years, so my final tally for Great Grandkids could be in the 8-10 range. AND, HERD, there’s always the option of adoption, if you’re of a mind to do that. My adoptive parents were somewhat older than most, but things turned out OK for this kid who started out in an orphanage in Canada as his first home. —Anyway, congrats to SON and Mrs. SON. –May you have many more.
    My wife made her annual trek up to rural Tennessee to see our youngest daughter, our oldest grand daughter and 3 of our 6 Great Grandkids this morning. I had to drop her off at Tampa International about 3:45 AM so she could catch her 5 AM flight to Charlotte, and then to Nashville.
    Getting up at 2:30 AM produced a bit of whining. But, then, I reminded her that her round trip airfare was a bit under $200, and the whining subsided. Just wished we had relatives who lived LESS THAN 600 MILES FROM TAMPA! Anyway, we’ll drive up to see them twice more this year because I have a convention in April and another in August about 90 miles from where they live. It’s SO IMPORTANT to see these kids in their younger years.
    FINALLY, DID YOU KNOW that if the Patriots LOSE TOMORROW, they’ll become the first franchise in NFL HISTORY TO LOSE 5 SUPER BOWLS??? Amidst all this Belicheat/Brady ass lick Fest, hardly NO ONE has even mentioned that a New England defeat makes them the NFL’s ALL-TIME LOSERS of Super Bowls!!! What does it say about a franchise when you lose 5 times EVEN WHILE ACTIVELY CHEATING??? –This franchise is the “Greatest of All Time??”–

    • olddolphan says:

      SPEAKING OF “THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME,” I invite all of you to read the front page of today’s MIAMI HERALD sports section, which is carried on their web site. In it, iconic Herald sports columnist Edwin Pope, who died Jan. 19, describes in graphic detail the highlights of Super Bowl VIII played in Rice Stadium, Houston, Jan.13, 1974. This game was the culmination of the GREATEST TWO YEAR RUN IN NFL HISTORY. It was the final chapter of Miami’s 32-2 record, a record THAT NO FRANCHISE HAS COME CLOSE TO BEATING since that time!!
      POPE begins by saying,”Call it Grants’ Tomb. Re-title it Shula’s Shrine. Or Csonka’s Causeway.
      Or let ’em keep the name Rice Stadium. No matter. Henceforth, this fog-bound battleground will be known as the one where the Dolphins settled themselves by any reasonable measure as football’s all-time kings. —
      It was murder. It made the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre look like a draw. —
      (READ the rest and enjoy!!!) – – Old Dolfan

  121. getterdone says:

    son of a son of a shula says:
    February 3, 2017 at 1:51 pm
    Hey pal, I haven’t been on much lately but great to see you.
    I’m going to have some big news to share soon.

    You’re finally coming out of the closet???

  122. getterdone says:

    oops, I just read the rest of the posts….Congrats GrannyPa! That’s a great feeling to have a lil boy born into the family. Kudos
    He shall be named Steel Tannyson. 🙂

  123. Mike E. says:


    I think Hightower’s tackling is suspect too, and I think I intimated that in my review of him

  124. Tim Knight says:

    I don’t think Hightower is the type of LB we need. I’d rather look for guys with more range than a big thumper.

    • jetsssuck says:

      how’s your foot doing? Has it healed yet or is it a recurring thing where it never heals?

      • Tim Knight says:

        Well that was out of the blue. LOL

        It’s all good now. I did my own therapy and worked through the pain. Thanks for asking.

      • jetsssuck says:

        the reason I have asked about is you never answered me the last 2 times. Well, I found out I need a by pass in the leg because not enough blood iss reaching the foot through the veins.All this time I was thinking the toe was just being stubborn in healing. The test it by doing a sony gram like the women get for pregnancy. Simple procedure and your good to go

  125. 81Howie says:

    Who else is? I am, a Grandpa that is… Been for about 5 years now, My lovely 26 year old daughter who lives in Alabama…
    Congratulations Son

  126. Tim Knight says:

    jetsssuck, I didn’t see you asking me that before.

    • Tim Knight says:

      Sorry to hear that you need that procedure. Hope all goes well.

      • jetsssuck says:

        it’s a simple procedure in and out in 1 overnight stay. I’m happy they figured it out and I know the pain will go away once the procedure is done.

  127. stangerx says:

    I hate to say it, but Peter King made a pretty good point yesterday.

    At 39, Marino, Montana and virtually every HOF QB was retired.
    Last year at 39, Manning limped in the Bowl with a weak arm after bad season.
    At 39, Brady is heading in to the Bowl after throwing 33 TDs versus 4 Ints.

    Brady might ending up being the best QB ever just cause of longevity.

