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Miami Dolphins 2017 Free Agency Tracker

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Miami Dolphins 2017 Free Agency Tracker

Usually, Miami Dolphins Free Agency means swinging for the fences. Swinging big, usually resulting in huge misses. The Miami Dolphins 2017 Free Agency haul looks to be a memorable one. This area has been a spending spree for the Fins in past years. This year, the off-season has quite a different feel in Miami. Key guys are re-signed, and holes have been filled with cheap, experienced options.

Following in the footsteps of their rookie head coach on the heels on a 10 win season, players and coaches in South Beach are feeling confident. Hopefully, this is the year Miami gets over the hump, and becomes a consistent contender.

Offense

The tight end position was abysmal last year, where Dion Sims was the small bright spot. Sims is off to bigger bucks in Chicago, leaving quite a void.

Enter tight end duo Julius Thomas and Anthony Fasano. Despite the injuries, no doubt Thomas is still one of the best tight ends in the NFL. When he was in Denver, Adam Gase was running the plays and as a result, Thomas pulled in 12 touchdowns in back to back years. Anthony Fasano is graded as the best blocking tight in the NFL. Together, they give an immediate upgrade to a position of need.

Wide receiver Kenny Stills was a crucial part of last seasons offensive success, and can stretch the field. Re-signing him keeps the trio of wide receivers from last year together. Stills, Parker, and Landry will become one of the NFL’s most feared units next season.

Ted Larsen, a center/guard signed a 3-year contract, filling a hole along the line. Ideally, he should compete for a starting guard position, or become the backup center. Larsen will excel in Miami’s zone blocking scheme. He has played in 102 games along with 65 starts, bringing some much needed veteran presence to the big boys up front.

Miami is searching for another guard, as a starter and to add some depth. Pro bowler Branden Albert is in Jacksonville via trade, and Jermon Bushrod is a free agent. Former first-round pick Laremy Tunsil will slide out to left tackle with Albert’s departure, leaving a glaring hole at the other guard spot. Drafting another guard is an option, or sign another low-cost veteran. Whichever they decide, Miami needs to fortify their inside run game.

Defense

Since the clock hit double zeros in Pittsburgh back in January, there has been a common thread in Miami.

“We want to keep our guys in Miami.” Is what GM Chris Grier and head coach Adam Gase have been preaching. Unlike recent years, there is no enormous turnover this off-season.

Reshaad Jones and Cameron Wake both had their contracts extended, locking them up for the next few years. Andre Branch signed a 3-year, $27 million dollar deal after the edge specialist put up a career 5.5 sacks just last season. Kiko Alonso had a first-round tender placed on him, along with safety Michael Thomas getting an original-round tender.

Filling Needs

The Dolphins have extreme defensive needs, finishing 30th in total defense is not playoff football.

A physical inside linebacker, a free safety, and a run-first defensive end were top priority. By way of two signings and a trade, those needs have been met.

Long-time Steeler Lawrence Timmons has signed 2-year deal. The bruising linebacker is an excellent blitzer and has phenomenal gap responsibility. This will allow Kiko Alonso to play outside and be a little more rangy. Timmons is likely a hold-the-fort guy in the meantime until Miami can find a long term replacement at linebacker.

Defensive ends need to run the passer, and stop the run. Luckily William Hayes can do both at a high level. Miami traded their sixth-round pick (No.206) and received Hayes, along with the Ram’s seventh-round pick (No. 223). This is a complete steal for the Fins, as they essentially slide down 17 picks for a quality edge player.

On Friday the Dolphins released Isa Abdul-Quddus, last year’s starting free safety. Cutting Abdul-Quddus cleared $3.4 million in cap space, making way for another free safety to take his place. Former Eagle and Raider Nate Allen has signed a one-year deal worth $3.4 million, coincidentally. Allen is a rangy safety who can play center field while Reshaad Jones sticks his nose in the box.

The Miami Dolphins 2017 Free Agency period is by far one of the best hauls around the NFL. Nobody has been overpaid, yet they still kept all their play makers. Miami is in great shape heading into the draft.