2018 Miami Dolphins – Free Agency – OG

How we address the OL this year is going to determine the success, or failure of our team.  We’ve been using half measures for too long, and it’s time to finally get that unit performing at a high level.  Without inside knowledge from the team, I feel strongly that this O-line will be made right, or they will die trying for this season.  The news last night regarding the non-exclusive franchise tag designation for WR Jarvis Landry, at least at the moment, almost ensures we’re going to have to use the draft to fix the O-line.  The $16.2M salary for this season will prohibit a big free agent signing, leaving the draft as the more likely alternative.  Unless of course, the Dolphins work out a long term contract with Landry.  We’ll have to wait and see on that.  The Dolphins will still be making quite a few cuts and restructures, but those cuts won’t add up to one of the best FA OL, so that would mean more half measures.  Skip it guys, and do it right!

Andrew Norwell  6’6 325   26YO

170306_norwell_600x360

2018’s version of Kevin Zeitler, who was last year’s best guard on the market.  Zeitler was 27, Norwell is even younger at 26.  Norwell, despite playing well, has started and finished each game he’s been asked to the last 3 years.  He played and started 13 games in ’15, and then the following 2 seasons in ’16 and ’17 he started 16 games, so Norwell has shown he’s durable.  Sounds great, right?  It is, but unless we free up massive cap space, we just can’t afford to pay Norwell what he’s going to get, which is north of $11M per season, and closer to $12M  He would be a fantastic pickup for the Dolphins, and finally give us a legitimate LG, which I believe would also make our young LT , Laremy Tunsil, so much better.  We’ll have to wait and see how the Landry situation plays out, because until something happens on that front, it’s going to make this kind of signing nearly impossible.

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Jonathan Cooper  6’2 311  28YO

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers

Wow!  Remember Jonathan Cooper?  Tim had him penciled in as our 1st RD draft pick so many years ago on our live draft!  Jahn and I had exhausting debates on who was the better player, Jonathan Cooper or Chance Warmack.  Here we are 5 years later, and Cooper may have had the most bizarre career path ever.  After being drafted at #7 by the Arizona Cardinals, Cooper broke his fibula in the 3rd preseason game, ending his season.  Replaced by (He-he) Ted Larsen, Cooper was unable to regain his starting spot, and some felt the leg injury may have hurt him more than expected.  Wrist injuries and knee injuries gave the job back to Larsen after Cooper finally got his shot to start.

In 2016, Cooper and a 2nd RD draft pick were sent to the New England Patriots to acquire DE Chandler Jones.  Cooper NEVER played a game for the Patriots.  He was waived, and then the Browns picked him up, and in ’16, all Cooper could manage was 5 games and 3 starts for the Browns.  Last season, Cooper was picked up by the Cowboys, and he finally got some meaningful playing time, starting 13 games on that vaunted line.  He played well last season, and due to his uneven career, he should be a relative bargain.  Granted, this could easily be filed under the half measure side of the ledger, but Cooper was an extremely talented prospect, that just seems to have had some bad luck. 5 years in the NFL, 1 broken leg and 4 teams.  He played well for the Cowboys last season, maybe Cooper’s star is on the rise for good now.

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Josh Kline  6’3 310   28YO

161011kline-600

Kline was an undrafted free agent in 2013 who was picked up by the New England Patriots.  Kline had to wait a couple of years before being elevated to starter, and in ’15, Kline started 14 games.  In ’16, the Tennessee Titans picked him up in FA, and he’s been the starter there the last 2 seasons, playing both LG and RG.  Kline is a grinder in the run game, paving the way for backs Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray.  He will be due a pretty large payday, Spotrac expects him to be around the $10M range.  Right now, we’re not able to fit that in.

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Luke Joeckel  6’6 306  26YO

203333_bh_Seahawks_KC_1224-780x520

Yes, another fallen star.  Joeckel was drafted #2 overall in the 2013 NFL draft by the Jaguars, 5 spots ahead of one Jonathan Cooper.  If Cooper has had a strange career path, Joeckel’s isn’t too many miles behind.  As a rookie, the green LT played in only 5 games, but in 2014, Joeckel started all 16 games for Jacksonville at LT, and then 14 games in 2015.  In 2016, the LG experiment began, and the career took a detour.  Once a very athletic, slightly underweight dancer at LT, now put in a power position inside at LG, didn’t work.  Joeckel eventually had knee surgery, ending the experiment with JAX.    The jags declined to pick up the 5th year option, and the Seattle Seahawks, desperate for O-line help gave the beleaguered OL another chance.  Joeckel started 11 games for the Seahawks, but is still a work in progress.  It would be hard to say Joeckel is the obvious answer to our woes here, but he would be a relatively low risk, or half measure solution.  Sorry folks, the options out there just aren’t great.

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Justin Pugh  6’5 307   27YO

49ers Giants Football

Another former 1st RD pick, this FA seems to chock full of them.  Pugh was a very successful player in the NFL, playing both RT and and LG.  Pugh was an immediate starter with the Giants after being drafted at #19 in the 2013 NFL draft, yeah, THAT draft, along with Cooper and Joeckel.   Cooper started all 16 games at RT his rookie season, and was a fan favorite.  He played his next season starting 14 games at RT, missing 2 games.  In 2015, the Giants O-line was decimated, and Pugh filled in everywhere, at RT, LG and LT.  In 2016, the Giants decided to move Pugh permanently to LG, where he started 14 games.  He was considered one of the top OG’s in the game that season.  Pugh battled minor injuries in ’16, playing and starting only 11 games.  In 2017, he started 8 games before going down with back issues, which later ended his season on IR.

