That is a question that will no doubt plague the Miami Dolphins front office this off-season. After posting an NFL worst 1-15 record the Dolphins need to make a lot of changes to their team which includes drafting players and signing free agents, as well as letting some players go. After looking at their roster, examining draft prospects and looking into the free agent pool, these are the moves they need to make.
Teams that have success in rebuilding usually build from the line outwards and that is exactly what the Dolphins need to do, strengthen both the D-line and O-line. (I only put the bigger FA signings they should make, the smaller ones are too many).
Justin Smith DE, UFA, Bengals- They need a lot more QB pressure from the right side of that D-line. Smith is a consistent player and will give you a lot of push and pressure on the D-line.
Corey Williams DT, UFA, Packers- He is a perfect replacement for their ageing interior line. He adds quickness and strength to the D-line, and has had a career year playing for the packers. The packers probably wont pick up his contract which leaves the Dolphins a great DT to pursue.
Todd Steussie OT, UFA, Rams- He may not be the perfect O-lineman but he has been pretty good this year and adds some great experience to a "lackluster" O-line. They probably wont be able to bid on FA like Faneca and Womack as well as Brown but Steussie is a great backup plan. He can play pretty much anywhere on the O-line but he could be a good RT or LG. Approaching 40 he is not the long term answer but will serve as a mentor to the O-lineman that they draft in the upcoming years.
Drew Carter WR, UFA, Panthers- Not racking up great yardage numbers, Carter is on his way out of Carolina because of Dwayne Jarrett waiting in the wings. This would be a great pickup for the Fins, they get an experienced WR who is a great red zone target, plus he compliments the speed reciever in Ted Ginn as Carter is a possesion reciever.
Samie Parker WR, UFA, Chiefs- This might seem somewhat surprising but Parker is a speedy little guy who can step in and be your number 4 receiver. The Fins need depth and Parker helps the WR's a lot.
The Dolphins need to have an extremely successfull draft to even be considered as a decent team next year. I will do their first 4 rounds.
Glenn Dorsey, LSU- After signing Williams and Smith (In my offseason projections), they will add some youth to the D-line. Dorsey is a big, athletic player who will step in, be a starter, and have a very good rookie season. He would help the Fins stop the run as well as take up blockers to let the LB's run free. The big man would be a great addition.
Marcus Griffin, Texas- The senior safety is a fairly good player who can compete for the starting safety job in his rookie year.
Jack Ikegwonu*, Wisconsin- If he goes out he will be a steal for the third round, he has great speed and can play man to man coverage very well. Even after having a lackluster JR year he will turn out to be a good speed Nickel and Dime CB who, in the future, can take over one of the starting CB spots.
Erik Ainge, Tennessee- He is a good passer who reminds me a lot of Peyton Manning but without the powerful arm. Ainge can take control of an offense and be a great accuratte passer. He can in the future be a star QB but he will serve as a back up and mentee to Trent Green.
Let 'Em Go
Keith Traylor, DT- He is ageing and injury prone and after signing Williams and drafting Dorsey he is the odd man out. (keep Vonnie though, he can be a good 3rd DT and a mentor).
Lance Shulters, SS- He hasnt had a pick in 2 years, he hasnt had more than 5 picks in 6 years. Shulters is done, let him go and get some youth for the SS position.
Matt Roth, DE- He is an average player at best, he doesnt get many sacks and is okay at stopping the run, there are plenty of better DE's to be had.
Many of you dolphin fans probably dont like all my moves but in 2 years they will pay off as the mix of aged and young talent combines to be a powerhouse in the NFL.