  128. olddolphan says:

    WHO DO YOU THINK WILL GET SELECTED for the NFL Hall of Fame Tonight??
    My wild-ass guesses:
    1) LaDanian Tomlinson
    2) Jason Taylor
    3) Isaac Bruce
    4) Terrell Owens
    5) John Lynch
    IF I was doing the picking, I’d bounce Lynch in favor of Morton Andersen, the all-time leading scorer in NFL history and CLEARLY A BETTER PLACE KICKER than Jan Stenerud, the only pure place kicker ever admitted to Canton. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Paul Tagliabue gets the call, even tho’ I would not vote for him.
    ANYONE ELSE want to take a shot at this? The announcements will be made on a show on FOX tonight at 8 PM eastern.

    • stangerx says:

      So you think JT gets it? I forget all the names but looked over the initial list and came away with it is a real tough slate this year.

      • olddolphan says:

        Ya’, Jon, it IS a tough slate. But Taylor is, I believe, either #5 or #6 on the all-time sack list —-a huge statistic when you consider the importance of a pass rusher in today’s NFL.

      • stangerx says:

        Lets hope he gets it. I came away with him being in a good group of all deserving, but like three of them would have to wait till next year.

  129. Randy says:

    I did….which you know. Smoot isn’t a freakish sort of athlete. He’s a good athlete, but he’s not really special. He doesn’t beat opponents with special athleticism. You go way overboard on your evaluations. Just how many of these guys do you think will be “pro bowl players”? Lol

  130. olddolphan says:

    Young Stanger; I just looked up the top sack artists of all time in the NFL. Jason Taylor currently stands 7th on that list. Everyone ahead of him who is eligible for the HOF is in the HOF!!! And several who are behind him (like John Randle) are also in the Hall. So I believe Taylor has a shot!

  131. Tim Knight says:

    It would be great if JT got in. I’m not sure Owens or Bruce get in, the WR position is very watered down so they usually go with very special. I’d put Tomlinson and Lynch in though.

  132. The Flying Pig says:

    22: R1P22
    54: R2P22
    98: R3P34
    167: R5P22
    177: R5P32
    185: R5P40
    207: R6P22
    243: R7P22

    In this scenario we play McKinnley as a DE

    I got my LBs a little later
    But Lee and Boulware are a nice blend

    Lee is pretty good in coverage – he’s a real interesting prospect
    Boulware is a thumper and has a chance to be a good MLB

    Smooth gets his time to develop
    Lamp can start from day 1 at OG
    And we got a backup C too

  133. herdfan says:

    I just saw that Jason Taylor was voted in the HOF.

  134. The Flying Pig says:

  135. Tim Knight says:

    Yeah JT!!! Congrats!!!

  136. Mike E. says:

    Go JT!!! That’s great, he was a great player we got to watch for a quite a while. His brother in law was great too, but he won’t be in the HOF.

  137. olddolphan says:

    .JUSTICE was done!! JT in the HOF!! YESSSSSSSSS

    • olddolphan says:

      Pleasantly surprised that Morten Andersen got in, as did Easley, Terrell Davis and Tomlinson. I’m sick that the turd Jedrry Jones also got in. He rode Jimmy Johnson’s coat tails in my view!! Very surprised that neither T.O.nor Isaac Bruce were selected.

      • olddolphan says:

        Also pleased that Kurt Warner was elected. He took two teams to the Super Bowl. And he still holds the Super Bowl record for most yards passing in a Super Bowl. He was the biggest factor in “The Greatest Show On Turf!”

      • Tim Knight says:

        I think it was Marshall Faulk, even Warner said that.

      • olddolphan says:

        MARSHALL FAULK did not play with Warner when he took the Cards to the Super Bowl.

  138. jetsssuck says:

    i watched Isaac Bruce’s son play HS ball at ST.Thomas and this kid someday will be in the NFL despite getting kicked off the UM football team for pot. The kid is playing at a junior college now since he was kicked off UM team. He will probably love to come home as a fa his father raised him from his plantation home. The kid was a man among boys every time I watched him. He played along Michael irvin’s son also which I believe enrolled for UM also.

  139. Tim Knight says:

    OD, you said Warner was the biggest factor in “The Greatest Show On Turf!” That wasn’t in ARZ.

  140. stangerx says:

    Awesome that JT made it, and well-deserved (not matter what you guys said when he played for the Yets).

    And actually what makes me most happy is that if JT gets in first time around, maybe Zach does have a chance after all.

  141. Tim Knight says:

    We signed TE Chris Pantale who was waived by PHI this past season. What’s interesting to me about him is there was some buzz down the shore that he was on the verge of buying his Mom a home down by us on the lagoons. It fell through when he was cut. He’s from Wayne. NJ. I also believe I know his Dad or Uncle. Both big dudes of the same last name.

  142. Randy,
    I’ve watched just about every game Smoot has played and have SEEN him beat people with athleticism.

  143. I don’t care what anyone says. The Graham Norton Show is the best talkshow on television and that’s not debatable.

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