While Pugh has been a great player in the league, injuries have shortened the last 2 seasons for him, but he’s a very tough, talented player.  Spotrac expects Pugh’s salary to be around $6.5M, which is not an outrageous, though risky proposition.

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There seems to be only one easy solid answer to our long term issue, but it’s an extremely expensive one with Andrew Norwell.  All the other guys except for Kline are more risky, but might bring better rewards if they pay off.  If Pugh is truly healthy, I’d take him on our team, I’ve seen him play quite a bit for the Giants.  There are some older players that can give us short term help, but I’m tired of going that route.  Some other possibilities are Jack Mewhort, who has been on a downslide for a couple of years, Zach Fulton formerly of the Chiefs, and Kevin Pamphile of the Bucs.  Both Fulton and Pamphile have been regular starters, but I’m not sure if they are upgrades to what we have.  If you have any thoughts, let me hear them . . .

 

 

 

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757 Responses to 2018 Miami Dolphins – Free Agency – OG

  1. naplesfan2010 says:

    So we have to fix two spots in FA because we need 8 guys and only have 5 picks in the 1st 4 rounds. We can finesse one of those in-house or w/ a late rounder for another year.
    We need OG, RB, DE, TE, QB, another TE, another OG, and a LB. Not in that order.

    FS we can get late. Maybe QB can be had in 6th rnd as this yr is deep and we can say we only need a back-up. Or RB or the 2nd TE can be had late. Or whatever.

    If we could get a 2nd for Jarvis then we’d have enough picks to get it done, but still, every one would need to become a starter and that’s a hard thing to do in the crap shoot known as the NFL draft. So FA must work for us somehow.

  2. naplesfan2010 says:

    I know you hate the “one-year rental stop-gap guy,” but the goal is to sign them for 2-4 yrs.

    It is impossible to draft perfectly even though we have 5 picks in the first 4 rounds. If we can hit on 3 of those guys becoming long-term Dolphins, we’d be happy. Then you must fill in with FAs. In the current low-ball rookie contract CBA, all those guys want to sign for big bucks when they get their first chance. (a la Landry, Miller, OV)

    We either have to sign ours or someone else’s.

    • we sign way too many of those stop gap guys. Tannenbaum doesn’t know how to build a team nor does he know how to manage the cap.

      It would be a different story if you’re doing it like NE did with Harrison but we bring these guys in to start. They should be either role players or backups but you shouldn’t have a lot of stop gap guys starting because you have to replace them all over again.

  3. Ken says:

    LOL. Piggy found where I live

  4. Here’s the starting point in cap. If we cut Timmons and Thomas, rescind the tag on Landry or trade him and decline the option on James this is where we would start from. Now, that’s also what we’d have to work with to sign Landry to a long-term deal and to re-sign James if we chose to do so.

    Without making any other moves whether they be cuts or restructures, and I hope to God we don’t restructure anyone, it isn’t going to be much to work with:

    consider that we’ve got some FA’s of our own we need to re-sign like Parkey and others we might want to re-sign like Williams and Michael Thomas. And then we’ve got the rookie class.

  5. naplesfan2010 says:

    A lot of guys talk about just taking BPA every pick every year, and then you get better and batter.
    That does make sense.
    But that gives you the bubble up to the top and fade fast syndrome.
    Both because of the CBA rookie contract factor and because of the fact that your picks get really high the year after each playoff run.

    So Bellicheck doesn’t do it BPA. And he has been able to sustain playoff caliber by getting “his guys” whether in trades or FA or the draft. He has stables of WRs, RBs, and DBs and rotates no-name DTs or LBs or whatever. He keeps stars at TE and OL and of course he has Tom Brady.

    Instead of an uncertain first round draft pick @ 32 last yr, he grabs the WR he wanted and knew could play his system in the NFL.

    Last year he had only 4 picks TOTAL! Some years he has 9 or 10. It’s all about getting the guys who match what you want to do on O and D.

    • he develops players for his team. he plays the guys he has. Belichick doesn’t bring in a guy without knowing how he’s going to use him and without wanting to use him in the offense or the defense.

      that’s a huge difference. we traded to draft Carroo, we’ve got Jakeem Grant with all that speed, Drew Morgan and Gray at TE. If these guys were on his team he’d either be playing them and getting something out of them or they wouldn’t be there because he doesn’t waste roster spots on guys he doesn’t use somehow or have a plan for.

      and that’s what I’ve been saying for years. these coaches pencil in their starters and let the remaining talent on the roster rot away because they’re trying to win to save their jobs and when it does get to next man up they’re not ready because they didn’t do shit to develop their guys.

      why would you bring in guys without a plan as to how you’re going to use them or without ever wanting to use them? why would you have a guy with talent on the roster and look at him like he can’t get the job done?

      if Grant were in NE you damn well better believe they’d find a way to use him and that speed and quickness in the offense. meanwhile, we’re throwing 150 short passes to the slowest wr on the team.

  6. naplesfan2010 says:

    The draft can be over rated on what it can do for a team, short term.
    Cleveland had 3 first round picks last year including #1 over all and still went 0-16.

    • you gotta get there first. you’ve got to build your team and get to where you want to be. you can’t do it if you’re signing a bunch of stop gaps for a year with the idea that they give you the best chance to win a few more games this year.

      fans want the quick fix. it’s all about this year with the fans and they want to win now; not wait. the best thing that could happen to this team would be if a new guy came in and gutted it and started over bringing in HIS guys instead of going with what someone else handed him.

  7. The Flying Pig says:

    new blog up

  8. Rockphin says:

    Today is day 5 without Nicotine. I have lost my mind, but I haven’t list my shit yet. LOL

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