In Adam Gase’s first season as head coach, the Miami Dolphins went to the playoffs for just the second time since 2001. If they are going to return to the postseason next year, they’ll need to avoid the problems they faced in 2009, which was the year after their last playoffs appearance.
While there’s plenty of focus on the problems of the Wildcat offense and how the Dolphins were a mess on that side of the ball after teams were able to figure out how to stop it, don’t underestimate the fact that Miami’s defense got much worse as well. The defense was old and the offense had no long-term stars. Could that be different this time around?
I think so because Ryan Tannehill, while not great, is much more stable than Chad Pennington or Chad Henne; Jarvis Landry and Jay Ajayi seem like legitimate pieces to build around; Devante Parker and Kenyan Drake have lots of potential; the offensive line is young and talented; but the defense needs to have a lot of growth and they need to figure out how to retain their most important players.
Luckily most of their best are under contract for next season and Miami has over $30 million in cap room. Which free agents could they be losing, who could get cut, and would any of them interest the Seattle Seahawks?
Impending Free Agents
Jermon Bushrod, OT
This would be J’Marcus Webb 2.0 if the Seahawks went this route. Bushrod’s had a much better career than Webb, but he’s older and not playing that great over the last three or four years. I don’t see him coming to Seattle.
Dion Jordan, DE
I guess technically he will be released, but Jordan is as good as a free agent. He’s had a horrible career since being the third overall pick in 2013 and he hasn’t played in a game since 2014. His potential as a prospect four years ago will still give him a chance with a team this year though. Before the draft, Jordan came in at 6’6, 248 pounds, just under 34” arms, 4.6 in the forty, 10’2 broad jump, and fast times in the three-cone and 20-yard shuttle. But he had three sacks in 26 games before suspension and injury wiped out his last two years. What kind of a player can any team expect to receive?
I don’t think the Seahawks would shy away from giving him a shot, but he’d have to earn his place on the team and may need to compete at outside linebacker. Does anyone have any expectation that Jordan is willing to put forth the effort to win a job on one of the most competitive teams in the NFL?
Andre Branch, DE
I do wonder if Branch falls into the category of “Low-key defensive end signing that turns out to be a great bargain for the Seahawks.” He was a second round pick out of Clemson in 2012, he’s 6’4, 259 pounds, 34” arms, 10’ broad jump, 4.7 forty-yard dash, and he played for Gus Bradley in Jacksonville from 2013-2015. He signed a one-year, $2.7 million deal with the Dolphins and record 49 tackles and 5.5 sacks while sharing DE duties with Cam Wake, Jason Jones, and Mario Williams.
There’s something there for Seattle, maybe. I just wonder if there was any interest there a year ago — I don’t see any reported interest.
Others: LS John Denney, LB Donald Butler, LB Spencer Paysinger, QB TJ Yates, TE Jordan Cameron, CB Chimdi Chekwa, WR Kenny Stills, S Bacarri Rambo, LB Jelani Jenkins, TE Dion Sims
Mario Williams, DE
Williams was released for the second time in a year. He signed a two-year, $17 million deal with Miami in 2016 and he produced 1.5 sacks. If you want the Seahawks to sign Williams, I’d just ask for one good reason that didn’t include his draft status in 2006 or his production prior to 2015. He’s been horrible for two years and will likely get overpaid again because of who he is.
Earl Mitchell, DT
Miami will save $4 million by releasing Mitchell, who missed seven games and recorded just 14 tackles last season. Seattle was reportedly interested but he signed with the rival 49ers.
Branden Albert, LT
Albert was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for tight end Julius Thomas.
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